Brian White | August 9, 2023 | Motorcycle Accidents
Like most other states in the country, Texas has a system in place for minors to acquire motor vehicle licenses. Known as the graduated driver license program, it allows Texans as young as 15 to receive permits to drive motorcycles.
With that being said, younger motorcyclists must follow all the same laws that older motorcyclists follow and must adhere to additional restrictions depending on their exact age.
How To Get a Motorcycle Permit When You Are Under 18 in Texas
As a minor in Texas, you need to apply for a motorcycle permit in person at a Texas Driver’s License office.
For your motorcycle permit or license application to be approved, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 15 years old
- Be a resident of Texas
- Pass a Motorcycle Safety Course approved by the state
- Obtain a Class C Provisional License, take 32 classroom hours of driver’s education, or complete a Class C learner license
- Verify your enrollment and attendance in high school
- Be accompanied by a parent or guardian
- Pass a vision test
- Complete and pass a driver’s exam
Your driver’s exam is completed on a motorcycle that you bring, and someone must follow you by car throughout the entire exam.
Restrictions For Minors Who Drive Motorcycles in Texas
Once you have satisfied all of the prerequisites, you will receive a Class M Provisional License, which allows minors to drive a motorcycle in Texas. Keep in mind, however, that the license comes with the following additional restrictions:
You may only have one passenger on your motorcycle who is under 21 years old and not a family member. Unless your motorcycle has a sidecar, this restriction isn’t likely to be a problem, as very few motorcycles can hold more than one additional person to begin with.
Hours of Use
With a provisional license, you are not permitted to ride your motorcycle between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m. There are exceptions to the rule, however, as you can ride your motorcycle in the event of an emergency or to travel to and from work or school-related activities.
Technically, a Class M Provisional License doesn’t include any specific rules about helmets. However, Texas has separate motorcycle helmet laws in place, which require everyone under 21 to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
Unless there is an emergency, minors are not allowed to use any type of electronic device while on a motorcycle, even if it is a hands-free one.
Engine Restriction For 15-Year-Old Motorcycle Drivers
If you are 15 years old, you will face an additional restriction that older minors do not. Your license will receive an “I” restriction, which limits you to driving a motorcycle with a 250cc engine or lighter.
Once you turn 16, you can easily get that restriction removed, but there is no way for someone who is 15 to be exempt from it.
Transferring From Out of State
If you previously had a motorcycle license in another state, that will not exempt you from the provisional license rules when you transfer your license to Texas. Assuming you completed a motorcycle safety course in your previous state, you will get a provisional M Class license, but if you didn’t, you would need to complete the relevant courses in Texas to re-obtain the license.
Texas Motorcycle Permit Rules Make the Roads Safer
The Texas GDL Program helps teenagers safely learn how to ride a motorcycle, effectively reducing motorcycle accidents and ensuring that minors understand the laws before they graduate to an unrestricted license.
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