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Missouri Motorcycle Licensing Requirements


Before you hit the open road, you should review the Missouri Motorcycle Licensing Requirements. For additional resources, contact Buchanan Williams & O’Brien.

We are personal injury experts who have achieved results for our clients in Missouri for over 40 years.

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Missouri Motorcycle Licensing


Riding a motorcycle may feel thrilling and entertaining. However, it comes with its own set of dangers. Riding recklessly and without safety precautions can lead to serious head and brain injuries.

The National Highway Safety Administration reports that motorcyclists are at 28 times greater risk of dying from a crash than car drivers. Thus, one should always wear protective headgear while riding or traveling on a motorcycle.

Missouri law requires compliance with Missouri motorcycle license requirements to ensure that residents operate a motorcycle safely. These licensing requirements regulate who can obtain a license, what training riders should undertake, and what skills test they should pass before getting a proper license.

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, contact a Missouri motorcycle accident lawyer today to learn how they can help motorcycle accident victims with their cases.


What Is the Procedure for Getting a Motorcycle License in Missouri?


Motorcycle operators need to obtain the requisite licenses before they can ride on a public road. A Class M license or permit or a driver’s license with an M endorsement is required to legally operate a motorcycle in Missouri.

The minimum age to obtain any motorcycle license is fifteen and a half years. Only riders above eighteen can get a full Class M license or endorsement.

To maintain the benefits offered by a motorcycle license, one has to renew the same before the expiration date. Generally, licenses can be renewed six months before the expiration date. Missouri laws do not differentiate between different license types for renewal purposes. However, the person submitting the renewal application must continue to be eligible for a motorcycle license.


Riders Above the Age of 18

Individuals aged 18 and above can apply for a Class M license or endorsement after following these steps:

    • Pass the Class F and Class M written and on-cycle skills tests.
    • Those who have completed an approved motorcycle rider training course can get a waiver from the on-cycle skills exam.
    • Submit personal details, including name, address, Social Security Number, date and place of birth, and proof of residency.
    • Pay the applicable fees depending on the validity of the license. It could be a three-year Class M license or a six-year class M license.


    Riders Between the Ages of 16 and 18

    Applicants in this age bracket do not need to complete a Motorcycle Rider Training Course, but they need to clear the Class M and Class F exams to get an instruction permit. Further, minors who are first-time drivers also need to fulfill the Missouri Graduated Driver License Program (GDL) requirements before getting a full license.

    Minor drivers who want to upgrade their instruction permit to an intermediate (restricted) license need to satisfy the following criteria:

    • Hold the permit for a minimum of 182 days which commences from the date of receipt.
    • Complete at least 40 hours of supervised driving with a qualified person between sunset and sunrise. 10 hours of supervised driving has to take place at night.
    • They should not have been convicted for traffic-related offenses in the past six months.
    • They should not have convictions for alcohol-related offenses in the past twelve months.

    Those who ride a motorcycle on an intermediate license are prohibited from driving between 1 AM to 5 AM except in certain circumstances.


    Riders Above the Age of 15 years and 182 Days

    Applicants above the age of fifteen and a half years may obtain an instruction permit after fulfilling certain requirements.

    To get the instruction permit, you have to:

    • Get a parent or legal guardian to accompany you to the Department of Revenue’s Office to obtain their written permission statement.
    • Complete a Motorcycle Rider Training Course (MRTC).
    • Pass the Class F and M, vision, and road sign exams.


    Restrictions applicable to instruction permit holders

    Instruction permit holders who are below the age of sixteen have to comply with the following rules:

    • Take rides only during the daytime.
    • Stay within 50 miles of their residence.
    • Operate engines with a displacement of less than 250 ccs.
    • Not carry passengers with them.
    • Should be accompanied by a qualified person/driving instructor or grandparent.
    • Carry the instruction permit while driving.

      License Requirements for New Residents in Missouri


      Residents who are new to Missouri need to transfer their out-of-state license. They can obtain a Missouri motorcycle license by following these steps:

      • Provide the required personal details, including name, date of birth, address, Social Security Number, and proof of residence.
      • Pass a vision screening and road sign test.
      • Depending on the duration of the license, pay the applicable fee.
      • Surrender the out-of-state license to the Department of Revenue.
      • If the license had expired more than 184 days ago, then take a required written exam and the on-cycle skills test.


      Motorcycle Safety Courses in Missouri


      As mentioned above, riders under the age of 16 need to complete a Motorcycle Rider Training Course before applying for a Class M permit. The requirement to take the on-cycle exam for obtaining the Class M license can be waived if one completes the Basic Rider Course.


      Measures to Increase Motorcycle Safety on Missouri Roads


      In addition to following the Missouri motorcycle license rules, certain safe driving practices can be adopted by riders to increase motorcycle safety.

      For example, Missouri motorcycle laws do not mandate wearing a helmet for those aged 26 and above. However, riders should wear a helmet for safety, as wearing one significantly reduces the risk of head and brain injuries.

      Missouri motorcycle laws also require the registration of all motorcycles with the Missouri Department of Revenue. Further, to operate lawfully on the road, motorcycles should have a fully functional headlight, horn, taillight, brake light, muffler, and front and rear brakes.

      Lane splitting is usually considered an unsafe practice and should be avoided to reduce the chances of motorcycle accidents.

      If you have been in an accident recently, discussing the specific circumstances of your case with Missouri personal injury attorneys is a good idea.

      Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today


      The licensing requirements of Missouri may impact your case and affect the compensation you are entitled to receive. Our Missouri personal injury lawyers can assist you with determining fault, negotiating with insurance companies, and getting compensation for the injuries suffered.

      Our law firm, Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C., offers an initial free consultation and works on a contingency basis for personal injury cases. This means that we get paid only if you win your personal injury claim.

      We can help! FREE Injury and Work Comp Consultations.


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