A Complete Guide on How to Get a Motorcycle License in Florida

A Complete Guide on How to Get a Motorcycle License in Florida

Do you dream of exploring Florida on a motorcycle and feel the cool air in your hair? Well, you are not alone. With more than 645,012 registered motorcyclists, Florida is the second most famous state with bikers. This makes sense, especially with its beautiful sites and the year-round sunshine. Plus, there is nothing more amazing than riding to Florida panhandle’s white-sand beaches to escape the summer heat.

But for you to ride your bike in the Sunshine State, you need a valid endorsement or motorcycle license. Fortunately, getting a motorcycle license in the Sunshine State is relatively easy, especially if you already have a driver’s license.

You have to be over 16 years old before you can apply for a motorcycle license. In this article, we’ll show you how to get a motorcycle license in Florida and everything you may need. So let’s dive right in…

Do I Need a Florida License to Ride a Motorcycle in Florida?

teen holding a driver's license and motorcycle key

Yes. Just like in any other U.S. state, you need a valid license to explore the beautiful sceneries in Florida. You can be fined if found riding a motorcycle without a license in the Sunshine State.

If you already have a driver’s license, you must get a motorcycle endorsement to legally drive a bike. Therefore, you must have a learner’s permit, motorcycle endorsement, or a valid license to legally ride a bike.

With a learner’s permit, you need to be in the company of experienced riders to explore the highways.

If you’re just commuting through Florida while on a road trip, you’re safe and won’t need a Florida license. That’s because even though individual states issue licenses, they are all legal in the United States. Therefore, Florida has to recognize all the licenses, especially when handling a non-resident. But remember that you should be over 16 years old to be allowed to even get a motorcycle license in the U.S.

Motorcycle Endorsement Vs License in Florida

motorcycle parked on the road

In Florida, every rider needs an official credential to ride any motorcycle with an engine over 50cc. This applies to both two- and three-wheeled vehicles.

Just like in all other states, you need a valid permit, motorcycle license, or a motorcycle endorsement.

Motorcycle licenses are for riders looking for riders-only official credentials. These are for people who don’t have a driver’s license. On the other hand, an endorsement is for individuals who already have a Florida driver’s license.

Another difference between the two is that with a motorcycle-only license, you have to renew it every year. On the other hand, you only pay for the motorcycle endorsement once. Motorcycle endorsement gets renewed automatically when you renew your driver’s license at no extra charge.

So, before visiting the local DMV offices, you need to first determine which one you need.

What Are the Florida Bike License Requirements?

motorcycle riding people

There is nothing more relaxing than cruising Florida’s highways with your pals. But for you to join the over 600,000 riders in Florida, you need either a motorcycle-only license or a motorcycle endorsement.

Riding a bike without either of these credentials will result in a fine. But for you to qualify for a license or an endorsement, there are a number of requirements you must complete. 

To get a motorcycle endorsement, you must:

  • Have a valid class E driver’s license from Florida
  • Finished a BRCu (Basic Rider Course updated) or BRC (Basic Rider Course)
  • Pay the licensing fee
  • Submit your BRCu or BRC certification and valid ID at the local tax collection or DMV offices

For a motorcycle-only license, you need to:

  • Be more than 16 years old
  • Have a learner’s permit for a year with no traffic violations
  • Complete the BRCu or BRC per FL322.12
  • Take and pass a class-E driving license knowledge examination
  • Submit your ID and proof of completing the BRCu or BRC course at the DMV or tax collection offices
  • Finally, pay your license fee

How to Get a Motorcycle License in Florida

Are you ready to start cruising the Florida highways and enjoy the state’s beautiful coasts? If yes, then you’re in luck, as it’s pretty easy to obtain a Florida motorcycle-only license.

Be ready because this is a longer process compared to getting an endorsement. Thus, make sure to plan ahead.

To get a motorcycle-only license, you should do the following:

Step 1: Obtain a Learners Permit

If you don’t have a learner’s permit, you must first obtain Florida’s motorcycle riding permit. Then, use the learner’s permit for an entire year without getting any traffic conviction.

Before you get a permit, you must:

  • Pass the state’s class E exams: The examination has 50 questions, and to pass, you need a score of more than 80%. The exam has multiple-choice questions on traffic signs and traffic laws. To pass the exams, prepare by reading up on Florida’s driver’s license handbook.
  • Must be over 16 years old: If you’re under 18 years old, you must have a notarized or signed parental consent form.
  • Pass the hearing and vision tests: These exams are taken at the local traffic service station. So make sure you use your glasses or contacts when applying for a learner’s permit.
  • Proof of completion of the TLSAE (traffic-law and substance-abuse education course). Luckily, there is an application for that.
  • Legal documents that will help confirm your proof of residence, social security number, and identity.

Once you get a learner’s permit, you must be ready to use it for over 12 months without violating any traffic law.

With the learner’s permit, you can ride with an experienced rider for a year as you practice and perfect your riding skills.

Step 2: Pass the Introductory Motorcycle Riding Course

So the next step is to pass the BRCu or the BRC. These courses are offered by the highway safety department and vehicle rider training sponsor. These courses take about 15 hours and include all the basic skills any rider will require.

Even if you have a motorcycle license from another state, you must pass this course if you’ve never done it before. After one year of riding using a learner’s permit without violating traffic rules, you will be ready for the license. You can then be allowed to legally ride your bike in Florida.

The price of taking these courses ranges between $99 and $300 in Florida, depending on where you take the course. Plus, you should be ready to be at the center for an entire day to complete the course.

Most authorized course providers are currently transitioning to BRCu versions of this course. So make sure you confirm which one is being offered in the training center near you.

When riding a motorcycle, your safety is mandatory; therefore, don’t forget to carry a pair of gloves and eye protection. Make sure you wear a sturdy pair of motorcycle boots during the course. You must also wear a long-sleeved jacket or shirt and long pants.

The course providers will provide insurance, practicing bikes, helmets, and handbooks. And after you have finished the course, they will inform the motor vehicle and highway safety department.

If you fail the course, you are allowed to retake it within two months without paying the fees again. But you cannot retake the test on the same day.

Step 3: Submit Your Documentation and Pay the Fee

After finishing the basic riders’ course, you can visit the DMV offices and get your license. But make sure you bring the right identification documents. The DMV offices will already have your records of passing the BRC. But it’s always a great idea to carry a copy of your certification just to be on the safe side.

To get your license, you must first pay the fee at the DMV offices you visit. In Florida, you will have to pay $48 for a motorcycle-only license and an extra $6.25 at the local tax collection offices.

How to Get a Motorcycle Endorsement in Florida

Another legal documentation needed to cruise this state’s highways is a motorcycle endorsement. But for you to get an endorsement, you should already have a Class E driver’s license.

The state of Florida can reciprocate a license with a motorbike endorsement from any other state except Alabama. Therefore you will not have to take the motorcycle course to be required to ride your bike in Florida. Florida can reciprocate a license from Alabama if the rider provides the BRC completion card.

To obtain your motorcycle endorsement, you should be ready to do the following:

Step 1: Get a Valid Class E Driver’s License

If you already drive in Florida, you need a valid class E license. The class E license is the standard non-commercial license in Florida.

You can also apply for an endorsement if you hold a valid class C, B, or A commercial license. If you have a driver’s license from another state, you can apply for an endorsement if you have taken the BRC.

Step 2: Take an Approved Motorcycle Skills Course

Most American states, including Florida, require anyone applying for an endorsement to take the BRC course. The course is usually developed and updated by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. You can either take the BRCu or BRC just like an applicant of the motorcycle-only license.

These courses are designed to teach learners how to handle anything that may come up while riding. After all, driving a car is not the same as riding a motorcycle, even though the traffic rules remain the same. So, you need to learn all the safety measures associated with handling a motorbike before proceeding with the application.

Step 3: Gather the Paperwork and Visit the Nearest DMV Office

After completing the motorcycle skills course, take all the documents you need and head to the DMV offices. Some of these things you’ll need include:

  • Check or cash for the endorsement: $48 for license renewal, $7 endorsement fee, and an extra $25 at the tax collection offices.
  • A BRCu or BRC course certification dated within the previous calendar year
  • Carry your current class E driver’s license as a proper form of identification.

Once you’ve gathered the necessary document, you can head to any licensing office and get your endorsement. There are numerous tax collection offices that can also offer motorcycle endorsements. 

Remember, an endorsement lasts a lifetime. Therefore, the only thing you will have to renew every year is the standard driver’s license.

How Long Will It Take to Get a Motorcycle License in Florida?

If you have already finished the motorcycle safety course and received your completion card, you have a grace period of one year to apply. If that one year elapsed, then you may be required to finish a rider’s skills test before applying for the license. If you have to take the course, it may take up to a week to finish the coursework.

With everything ready, you can obtain the license immediately after finishing the course.

In case you don’t pass the BRC, you may be required to retake the course before proceeding to the DMV’s offices with your application. This will mean that it will take more days to get your motorcycle-only license.

Conclusion

Cruising on the Sunshine State’s highways all year long is a dream come true for most people. But for you to achieve it, you must be ready to get a motorcycle endorsement or a motorcycle-only license.

One of the main requirements for both is you have to be over 16 years old. For a motorcycle endorsement, you need a valid class E driver’s license. For a motorcycle-only license, you must have used a learner’s permit for over one year and with no traffic violation. After that, you can proceed and take the BRC before visiting the DMV offices.

Avatar for Joshua D. Mattie

    Joshua D. Mattie

    My motorbike addiction began with 50cc at 5 years old. I rode motocross as a teenager & into my 20's when I worked as a mechanic. This helped me to see the light—sportbikes & cruisers became a passion. Now I'm building BikersRights to be the #1 resource for everything on 2 wheels!

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