How to Get a Motorcycle License in GA – All You Need to Know
Most US states have their own rules and regulations relating to riding a motorcycle, and the beautiful southern state of Georgia is no exception. If you want to ride a motorcycle in this state legally, there are some simple but necessary steps to go through, and there are some rules that may differ from other states that you will want to know.
In this article, we will cover each step to getting your motorcycle license in Georgia in-depth and the more specific laws that apply here. While the laws in place are designed to be as specific as possible to avoid confusion, they can still confuse some new riders or even experienced ones that come from less strict places.
How to Get a Motorcycle License in Georgia?
The quick explanation of the process for earning a motorcycle license in Georgia is that you must complete an application, an eye exam, a written test, and a practical exam.
Alternatively, it is possible to earn a 90-day Motorcycle License Test Waiver which can be a more streamlined process. This is done by taking a Motorcycle Safety Program Course, which will provide professional instruction on operating a motorcycle safely on the road.
Regardless of whether you choose to take a safety course or just take the written and skills test at your local Department of Driver Services, you will need to pass a vision test to ensure that you are able to see well enough to drive and ride safely. And if you are a new rider then you need to know how to handle a heavy motorcycle.
Motorcycle License Requirement in Georgia
In Georgia, there are several basic requirements that riders must meet before they can obtain their motorcycle license. These are in place to ensure motorcycle riders in the state are both physically capable and sufficiently trained to ride safely without posing a hazard to themselves or other drivers.
- All applicants must be at least 17 years of age.
- Applicants must pass a Motorcycle Skills Test by completing a Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program Course (and presenting the awarded waiver) or taking the Motorcycle Skills Test at a Georgia DDS center.
- Pass a vision exam at the DDS center.
Additionally, the rider will need to provide documentation, including proof of address and proof of legal US citizenship or legal US residence.
NOTE: Georgia conforms to “Real ID” laws. For more information regarding these, please see the information provided here.
Riders under the age of 18 have additional requirements under Joshua’s Law. Joshua’s Law is a Bill passed in Georgia requiring all drivers under 18 to undergo more extensive driver training. The requirements under Joshua’s Law include 30 hours of instruction from a certified instructor and several additional hours of supervised practice. These requirements are not exclusive to the Class “M” motorcycle license or “MP” Motorcycle Learner’s permit. They also apply to the standard driver’s license as well.
The specific methods for satisfying Joshua’s Law requirements vary a little, but the requirement for completing a driver’s education program is the common thread for all of them.
What Kind of Motorcycle License is Required in Georgia?
There are two classes that will allow motorcycle operation on Georgia roads. These are the Class M motorcycle license and the Class MP motorcycle permit.
Class MP permits are typically held by riders who are still learning to operate a motorcycle safely. There are several restrictions to a permit.
- You can only ride during daylight hours
- You may not take on passengers
- You may not ride on limited-access roadways
You are also required to wear the same gear and protective equipment prescribed by Georgia law, including a DOT or higher-approved helmet.
Class M licenses are much less restrictive. While you are still subject to laws like Georgia’s helmet law, the restrictions for riding during daylight hours, taking on passengers, and riding on limited access roadways do not apply to Class M licenses.
How to Get a Motorcycle License in Georgia
Now that we’ve briefly gone over the steps necessary to get your license and the basic requirements, let’s take a closer look at the process. While the requirements in Georgia are more specific than the ones found in some other states, the process for actually getting your motorcycle license is very straightforward.
Step 0 (optional): Pass a Georgia Motorcycle Safety Training Program Course
If you are a new rider or would like to bypass taking the written and practical exam at the DDS center, it may be a good idea to take a Georgia Motorcycle Safety Training Program.
These programs involve professional instruction on safe motorcycle handling and riding techniques taught by certified instructors. You will learn the basics of riding a motorcycle on public roads, as well as certain techniques and practices that will enhance your ability to handle a bike safely.
Successfully completing such a course will award you with a 90-Day Motorcycle License Test Waiver, allowing you to bypass the written and skills test at the DDS Center. Also it always helps to learn the basics of motorcycle maintenance like how to fix a flat tire of a motorcycle in the middle of the road.
Step 1: Apply for the License at the DDS Center
Applying for your motorcycle license is the first thing you will do at the DDS Center. This starts the rest of the official process. During this step, you will also present the required documentation, including proof of address and proof of your legal status in the US.
Applicants under 18 must also present proof of fulfilling the training and supervision requirements under Joshua’s Law in addition to their identification and residence information.
If you happen to hold an out-of-state license, you will surrender it at this point. If you have lost your previous license you will instead need to provide a copy of your Motor Vehicle Record, which is no older than 60 days old and can be faxed directly to the DDS center.
All the documents provided must be written in English, so if your own copies are written in another language, you will need to acquire an English copy to present to the DDS center.
Step 2: Pass the Vision Exam
The vision exam is required to ensure that you can see clearly enough not to be a hazard when operating a vehicle. The minimum standard of vision is 20/60 in one eye, and a minimum 140-degree field of vision.
Failing the vision exam will require a Vision Report Form filled out by a licensed optometrist.
Step 3: Pass the Written Exam
If you choose not to complete a Motorcycle Safety Program Course, the next step is to pass the Knowledge Exam. This test consists of questions based on information found in the Motorcycle Operator’s Manual.
You will also be tested on the rules of the road and your knowledge of traffic signs. The exam has 20 questions and requires a score of 75% in order to pass. This means that you cannot miss more than 5 questions when testing.
Step 4: Pass the Skills Test
In the Skills Test, you will be given the opportunity to demonstrate your control of the motorcycle. Just like the written exam, you will skip this step if you have already earned a 90-Day Motorcycle License Test Waiver from a Motorcycle Safety Program Course.
During the test, you will be operating a motorcycle at speeds up to 15 miles per hour and will not only be tested on basics like taking off, stopping, and turning but will also need to demonstrate your hazard response skills.
Step 5: Pay the Fees
The final step in getting your Motorcycle License in Georgia is to pay the required fees.
The fee for a Class M License is $32, while an MP or Motorcycle Permit carries a $10 fee. If you need other services, such as a copy of your Motor Vehicle Record, there may also be additional fees.
Can You Ride a Motorcycle in Georgia With a Driver’s License?
Without a class M or MP license, that is, a motorcycle license or permit, you cannot legally ride a motorcycle on public roads in the State of Georgia.
The requirements and process for obtaining a motorcycle license are there for the sake of public safety, and the State of Georgia takes them very seriously. The penalty for riding a motorcycle without the proper license can include a fine of up to $1,000, possibly more, depending on the city and county.
In addition to the financial penalty, you may spend up to 12 days in jail and have points assessed on your license. These consequences can affect far more than just your ability to ride a motorcycle, so you are much better off following the procedures listed here if you want to ride in Georgia.
However, you can only ride a newly purchased motorcycle with a license.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a motorcycle license test in Georgia?
In Georgia, you will be expected to pass both a knowledge and a skills exam in order to get your motorcycle license. The only way to bypass these is to pass a Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program Course and earn a 90-Day Motorcycle Test Waiver.
Can I Ride a Motorcycle Without a Helmet in Georgia?
No. Taking the risk of riding a motorcycle without a helmet is not something that Georgia allows you to do legally. Every rider, regardless of age, experience level, bike style, or speed, must wear a DOT-certified or better helmet at any point when the bike is in motion.
Georgia takes their helmet law very, very seriously. Violating this law can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a full year in jail. Getting busted for violating this law will also result in a misdemeanor charge appearing on your record.
How many questions are on the motorcycle permit test in Georgia?
There is actually no test that is specific to the motorcycle permit itself. Obtaining a permit requires you to pass the same knowledge test as a regular Class M license.
There are 20 questions on this test, and you must answer 15 correctly to pass.
How long is a Georgia Motorcycle Permit good for?
The MP learner’s permit has a term of 6 months after acquiring it. This allows you sufficient time to get used to riding a motorcycle before acquiring the full Class M motorcycle license, which is good for 8 years before needing to be renewed.
The State of Georgia is a lovely place to ride, partly due to its commitment to drivers’ education and road safety. In this article, we’ve gone over the procedure for getting your motorcycle license in Georgia and gone into detail on some of the specific laws and regulations related to operating a motor vehicle in the state.
Whether you ride on the weekend or commute daily on your motorcycle, riding is an extraordinary experience that any rider should enjoy safely. Passing the tests or taking a safety course can help ensure that you can do just that. Also here are a few tips to help make sure your motorcycle stays in top condition, even in rainy seasons.
Now that you have all the information, feel free to sign up for a course or stop by your local DDS center and take that next step toward enjoying the State of Georgia on the back of your favorite bike!