Did you just pick up a new motorcycle? Ready to get out onto the open road? Well, don’t rush it! Make sure that you know all the local laws first before you take your motorcycle around on the public roads. If you don’t, you could end up breaking a law and even getting your license suspended before you have a chance to truly enjoy that new bike.
The very first step, of course, is obtaining a license. Every single state will require you to get a license of some sort in order to start riding. Some states offer endorsements on an automobile driving license, and others require you to get a separate license entirely.
Obtaining a permit usually requires passing a written test and, just as with an automobile permit, there is usually a fee involved. From there to your license is a bit trickier. You can use your permit to practice driving under limited conditions but, eventually, you’ll have to go through the steps to get licensed. In some states this means taking a standard driving test but, in others, you will have to go through a class to obtain your license. Pay close attention to the local laws in your area to find out what you have to do.
Now that you have your license, you have to worry about insurance. You should take your time and make sure that you find quality insurance to cover your motorcycle. Most of the time you can just add motorcycle coverage on your existing insurance policy. It’s generally very affordable and something that you can add easily. Just make sure that you get at least your state’s minimum coverage and that your insurance is active before you head out on your motorcycle. If you don’t have insurance, you can get into a lot of trouble, especially if you are involved in an accident.
Register Your Bike
Now that you have insurance and your license, you still need to register your motorcycle. Make sure that you have all the necessary documents, and head to the DMV. The process is relatively quick and easy and definitely something that needs to be done before you ride.
Bring all the following with you to the DMV:
- Your title
- Proof of insurance
- Emission test results
- A permit, endorsement or license
Be sure to check with your local DMV to see if any additional documentation is required. The only thing worse than a trip to the DMV is two trips to the DMV.
Look Over the Local Laws
Now that you’ve gone through all the preliminary steps, take a minute to review local laws so that you can remain compliant. That often means wearing a helmet and making sure that you obey the rules of the road, but there could be other specific requirements of which you are unaware. Make sure that you know all the laws so you aren’t hit with a nasty surprise ticket while you’re out joyriding.
Once you’ve gone through all the steps to safely and legally head out on the road, do it! Get out there and ride!