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How to Get a Motorcycle License in Colorado

November 8, 2021

It is against the law to operate a motorcycle in Colorado without a motorcycle license. This license is not the same as a standard driver’s license. You must take extra steps to meet the state’s motorcycle license requirements by obtaining an “M” endorsement. Operating a motorcycle without a valid license can result in fines and other penalties. Take these steps to get your motorcycle license in Colorado.

How to Get a Motorcycle License in Colorado

Obtain a Standard Colorado Driver’s License

First, you must be at least 16 years old and obtain a standard driver’s license. This requires steps such as getting a permit, completing the required number of hours of driving time with a parent or responsible adult, and passing a written test. Once you have your regular driver’s license, you can go about getting your motorcycle endorsement on your license.

Pass the Motorcycle Written Exam

There are two ways to get a motorcycle endorsement on your license in Colorado. The first involves passing a written exam. If you choose this route, you will need to study the basic motorcycle laws and traffic rules to pass a written test. You may wish to take a practice test before scheduling the real thing with the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles.

Drive With a Permit

Once you pass the exam, you will be given a motorcycle instruction permit. If you are under the age of 18 when seeking to get your motorcycle license in Colorado, you are legally required to hold a motorcycle instruction permit for at least 12 months prior to getting your motorcycle endorsement. You must also have an Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship signed by your legal guardian. If you are under the age of 16, you must be under the direct supervision of a motorcycle instructor at all times while operating the vehicle.

Pass a Motorcycle Skills Driving Test

You will also need to pass a motorcycle driving skills test if you choose the first way to get a motorcycle endorsement on your license. During this test, a trained professional will assess your ability to safely operate and control a motorcycle. There are two different types of motorcycle endorsements: an “M,” which allows you to drive both two- and three-wheel motorcycles, and a “3,” which allows you to only drive three-wheel motorcycles. You will need to pass a motorcycle skills test that is appropriate for the type of endorsement you are pursuing.

Complete a MOST Course

If you choose the second way to get a motorcycle license in Colorado, you will only need to complete a Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) course and present your license waiver card to the Division of Motor Vehicles. MOST offers courses for both basic and experienced riders, as well as a three-wheel motorcycle course. If you take the class and receive a waiver, there will be no further testing needed to obtain a motorcycle endorsement.

Purchase a New Driver’s License

Once you have completed all of the requirements for getting your motorcycle license, you will have to purchase a new driver’s license to add the endorsement. You will need to schedule an appointment with a Division of Motor Vehicles office with proof that you have completed all of the required tests and other tasks to get your endorsement.

You will also need to pay any required new license fees. The fees are currently $16.80 for a motorcycle permit and $30 for a new license with a motorcycle endorsement. Note that you cannot do this online, over the phone or through the mail. You must visit a driver’s license office in Colorado in person for your motorcycle endorsement.

Penalties for Driving Without a License

If you operate a motorcycle without the required license and endorsement in Colorado, you could face penalties such as a fine, court costs and up to 40 hours of mandatory community service. You can also receive four points against your license. If you accumulate too many points in a year, you may have your license suspended or revoked. Furthermore, if you get involved in a motorcycle accident in Colorado, the other party could use the fact that you don’t have a license against you, even if you didn’t cause the crash.