Motorcycle license in Illinois

How to Get a Motorcycle License in MA | Massachusetts Motorcycle License & Permit Process

Last Updated on: 8th June 2023, 12:29 pm

Looking to explore the natural beauty of the Massachusetts countryside with the wind in your hair? Or maybe you just need a quicker way to get around town. Whatever your motivation, getting your Massachusetts driver’s license will open you up to a new world of possibilities. Although getting your Mass motorcycle license is simple, you still must understand the procedures and follow the necessary protocols. Here is everything you need to know about how to get a motorcycle permit in Massachusetts and your license.

Massachusetts Motorcycle License Requirements

Before beginning the application process, you must be sure that you meet the following requirements:

Obtaining a mass motorcycle license requires a few steps. First, you must fulfill the requirements and submit a Class M learner’s permit application to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. Although you can apply when you’re 16, if you are under 18, you must obtain the consent of a parent or legal guardian. You must also take a short exam displaying a basic knowledge of driving. Once you pass the exam and obtain your MA motorcycle permit, you have two years to pass a road test or complete the Motorcycle Rider Education Program (MREP). If you are under 18, you must take the MREP course and complete additional junior operator requirements to obtain a license. After you complete all these requirements, you’re well on your way to hitting the open road.

How to Get a Motorcycle License in MA

Getting your Massachusetts motorcycle license is simple enough. However, you must follow the proper protocols and complete all the steps properly to avoid any issues or delays. Here’s what you must do.

Step #1. Apply for a Motorcycle Permit

First, you’ll need to apply for a motorcycle permit in Mass. You can drive a motorcycle with a permit in Massachusetts. However, you’ll be subject to certain restrictions until you get your full license.To apply for a MA motorcycle permit, you must first decide which version you want, the REAL ID Massachusetts permit or the Standard Massachusetts permit. The Real ID is valid for federal purposes, which means you can use it to fly or enter federal buildings, whereas the standard permit does not. However, they both offer the same freedoms for operating a motorcycle.

A Massachusetts Class M License only allows you to operate a motorcycle or any other vehicle with no more than three wheels. You will need a Class D license to drive a car. However, you can get a motorcycle endorsement on your existing license if you wish to drive both.

First, you’ll obtain the Class M learner’s permit application and complete it truthfully. You will then make an appointment at the nearest AAA or RMV Center to submit the required documents. Along with your application, you will also need to bring a few different forms of identification, including:

  • One proof of lawful presence (such as a birth certificate, green card, immigration documents, passport, etc.)
  • If your name on the lawful presence document differs from your other forms of ID, you must provide proof of name change (such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court document)
  • One proof of your social security number (such as your social security card, W2, paystub, etc.)
  • One proof of Massachusetts residency (such as a utility bill, bank statement, voter registration, etc.)
  • Two proof of residency documents are necessary for the REAL ID permit
  • All documents must be originals; no photocopies or laminates

Step #2. Pass the MA Learner’s Permit Exam & Vision Screening

When you arrive at the AAA or RMV Center to present your documents, you must complete a vision test for field vision and basic colors. Before your application is approved, you will also be required to pass the permit exam, which can be done online or in person. If you choose to complete the Mass motorcycle course at home, you will be given login credentials at your appointment.


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The exam consists of 25 MA motorcycle permit test questions, which you have 25 minutes to complete. You must answer at least 18 correctly to pass the exam.

Questions on the mass motorcycle course will cover the following topics:

  • General rules of the road
  • Consequences of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
  • The Junior Operator Law
  • Sharing the road with the visually impaired
  • Sharing the road with bicyclists/pedestrians

All answers are in the MA Motorcycle Manual which you should study closely before taking the test. You can also prepare by taking a Massachusetts motorcycle permit practice test before you attempt the real version.

Also, note that there is a $30 learners permit fee that you must pay to submit your application. Once you pass the vision test and pass the permit exam, your application will be approved, and you can officially begin driving. However, you’ll be under certain restrictions until you get your full license. You cannot have passengers or drive before sunrise or after sunset until you pass an official road test.

Step #3. Complete the MREP Course (Optional)

For those who don’t feel confident that they will pass the road test right away, you can choose to complete a Massachusetts Rider Education Program (MREP) sponsored by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. Like a driver’s education course, the MREP teaches students how to ride a motorcycle through classroom education and on-cycle training. Although not required by law for applicants over 18, completing an MREP course allows you to obtain a Mass Motorcycle license without taking the road test. 

There are four MREP Courses you can choose from:

  • Basic Rider Course: Students learn basic motorcycle skills through classroom instruction and 10 hours of on-cycle training.
  • Returning Rider Basic Course: Great for riders with some experience who need a new license or refresher. Includes classroom instruction and 5 hours of on-cycle training.
  • Basic Rider Course 2: Slightly more advanced version of the BRC1 with higher speeds and 5 hours of on-cycle training. Students must also own their own motorcycles.
  • Basic Rider 3-Wheel Training: Students learn how to ride a three-wheel motorcycle through 5 hours of classroom education and 10 hours of on-cycle training.


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Step #4. Pass the Massachusetts Motorcycle Road Test

If you bypass the MREP Course, you must take the Massachusetts Motorcycle Road Test to obtain your license. The road test will assess your skills and determine whether you can safely operate a motorcycle. There is a $35 fee to take your road test, which must be paid online before or after you pass. You can also schedule your road test at the nearest testing location on the RMV website.

You must meet the following requirements to take your Massachusetts Motorcycle Road Test:

  • Arrive 15 minutes early at the MRV location
  • Bring your learners permit
  • Bring your completed Massachusetts Road Test Application 
  • You must bring your own motorcycle that is in good working order with a valid registration and inspection sticker.

Also note that if your motorcycle is registered out of state, you’ll be required to show proof of insurance equal to the Massachusetts minimum limit ($20,000/$40,000 for bodily injury and $5,000 for property damage).

If you fail the road test, you must wait two weeks before scheduling another and cannot attempt more than six road tests in a 12 month period. 

Step #5. Meet Junior Operator Requirements (for Minors)

Applicants who are 16-18 years old are required to take an MREP course to obtain a license.  You must also meet the junior operator requirements, which include the following:

  • Thirty hours of classroom instruction on Massachusetts motor vehicle law and safe and proper vehicle operation.
  • Eighteen hours of instruction in a training vehicle, including 12 hours behind the wheel and 6 observing other students.
  • Have a valid learner’s permit for at least six consecutive months.
  • Must maintain a clean driving record for at least six consecutive months.
  • Forty hours of supervised, behind-the-wheel driving documented by a parent or legal guardian (30 hours with a completed driver skills development program).
  • Parent or guardian must participate in two hours of instruction on the driver’s education course.
  • Pass the final exam.

How to Transfer a Motorcycle License to Massachusetts

If you already have a motorcycle license in another state but want to transfer it to Massachusetts, there is a simple process you can follow. First, decide whether you want the REAL ID or Standard Massachusetts license, complete the application online, and bring the necessary documents to the local RMV (discussed above).

If you’re under 18, you must also convert your driver’s education certificate or complete the MREP course in Massachusetts. Licenses from Canada, Mexico, or US territories (including Puerto Rico) also require you to present a driving record not more than 30 days old. You’ll also be required to pay a $115 fee (or $130 if you’re converting both a class D and class M license).

Mass Motorcycle License FAQs

Can you drive a motorcycle with a permit in Massachusetts?

Yes, you can drive a motorcycle in Massachusetts with a permit, although only between sunrise and sundown, and you cannot have a passenger.

How long is a MA motorcycle permit valid?

A Massachusetts motorcycle permit is valid for two years. If you don’t graduate with a full license within that period, you’ll have to reapply and retake the vision and skills test.

How old do you have to be to get a motorcycle license in Massachusetts?

You must be at least 16 to get a motorcycle license in Massachusetts. Applicants 16-18 years of age must also have a parent or legal guardian’s permission and complete the junior operator requirements.

What is the minimum age for a motorcycle permit in Mass?

Applicants for a motorcycle permit must be at least 16 years old.

How much is a Massachusetts motorcycle license?

You’ll pay several fees while applying for a Massachusetts motorcycle license. Applying for a learner’s permit will cost $30. If you choose to take the MREP course, it will cost anywhere from $100 – $500, depending on which school and level you choose (the Basic one is typically the most expensive). If you do not take the MREP course, the road test fee will also cost $35. So, you can expect to spend anywhere from $65 to $530 obtaining your motorcycle license.

Now that you know how to get your Mass motorcycle license, you’re almost ready to hit the open road. If you’re buying a motorcycle and having it shipped to Massachusetts, or ready for your first long-distance motorcycle ride, we can help with dependable Massachusetts motorcycle shipping. Trust Federal Motorcycle Transport to make the process easy and painless. Call 309-550-7543 or fill out the form on our website to request a free estimate.

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