How to get your Motorcycle License

So you want to ride? You want that free feeling, just you your bike and the road, endless possibilities. Do us all a favor and check out Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the classes are incredible and a small price to pay for your life and others. February 20th 2011 I completed MSF. I was borderline obsessed with motorcycles and figured it was due time to jump the coop and take the course. Nervous, anxious, excited, and scared wrapped up most of my emotions that weekend. In class was a breeze, watch, listen, take the exam. On the bikes was one of my most challenging times I have had in my life. Not that it was that HARD, but because you are put on the spot. I have never been good with being judged and analyzed, I over think that nonsense too much anyway. This course helped me overcome a lot of my fears though. It wasn't about everyone watching and making fun of you it was all about you getting over your fears and trusting yourself and not letting others around you get to you. Many extremely important things to get before saying you got this, hopping on your bike and spinning out. Before signing up for the course I watched all the different YouTube videos on how to ride a motorcycle, as well as what NOT to do and unfortunately watched the crashes too. I thought I had it, but knowing what you need to do and applying it simultaneously and effectively are totally different things. 

My first day of class was so long, remember to drink a lot of water, and eat well, you really get fatigued. I remember seeing what they said we would learn on day 1 and I was shocked, not only are we going to operate the bikes, but we were going to change gears and round corners. I had never been in the "drivers seat" so to say. I have been a passenger, I love being a passenger. Letting your obsession with having to control everything  be bottled up while on the bike, letting go, trusting and of course holding on really really well. After day 1 was done I found myself go through various emotions, I said to myself I cant do that now, I haven't even mastered the thing before, but they pushed me to my brink, and they believed in me, they really knew what I was capable of better then me. 

Day two was crazy, it rained on my test day. They didn't care, they said your going to encounter rain, here's your chance to master this. Figure eights, quick stops, swerving, and learning to stop in the middle of a corner were just a few of the things. Doing all of that, taking the test and overcoming my fear and jumping into the round of successfully completing it was incredible. Of course I had to go into the DMV and take the motorcycle test which was much more difficult then I thought, study study study, look at that handbook, don't think everything you needed to know was from MSF, the test is tricky. After taking the test I sat back, used my MSF card for discounts on insurance and waited for my license to come in the mail. Don't be alarmed by the picture at the DMV, all pictures have to be straight-on now, no head tilt at all. Definite mug shot. But hey you just got your license so be happy about that. 

California has different options depending on your age:

Motorcycle License Check List

To obtain a motorcycle license if you are under age 18 you must:
 Be 16 years of age.
 Have had your permit for six months.
 Provide proof of driver education/driver training completion.
 Provide a completion certificate from the motorcycle rider training course.
To obtain a motorcycle license if you are 18 or older you must:
 Complete a Driver License or Identification Card Application form (DL 44). To obtain this form by mail, call DMV's automated phone service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-777-0133.
 Pay the application fee.
 Pass a vision examination.
 Study for and pass the written test.
 Give a thumb print.
 Have your picture taken
If you do not have a California driver license, you will also need to:
 Present an acceptable birth date/legal presence document.
 Provide your social security number.
 Provide your true full name.
If you are under 21, you must provide a completion certificate from the motorcycle rider training course.
If you are over 21, you may complete and provide the completion certificate from the motorcycle rider training course OR schedule an Appointment(s) at DMV to take the motorcycle driving test.
Check your local DMV's website for information no matter your state and please please please do the MSF course unless your some pro who knows your stuff because you have been riding since you were able to walk. Be smart about how you get your license, why you want to get one, how to get one, and always ride with protective gear. Best of luck! Ride safe!

Get Informed.