How to Get a Motorcycle License

How to Get a Motorcycle License in Colorado

Colorado has some of the most beautiful areas in the nation to explore by motorcycle. From Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods to all the hidden roadways in between, there may be no better place to ride. But no matter where you go, staying safe should always be a paramount concern. In Colorado, that starts with getting a motorcycle license.

Make sure you meet the following Colorado motorcycle license requirements before hitting the road.

Do I Need a Motorcycle License in Colorado?

Yes. Colorado law dictates that all motorcycle operators carry a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. The state has two different types of motorcycle endorsements. An “M” endorsement means that drivers can operate two and three-wheeled bikes. A “3” endorsement only allows drivers to operate three-wheeled motorbikes.

Minors can also obtain a license with a motorcycle endorsement. However, anyone under the age of 18 must first hold a motorcycle instruction permit for 12 months before they are allowed to add the endorsement to their license.

Application Steps for Licensed Drivers

If you currently hold a valid Colorado driver’s license, there are two ways you can obtain a new license with a motorcycle endorsement attached. The first option includes:

  • Passing a motorcycle-specific written examination
  • Purchasing a motorcycle instructional permit
  • Passing a motorcycle skills test
  • Buying a new driver’s license with the additional motorcycle endorsement

The second option that drivers can use to obtain a valid license with the endorsement includes:

  • Completing a Motorcycle Operator Safety Training Course
  • Presenting the training course waiver card to the DMV and purchasing a new driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement

Out-of-state drivers who have recently moved to Colorado may also obtain a new license with a motorcycle endorsement attached. First, new residents must transfer their out-of-state license and pay the associated fees. Then they can apply for a motorcycle license endorsement the same way Colorado residents do.

Can I Get a Motorcycle License Without Having a Standard License?

Individuals must possess a valid Colorado driver’s license to apply for a motorcycle endorsement. If an individual does not have a standard license, they must apply for one first. Once they have a standard driver’s license, they can then go through the application process for obtaining a motorcycle endorsement.

Similarly, out-of-state drivers must obtain a Colorado license before adding a motorcycle endorsement. The state does not accept out-of-state Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) cards. Military members who gained their MSF cards on a military base and have a valid military ID are the only exception to this rule.

How to Prepare to Get Your Motorcycle License

Study, study, study! The only way to prepare for your motorcycle license endorsement is to study. Take the process seriously. You may be an excellent rider, but the state wants to know that you understand the rules of the road and will safely operate your motorcycle.

First, read the Colorado Motorcycle Operator’s Handbook. This manual gives you the information you need for the written motorcycle endorsement examination. It is a supplement or companion guide to the Colorado Driver Handbook and outlines the state’s motorcycle rules and regulations.

Taking a motorcycle safety course is another great way to prepare for getting your motorcycle license. Not only will taking an approved Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) course help you hone your skills, but it can also help you bypass certain testing aspects of gaining a motorcycle license endorsement. Courses are available throughout the state.

Finally, practice makes perfect. Operators with a valid motorcycle instruction permit should practice their skills in a safe and controlled environment with the supervision of an experienced motorcyclist. Never be afraid to ask questions and take advice from seasoned riders.

Insurance Requirements for Motorcyclists in Colorado

Like all drivers, motorcyclists must carry minimum amounts of liability insurance for coverage if an accident occurs. Colorado requires motorcyclists to carry:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury minimum per incident
  • $15,000 property damage per incident

Liability coverage covers injuries that you cause to others in a wreck. But there are other types of optional coverage that you can purchase to protect yourself if you are injured in a motorcycle accident.

For example, uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage can provide compensation if you get hit by a driver without insurance or without enough insurance to cover the cost of your injuries. With UM or UIM coverage, you would file a claim with your own insurance company, not the other driver’s. UM/UIM can also be used for hit-and-run motorcycle accident claims.

Do I Need a Motorcycle Helmet?

Motorcyclists should also familiarize themselves with Colorado’s helmet laws. Although helmets are not required for riders aged 18 and over, all operators under 18 must wear a DOT-approved helmet. Helmets and other safety gear like eye protection should be used during every ride. This gear can help prevent serious facial and brain injuries.

Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney

You can do everything right and still end up in a crash. If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle collision, a skilled Colorado Springs motorcycle accident attorney at Earl & Earl, PLLC can fight for the compensation you deserve from the at-fault party.

Call or contact our office today for a free legal consultation.

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