Nothing beats the freedom of the road. But before you can enjoy that freedom, there are a few things you must do. Number one: get your motorcycle license. Without this, you are not only breaking the law while on the road, but you are inviting a world of trouble if you are ever in an accident and need to file an insurance claim. Whether you’re a long-time Indiana resident looking to get your first license or a newcomer hoping to convert your existing license, here’s what you need to know to get an Indiana motorcycle license.
New Indiana Residents
If you have driving experience but are a newcomer to Indiana, there are a few things you will need to do before you can start enjoying its roads. First of all, you will need to have an Indiana base driver’s license. According to in.gov, you can add a motorcycle endorsement to you after completing a knowledge test (yes, even if you’ve already been through the gibberish in another state, you’ll have to do it again here).
Get a permit
Are you a newcomer to the world of motorcycle driving? Then the first step is to obtain a motorcycle license. Note that you will already need to have an operator, driver, or public passenger license. Previously, Indiana offered an exclusive license for motorcycles, which meant you didn’t have to have a standard driver’s license if you didn’t want to. Unfortunately, those days are over. If you’re not ready to learn how to drive a car first, you can say goodbye to getting your motorcycle endorsed.
To obtain your permit, you will need to visit the local BMV licensing office. Once you arrive, be prepared to provide:
- Your driver’s license
- Proof of identity
- Your SSN
- Proof of your citizenship or legal status in the US.
- Two documents that prove Indiana residency
As the BMV can be quite demanding with the type of documents it will accept, it is worth consulting the list of documents approved in the first instance. The list can be found here. If you are under the age of 18, you will also need to ensure that your parent or guardian signs the application in the first instance. Once you have provided everything you need, you will need to take a vision and knowledge test. Since the test can take about an hour to complete, be sure to show up at the office well in advance of closing time. Once you have performed the tests and submitted the documentation, expect to submit $ 9 for the BMV to process your application and issue your permit.
What you can and cannot do with a permit
Your permit is not the ticket to travel you might think it is. While it gives you the freedom to use your motorcycle on the road, that freedom comes with limits. As described on permit.bike, until you graduate with a full license, don’t expect to be able to …
- Riding without a helmet
- Use the motorcycle after dark
- Take any passenger who is not a licensed supervisor.
- Drive on public roads without first completing an ABATE course
- It is also worth bearing in mind that your permit is only valid for 1 year. If it expires before you get your license, you will need to start the whole process from scratch.
The alternative to obtaining a permit
If you want to skip getting the permission, you can. However, you will first need to take a Motorcycle Rider Safety Education course at an approved center. For people new to riding, the course can be a great way to improve your skills and confidence on a motorcycle. In some cases, it can even help you get a better deal on insurance. Please note that you only have one year after completing the security course to apply for your license. After this, the certificate of completion will not be worth a penny. You will need to retake the course or take a skills test.
The final step
Did you get your permission or pass your safety course? Confident in your abilities? Then it is time to get your license. If you followed the permit route instead of the safety course route, you will need to pass a skills test before you get approved. Contact Ride Safe Indiana to schedule an exam appointment. The test itself shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes to complete, so don’t panic about having to block out a large chunk of your schedule. When you attend the appointment, be sure to bring your permit, your motorcycle, proof of your motorcycle registration, and insurance details. Check with the provider what the trial fee will be beforehand as it varies by provider. The test is pretty basic, but if your nerves take over you, you can …