How to Get Your Motorcycle License in MN163_SS_1

In Wisconsin, a third of all motorcyclists involved in fatalities in 2014 did not have an endorsement on their license for legal motorcycle operation, according to WisDOT.

Surprise: You must be properly licensed to legally operate a motorcycle on public roads. In Minnesota, penalties for riding without a valid motorcycle license endorsement or instruction permit include having the motorcycle towed and impounded, up to $1,000 in fines, or maybe even some time in lock-up.

On-road training courses via the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC) are offered at 29 Minnesota State College and Universities from mid-April through the first weekend in October. (800-407-6677/dps.mn.gov)

Training also is provided via institutions like Rider Academy (612-424-1594/rideracademy.com) in the Twin Cities, Ride Safe, Ride Smart (507-630-0551/rsrs.org) in Southern Minnesota, and the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy offered at certain authorized retailers.

If you’re 18 years or older and choose not to take a third-party training & testing course, you’ll need to:

1) Have a valid Minnesota driver’s license.

2) Read the Minnesota Motorcycle & Motorized Bicycle Manual, available online or at any DVS exam station or licensing bureau.

3) Pass the knowledge test at the DVS exam station to obtain a motorcycle instruction permit. The fee is $21.

4) Pass the riding skills test at the DVS exam station. You can schedule a skills test at a DVS exam station online, and several stations are open from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. one night per week for motorcycle endorsement skill testing.

5) Pay a duplicate license fee at a DVS exam station or licensing bureau to receive your endorsement.

 

If you’re 18 years or older and utilize third-party training & testing via the MMSC, Rider Academy, etc., you’ll need to:

1) Have a valid Minnesota driver’s license.

2) Read the Minnesota Motorcycle & Motorized Bicycle Manual, available online or at any DVS exam station or licensing bureau.

3) Pass the knowledge test at the DVS exam station to obtain a motorcycle instruction permit. The fee is $21.

4) Successfully complete a third-party Basic RiderCourse (BRC) knowledge & skills course, which requires 100% attendance.

5) Pay a duplicate license fee at a DVS exam station or licensing bureau to receive your endorsement.

 

If you’re under 18 years of age, you’ll need to:

1) Have a valid Minnesota driver’s license or instruction permit.

2) Read the Minnesota Motorcycle & Motorized Bicycle Manual, available online or at any DVS exam station or licensing bureau.

3) Successfully complete a third-party BRC knowledge & skills course, which requires 100% attendance. Upon completion, you will receive two certificates to take to a DVS exam station along with your Minnesota driver’s license. One certificate will 4) allow you to take the state knowledge test for your motorcycle instruction permit – the fee is $21. The other certificate will 5) allow you to take the riding skills test for your motorcycle endorsement. The certificates are valid until you turn 18.

6) Pay a duplicate license fee at a DVS exam station or licensing bureau to receive your endorsement. Note: A parent or court-appointed guardian will need to sign the application.

 

If you are a new Minnesota resident and have a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement from another state, you’ll need to:

1) Take a knowledge test to get a Minnesota driver’s license. You may take the motorcycle knowledge test at the same time you take the driver’s license knowledge test. The motorcycle skills test will be waived when you pass the knowledge test. An endorsement fee of $21 will be added to the cost of your Minnesota driver’s license.

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So You Want to Ride a Small Scooter or Moped

In Minnesota, a “moped” is defined as a powered two-wheeled vehicle featuring 1) an engine displacement of 50cc or less, 2) a maximum two horsepower and 3) a maximum speed of 30mph on a 163_SS_2flat surface.

In today’s two-wheeler market, mopeds most often are sold as scooters. Check with your local retailer to confirm that the 50cc model you’ve been looking to purchase can in fact be titled as a moped.

Any person who has a valid driver’s license may operate a moped without taking a written or skills test. If you’re at least 15 years old and without a driver’s license, you must obtain a moped operator’s permit to legally operate a moped.

That means you’ll have to:

1) Present a parental approval slip required for persons under age 18 (available at a DVS exam station).

2) Pass a vision screening at a DVS exam station

3) Pass a knowledge test at a DVS exam station. The knowledge test includes questions on driving laws and rules of the road as well as information specific to two-wheeled vehicles. Read the Minnesota Motorcycle & Motorized Bicycle Manual as well as the Minnesota Driver’s Manual.

When you have passed the knowledge test and paid the $6.75 examination fee, you will receive a 30-day moped instruction permit. This instruction permit allows you to practice riding a moped only within a one-mile radius of your residence.

4) Pass a skills test at a DVS exam station. When you take your skills test, you must bring A) your 30-day moped operator’s instruction permit, B) current proof of insurance for the moped used for testing, and C) a DOT-approved helmet and eye protection.

5) Upon successful completion of the skills test you will need to present a certificate of completion to apply for a moped operator’s permit

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MN’s Minimum Cycle Insurance Requirements

In a nutshell: All motorcycles registered in Minnesota must have liability insurance coverage for property damage or injury to another party. When you register your motorcycle, you are certifying you have a policy that meets all of the state’s minimum insurance requirements. No-fault injury and uninsured motorist protections are optional, as is coverage for a motorcycle’s damage, loss or theft.

Purchasing appropriate coverage for your motorcycle insurance policy may require some comparison shopping. Get several different quotes to compare rates and ask about discounts such as savings for having your auto and home insurance with the same company. Raising your deductible can give you lower rates, but you’d better be ready to lay out the cash if/when needed.

Minnesota’s minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance coverage are:

$30,000 – Bodily Injury Cover for one person

$60,000 – Bodily Injury Cover for a single accident

$10,000 – Personal Property Liability Cover

$40,000 – Basic Economic Loss ($20,000 of which is for medical expenses and $20,000 for loss of income and other expenses that someone might have because of an accident).

However, there are a few things to remember.163_SS_3

First, you may decide it a good idea to increase the basic amounts of liability cover. The minimum dollar figures are designed for relatively minor to mid-size accidents, and won’t cover damages you may make to today’s spendy automobiles or in the case of big accidents with multiple injuries.

In today’s market of relatively costly bikes, you also may want to consider the advantages of a comprehensive, full coverage policy to cover the loss if your bike is stolen or vandalized.

Finally, while Minnesota is a No-Fault State – wherein, regardless of who is at fault, it is your own insurance company who will pay for your own medical expenses – most motorcycle insurance in the state is generally purchased on a liability basis so that whoever is at fault in an accident it is their insurance company that foots the bill. As a result, you may want to further protect yourself with Uninsured and/or Underinsured coverage to pay for your medical expenses if the other driver is responsible for the accident and has no insurance coverage or does not have the proper amount of insurance.

All of this can all get a little confusing, so be sure that you read the terms and conditions of a policy carefully before you fully commit to buying it.

Remember: Keep your insurance card with you at all times to submit proof of your financial responsibility in the event of an accident or if you are stopped for a moving violation. Being caught with no proof of motorcycle insurance can be a very costly mistake, punishable by fines or even a suspended license.

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Helmet Law Reminder

Motorcyclists and passengers under 18 years of age, as well as riders operating on a motorcycle permit, must wear a DOT-approved helmet.

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License Tab Reminder

Before you ride this spring, remember your motorcycle or scooter must be registered with the state and display a license plate with a tab showing that registration tax has been paid. Re-registration is required annually. The registration period is from March 1 through the last day of February. New residents have 60 days after becoming Minnesota residents to register their motorcycles.

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