Arizona Motorcycle License Information

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ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLE DIVISION & ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION

MOTORCYCLE LICENSE INFORMATION

Arizona issues a driver license that does not expire until age 65. However, your photo and eye test will need to be updated every 12 years. Drivers 60 and over will receive a 5-year license.

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Temporary residents such as out-of-state students and their family members, or military personnel and their family members may apply for a 5-year license regardless of age.

LICENSE TYPES

Licenses are issued by “class”: M for motorcycle, G for graduated, D for operator, and A, B, C for commercial. If the class M license is combined with any other class of license, it will be added as an “endorsement” on the back of the current license.

INSTRUCTION PERMITS

If you are at least 15 years and 6 months of age you may be issued a motorcycle instruction permit. If a first time driver, you will be required to pass both a driver license and a motorcycle operator written test. If you already hold a driver license instruction permit or license, then you need only take the motorcycle operator written test.

With a permit you are prohibited from carrying passengers and operating a motorcycle on freeways or interstate highways or between sunset and sunrise, or at any time when there is not enough light to clearly see persons or vehicles at a distance of 500 feet.

CLASS M (MOTORCYCLE)

A motorcycle license or endorsement is required to operate a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle. You must be at least 16 years of age to apply for a motorcycle license or endorsement.

An applicant for a motorcycle license or endorsement who is under 18 must have held an Arizona instruction permit for at least 6 months. The permit must be valid at the time of application. An applicant must also have satisfactorily completed a motorcycle driver education program that is approved by MVD, or the parent or guardian must certify in writing that the applicant has completed at least 30 hours of motorcycle riding practice.

An applicant holding an out-of-state motorcycle license or endorsement is exempt from the driver education/driving practice and instruction permit requirements.

CLASS A, B OR C (CDL) WITH AN ENDORSEMENT

A commercial driver license, (CDL), with a motorcycle endorsement allows you to drive heavyweight vehicles, 26,001 lbs or more gross vehicle weight (GVW), vehicles capable of carrying 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or vehicles required to be placarded for hazardous material, in addition to a motorcycle.

The minimum age for a commercial driver license is 21. If you are at least 18, you may apply for an intrastate commercial driver license that is valid only in Arizona.

CLASS G (GRADUATED) WITH AN ENDORSEMENT

A graduated driver license with a motorcycle endorsement is issued to an applicant who is at least 16, but less than 18 years of age and is valid to operate any vehicle that does not require a commercial license.

The applicant must have held both an Arizona graduated instruction permit and an Arizona motorcycle instruction permit for at least 6 months. The permits must be valid at the time of application. An applicant must also have satisfactorily completed both a graduated and a motorcycle driver education program approved by MVD or the parent or guardian must certify in writing that the applicant has completed at least 30 hours of motorcycle riding practice.

An applicant holding an out-of-state driver license with a motorcycle endorsement is exempt from the driver education/driving practice and instruction permit requirements.

The holder of a graduated license is not required to obtain an operator license at age 18, but may choose to obtain one.

CLASS D (OPERATOR) WITH AN ENDORSEMENT

An operator license with a motorcycle endorsement allows you to drive any vehicle that does not require a commercial license. You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for an operator license.

RESTRICTIONS

If you test with a 100cc or less motorcycle, you will receive a “J” restriction. You must test with a motorcycle greater than 100cc to obtain an unrestricted license.

TESTS

We are responsible for screening and testing driver license applicants. This helps to ensure that Arizona drivers have the necessary knowledge and ability to safely handle the vehicles they will be driving.

MEDICAL SCREENING

Assisted by the Arizona Medical Advisory Board, we have established medical standards for driver licensing. Several questions regarding your medical condition are included on the driver license application.

You must report to us any medical conditions that develop or worsen that may affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. This must be done within five days of a change or as soon as the condition allows. The written report must include: full name, address, date of birth, description of condition and signature. The report must be sent to:

Mail Drop 818Z
Medical Review Program
PO Box 2100
Phoenix AZ 85001-2100

VISION SCREENING

You may be given a simple vision exam. If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses for distance vision, be sure to wear them. You must have uncorrected vision of 20/40 or better in at least one eye in order to obtain an unrestricted license. If you cannot meet this requirement without glasses or contact lenses, you will be given a license with an “A” restriction. An “A” restriction means you must always wear your glasses or contact lenses when driving. A test of visual field will also be given to check how far you can see to the side while keeping your eyes straight ahead.

In addition, drivers who visit an MVD office for vehicle title and registration services may be required to update this vision exam.

WRITTEN TESTS

When applying for your first Arizona driver license or instruction permit with a motorcycle endorsement, you must pass a written motorcycle test based on the information contained in the Motorcycle Operator Manual, and a separate driver license test based on the information in the Driver License Manual. One application fee allows you three attempts to pass the tests in a 12-month period.

Both the driver license and motorcycle examinations are available in English and Spanish. If you cannot read English or Spanish well enough to take a written test, arrangements can be made for an oral examination. If you need an interpreter, you must provide one.

If you are renewing an Arizona license, you may have to take the written test.

MOTORCYCLE SKILLS TEST

The motorcycle skills test is a 10-15 minute demonstration of your riding ability that consists of performing maneuvers on an off-street, closed track as described in the following instructions.

If you have a current out-of-state motorcycle license in your possession, and the state that issued the license requires a motorcycle skills test similar to that given by Arizona, then you normally will not be required to take the test. However, you may be required to take a test anytime that you apply for an Arizona license.