How to Get a Motorcycle License in Indiana: Step-by-Step Guide for 2023

Thinking about hitting the open road on two wheels in Indiana? Getting your motorcycle license is the first step toward that exhilarating freedom. Whether you’re new to riding or looking to upgrade your skills, understanding the process can save you time and hassle.

In Indiana, obtaining a motorcycle license involves a few essential steps, from passing a knowledge test to completing a riding skills exam. You’ll need to meet specific requirements and prepare adequately to ensure a smooth journey. Ready to rev up your engines? Let’s dive into what you need to know to get your motorcycle license in the Hoosier State.

Key Takeaways

  • Essential Requirements: To obtain a motorcycle license in Indiana, you must meet age requirements, hold a valid Indiana driver’s license, pass a vision screening, knowledge test, and riding skills exam.
  • License Types: Indiana offers a Motorcycle Endorsement (Class M) for existing drivers, a Motorcycle-Only License, and a Motorcycle Learner’s Permit for practice.
  • Basic Rider Course: Completing an approved Basic Rider Course (BRC) is a key step, offering vital classroom instruction and practical riding experience.
  • Documentation and Fees: Required documents include a valid ID, proof of residency, and Social Security number. Fees differ for endorsements, licenses, and permits.
  • Exam Preparation: Thoroughly study the Indiana BMV Motorcycle Operator Manual and practice riding skills, ensuring readiness for both written and road tests.

Understanding Motorcycle Licensing in Indiana

Overview of Indiana Motorcycle License Requirements

In Indiana, to obtain a motorcycle license, first, meet a few essential requirements. You must be at least 16 years and 90 days old if you’ve completed an approved rider education course, or 16 years and 270 days old without it. A valid Indiana driver’s license is necessary unless you’re applying for a motorcycle-only license.

You’ll need to pass a vision screening to ensure safe riding. A knowledge test evaluates your understanding of road signs, motorcycle operation rules, and state-specific requirements. Finally, a riding skills exam tests your practical ability to handle a motorcycle in various conditions. The skills test can be waived if you complete a state-approved motorcycle safety course.

Different Types of Motorcycle Licenses

Indiana offers several motorcycle license types to cater to different rider needs. A Motorcycle Endorsement (Class M) is for individuals already holding a valid Indiana driver’s license. If you’re only interested in riding motorcycles, a Motorcycle-Only License allows this without the need for a general driver’s license.

Indiana also provides a Motorcycle Learner’s Permit for those who want to practice riding before taking the road test. This permit is valid for one year and requires you to be accompanied by a licensed motorcyclist while riding.

Steps to Obtain a Motorcycle License in Indiana

Step 1: Basic Rider Course

Complete a Basic Rider Course (BRC) through an approved provider in Indiana. The BRC covers fundamental motorcycle skills and safety, including both classroom instruction and hands-on riding practice. Generally, the course takes 15 hours and teaches you essential skills like balancing, turning, braking, and maneuvering safely.

Step 2: Written Examination

Pass the written examination at an Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) branch. This test evaluates your knowledge of traffic laws, road signs, and safe riding practices. Study the Indiana Motorcycle Operator Manual thoroughly, as it contains all the necessary information. You’ll face multiple-choice questions designed to ensure you’ve understood the manual’s content.

Step 3: Road Skills Test

Demonstrate your riding ability in the Road Skills Test once you’ve passed the written examination. This test assesses your competence in various riding scenarios, such as accelerating, turning, and stopping. Perform these skills under the observation of a BMV examiner. Alternatively, if you’ve completed the BRC, the skills test might be waived, allowing you to proceed directly with your application.

Required Documents and Fees

Essential Documentation

To get a motorcycle license in Indiana, you need specific documents. Present a valid Indiana driver’s license or state ID, proof of residency (utility bill, lease agreement), and a Social Security number. Bring your completion certificate if you’ve finished a Basic Rider Course. If you’re under 18, provide a signed Parental Consent Form.

Fee Structure for Licensing

Indiana’s motorcycle licensing fees vary. The Motorcycle Endorsement costs $19, while the Motorcycle-Only License is $21. The Learner’s Permit costs $9. Additional fees apply if you need to retake tests or renew permits. Check the Indiana BMV website for the latest fee details.

Tips for Passing the Indiana Motorcycle Exams

Preparing for the Written Test

Study the Indiana BMV Motorcycle Operator Manual to understand traffic laws and safe riding practices. Use online practice tests to familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions. Focus on sections covering road signs, signals, and basic motorcycle operation.

Dedicate specific time each day for studying. Create flashcards for quick reviews of essential points and terminology. Join study groups or forums online for additional insights and clarification on complex topics.

Mastering the Road Test

Practice riding regularly to build confidence and handle different road situations. Use an empty parking lot to practice slow-speed maneuvers, emergency stops, and quick turns. Make sure your motorcycle is in good working condition to avoid technical issues during the test.

Know the testing area’s layout. Ride through the area to get a sense of the road conditions and layout. Understand and follow all traffic rules strictly during the test, and stay calm and focused to avoid unnecessary mistakes.


Getting a motorcycle license in Indiana requires dedication and preparation. By meeting age requirements, passing relevant tests, and considering a safety course, you’ll be well on your way. Whether you’re aiming for a Motorcycle Endorsement, a Motorcycle-Only License, or a Learner’s Permit, ensure you have all necessary documents and understand the fees involved.

To excel in the exams, study the manual, use practice tests, and give yourself ample time to review. Regular practice, familiarity with the testing area, and keeping your motorcycle in top condition are crucial for passing the road test. Always follow traffic rules, stay focused, and practice essential maneuvers to achieve your goal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age requirements for obtaining a motorcycle license in Indiana?

You must be at least 16 years and 90 days old to apply for a Motorcycle Endorsement or Motorcycle-Only License in Indiana.

Can I waive the skills exam by completing a safety course?

Yes, completing a state-approved motorcycle safety course allows you to waive the skills exam requirement.

What types of motorcycle licenses are available in Indiana?

Indiana offers three types of licenses: Motorcycle Endorsement, Motorcycle-Only License, and Motorcycle Learner’s Permit.

What documents are required to apply for a motorcycle license in Indiana?

You’ll need proof of identity, residency, and Social Security Number, along with a valid Indiana driver’s license or learner’s permit.

How much are the fees for obtaining a motorcycle license in Indiana?

Fees vary. Generally, expect to pay around $10 for a Motorcycle Learner’s Permit and additional fees for endorsements.

What are some tips for passing the Indiana motorcycle written test?

Study the Indiana Motorcycle Operator Manual, take online practice tests, and spend ample time reviewing the material.

How can I prepare for the Indiana motorcycle road test?

Regular practice, familiarizing yourself with the testing area, and ensuring your motorcycle is in good condition are key to passing the road test.

Do I need special motorcycle gear for the test?

At a minimum, you need a DOT-approved helmet and proper riding attire to take the motorcycle skills test.

Are there any specific maneuvers I should practice for the road test?

Yes, focus on practicing basic maneuvers like sharp turns, U-turns, quick stops, and figure-eights to ensure you’re well-prepared.

What should I focus on to succeed in obtaining my motorcycle license?

Follow traffic rules, stay focused on the task, and practice regularly to master both the written and road tests.