Motorcycle Licensing Requirements

Motorcycle Licensing Requirements

Motorcyclists face many challenges to ride safely. Riding a motorcycle requires balance and skill. Operators must manage powerful engines while cornering and braking in a safe and controlled way. Fortunately, riders can learn these skills while earning their Florida motorcycle licenses.

After a motorcycle accident in Clearwater, FL, the other driver may question your skills and compliance with motorcycle licensing requirements. The team at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers has the experience to tailor a strategy to fight these and other tactics used by insurers to deny claims.

If you were injured in a crash, contact us today, our skilled Clearwater motorcycle accident lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights at (727) 787-2500.

How Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Clearwater, FL

How Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Clearwater, FL

Since 1986, Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers has fought at-fault parties and their insurers for injured clients in Clearwater, Florida. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation.

If someone else’s actions injure you, our Clearwater motorcycle accident attorneys can provide:

  • A free legal review of your case to assess your claims and explain your rights
  • A thorough investigation of your motorcycle collision
  • Aggressive negotiations with at-fault parties and insurers to settle your claims
  • Over 50 years of combined experience to take your case to court if the insurer refuses to settle

A motorcycle crash can cause injuries that require expensive medical treatment and therapy. Contact our Clearwater personal injury lawyers to discuss your motorcycle accident and the compensation you can pursue for your damages.

How Many Motorcycle Crashes Involve Unlicensed Operators?

Research shows that about 20% of motorcyclists either:

If unlicensed motorcyclists had the same crash risk as those with licenses, one could argue that license status has no practical effect. However, the most recent analysis determined that roughly 38% of fatal motorcycle accidents involved unlicensed riders. In other words, unlicensed riders were about twice as likely to have a fatal accident as licensed operators.

Florida does not report the number of crashes involving unlicensed riders. But you can use the numbers produced by the studies and Florida’s motorcycle crash statistics to calculate some estimates. Of the 584 motorcyclists who died in motorcycle crashes in 2021, up to 222 had no motorcycle license or endorsement.

Although unlicensed riders have a higher risk of fatal accidents, nothing suggests a higher risk of non-fatal crashes. Again, using the numbers from the studies, you can estimate that up to 1,357 of the 6,786 motorcyclists with non-fatal crash injuries also lacked a license.

Summing up those numbers, you can estimate that about 1,579 unlicensed motorcyclists suffered injury or death in Florida motorcycle crashes in 2021.

Florida Motorcycle License Requirements

Every state in the U.S. requires motorcycle operators to hold a motorcycle license or endorsement. Moreover, every state except Alabama requires riders to pass either a motorcycle safety course or a road test administered by the licensing agency.

In 2023, 1,441,932 motorcycle operators in Florida had valid motorcycle endorsements or motorcycle-only driver’s licenses. Florida gives operators three ways to secure permission to operate a motorcycle on public roads legally:

Moving To Florida From Another State

If you have a valid motorcycle license issued by any state other than Alabama, Florida will issue a motorcycle license when you surrender your out-of-state license. You also need to prove your identity and Florida residency.

People moving from Alabama do not automatically receive a Florida motorcycle license when they turn in their old license. Alabama does not require license holders to pass a motorcycle safety course. Thus, Florida only issues motorcycle licenses to former Alabama residents when they surrender their out-of-state license and provide a safety course certificate of completion.

Motorcycle Endorsement

You can apply for a motorcycle endorsement if you already have a valid, unexpired Class E license. If you only have a learner’s license, you cannot get a motorcycle endorsement and must apply for a motorcycle-only license instead.

To get your endorsement, you must pass the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic RiderCourse (BRC) or Basic RiderCourse Updated (BRCu). These courses include three days of instruction. One day includes classroom instruction and ends with a written exam. You then receive two days of hands-on instruction, ending with a riding test.

Once you pass both tests, you will receive a course completion card. You have one year to pay your endorsement fee and provide proof of identity.

Motorcycle-Only License

You can get a motorcycle-only license if you are at least 16 years old. If you are under 18, you must have held your learner’s license for at least one year. You must satisfy the same requirements as applicants for a motorcycle endorsement. Additionally, you must pass the written driver’s license knowledge test.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With Our Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Motorcycle accidents affect both licensed and unlicensed operators. Contact Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to review your accident injuries and possible compensation under Florida law.