How to Get a Motorcycle License in New Jersey | Everything You Need to Know



Wondering how to get a motorcycle license in NJ? You have come to the right place since, in the comprehensive guide below, we will go through each step of the process so that you can be better prepared for what lies ahead. We’ll also include a list of safety requirements that need to be followed when riding your bike in New Jersey.


Enroll in a motorcycle safety course

Many motorcycle riders who are involved in a crash have no formal training, but in New Jersey, having motorcycle education plays a crucial role in getting your motorcycle license. Enrolling and completing the Basic Rider Course is mandatory. Even if you’ve ridden dirt bikes as you were a child, you’ll still need to go through this process.

This is a good thing since even if you may think that you are ready to go on the road, having a professional driver teach you will get you better prepared for every scenario that you may encounter on the roadway. The Basic Rider Course includes multiple offerings that happen throughout the year.

This is a good thing since it means that you won’t have to wait too long to get your turn. This class will teach you the most important lesson of all, and that is how to ride safely. You can register with any of the approved motorcycle training providers in your area.

Some of the skills that this course will teach you include how to brake, turn, and corner safely, how to deal with distracted drivers and avoid road hazards, and how to share the road so that you don’t become a danger to other drivers. You’ll also learn the correct emergency procedures, how to find the safest route when riding, and much more. 

The course includes useful information, and there’s even an online course to help you brush up on any skills or information that you’ll need for the written motorcycle test.

There is a certain limit that you need to reach before the training provider can give you a stamped waiver form and a completion card. You’ll need to attend at least five hours of classroom instruction as well as approximately ten hours of riding experience. This first step is essential, and the best part is that it won’t take a lot of time.

However, bear in mind that most courses that you’ll need to attend take place throughout two days and can span overall several hours, which means that you will need to be ready to clear your schedule since you’ll be required to devote quite a bit of time to it, even if it’s over a short period.

Each minute is worth it since even if you might think that you already know everything, you’ll be surprised to see how many small yet essential details need to be considered when riding. It is important to start the training with an open mind and not view it as a chore but rather as an essential step that’s informative that will make the road safer for everyone.

What’s more, after you have completed The Basic Rider Course successfully, you will not only have all the knowledge needed for the Motorcycle Vehicle Commission road test, but both the road and written tests are waived if you only need a motorcycle endorsement.

Applicants need to be at least 17 years old and consent from a parent or guardian is mandatory if you’re under the age of 18.


Applying without completing the Basic Rider Course

If you want to apply for a motorcycle license without completing the BRC, you will first need to obtain a motorcycle examination permit. To get the permit, you will need to go to your local Motorcycle Vehicle Commission branch with a motorcycle permit application, identification documents, and your proof of residency.

Here you will need to pass a written motorcycle knowledge test and a vision test. You’ll also need to pay a nominal fee. After you have the permit, you will be able to practice riding alone or enroll in the MSF or MSEP course. 

The mandatory minimum period for practice riding without completing the BRC is 20 days. The permit also has certain riding restrictions that need to be observed. You won’t be able to ride the motorcycle one-half hour after sunset or one-half hour before sunrise.

What’s more, you are also prohibited from carrying passengers and riding on any limited-access highway or state toll road. Applying without completing the BRC is only possible for persons above the age of 18. Riders younger than that will need to complete the BRC.


The road test

After you have completed your motorcycle rider courses or your mandatory practice period, you can then schedule an appointment for a Motorcycle Vehicle Commission road test by calling 609-292-6500. You’ll need to bring your own insured and registered motorcycle to the testing site.

Make sure to choose a motorcycle that is beginner-friendly since speed is not important for this test. You need to ride safely. You shouldn’t feel discouraged if you don’t pass the test on the first try, especially since, for many riders, emotions can really get in the way. It is quite normal to get nervous when taking the test for the first time.

Know that if you fail during your first try, you can retake the test, so there’s no need to feel a lot of pressure. After you have successfully passed the road test, you will get clearance to submit your motorcycle permit, MSF course completion or certificate of MSEP, and proof of identity and residency to the nearest MVC branch in your area.

There’s also a processing fee you’ll need to pay. In return for all of this documentation, you will get a class E motorcycle license and the freedom of roaming the streets in your new bike.

It is important not to get yourself carried away since even with the license in your hands, you’re still a newbie, and there’s still a long road ahead of you until you become a knowledgeable rider. Always start with the Basic Rider Course first, even if you feel that you don’t need it.

Every day fatal crashes that involve motorcycles are still fairly common in New Jersey, so you need to do your best to take things seriously. Doing so will make getting your license much easier since these courses can help you learn what to do in a variety of road scenarios.


Requirements when riding a motorcycle in New Jersey

Now that you have your motorcycle license, you should take the time to review what you should and shouldn’t do when riding a motorcycle in this state. We’ll also go through some of the New Jersey state laws to inform you of what gear you need to wear so that you can be better equipped when going out on the road.

The state’s motorcycle laws make it mandatory for all riders and passengers to wear a helmet when operating or riding a motorcycle. The helmet should be sized adequately and fastened with chin or neck straps. What’s more, the helmet should also feature reflective material as well as be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

When riding, the driver is also required to wear protective goggles or a face shield. The only exception to this law is when the motorcycle has already been equipped with an approved windscreen, in which case protective eyewear is not mandatory.

One aspect that’s not required by law but that motorcyclists should still follow is choosing the right protective gear that covers the body. This can reduce the risk of serious damage during a crash.

The protective gear can include items such as long-sleeved jackets made from materials that are resistant to abrasions, full-fingered gloves that fit snuggly, over the ankle boots, and pants that are made from abrasion-resistant materials.

Dirt bikes and ATVs are also prohibited from use in most New Jersey forests and state parks with a few exceptions. For more information about this subject, you should contact the Division of Parks and Forestry.

Lastly, as of August 1st, 2010, motorcycles in New Jersey are no longer required to submit for inspection. However, this doesn’t mean that the owner is no longer responsible for the state of the vehicle. Each rider should take the time to take care of its motorcycle and submit it for inspection in a motorcycle service of their choosing.

The bike should be free of any mechanical defects and operating properly. Making sure that your motorcycle is running properly will keep you and the other people in the traffic safe. Thus, self-inspection is still necessary.

If you are stopped by law enforcement, you can still be cited for having equipment that is out of compliance or for failure to make repairs.