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Houston Motorcycle Licensing Requirements

August 29, 2023Motorcycle Accidents

If you live in Houston, Texas, and wish to ride a motorcycle, here are the necessary steps you must take to obtain your motorcycle license. Remember to practice riding tendencies to ensure that you never have to call our attorneys. However, if you experienced an accident due to someone else’s negligence contact the best motorcycle accident lawyers in Houston.

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Get a Driver’s License

To apply for a motorcycle license in Houston, you must first either have a driver’s license, hold a Class C learner license, or complete the classroom portion of driver’s ed.

Complete a Motorcycle Safety Course

Before applying for a Class M license, you must pass a DPS and Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved motorcycle safety course. You can then take the certificate of completion, which is valid for two years, to your local DMV office and then fill out the application.

Vision and Knowledge Tests

When applying for a Class M license, you will be required to take a vision test to ensure you can see well enough to ride. If you wear contact lenses or glasses, you can use them. As far as a knowledge test, as long as you have completed a valid Motorcycle Safety Course, the test can be waived.

Drive Test

Next, schedule an appointment to take a motorcycle skills exam. Riders who wish to obtain an unrestricted motorcycle license must pass the skills test. You must also bring a motorcycle and a vehicle with another driver who can follow you during the test. You will ride under an examiner’s supervision and may be asked to complete specific maneuvers. The examiner will grade you on your level of control and safety and you will receive your motorcycle license when you pass. If you fail, you can reschedule to retake it.


Before enrolling in a motorcycle safety course, minors have to be at least 15 years old and complete one of the following:

  • Hold a Class C learner license as well as completed the classroom phase of driver’s ed; or,
  • Show a certificate of completion for the classroom part of driver’s ed; or,
  • Hold a provisional driver’s license.

Minors must also submit a Verification of Enrollment and Attendance form signed by a high school official. In addition, a parent or guardian must be present to provide their signature of approval. Lastly, they must pass the skills exam. 15-year-olds cannot operate a motorcycle with more than a 250 cubic centimeter piston displacement, but this restriction can be removed on their 16th birthday.

Do Motorcyclists Have to Wear Helmets in Houston?

In Texas, motorcycle riders and passengers are required by law to wear a helmet while operating or riding on a motorcycle if they are:

  • Under 21 years old;
  • Have not completed an approved motorcycle operator training and safety course; or,
  • Do not have a health insurance plan that covers at least $10,000 in motorcycle-related injuries.

If you are 21 years old or older and have completed an approved motorcycle safety course or have adequate health insurance coverage, you are not legally required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle in Houston. However, it is important to note that while the law allows certain individuals to ride without a helmet, wearing a helmet is widely recommended for safety regardless of age or legal requirements. Helmets provide crucial protection in the event of an accident, reducing the risk of severe head injuries and fatalities. If you or a loved one have been injured by a motor vehicle accident, contact our Houston car accident lawyers for a free consultation.