Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

Motorcycle or moped license

Instruction permit | Motorcycle violations | Rider courses | Skills test | Waiver program

Motorcyclist and automobile driver sharing the road
Motorcyclist and automobile
driver sharing the road

A motorcycle is a motor vehicle designed and built to have no more than three wheels. It must have its own power source and be capable, under ideal road conditions, of speeds in excess of 30 mph with a 150 pound rider.

Who needs a motorcycle or moped license

Anyone who drives a motorcycle must have a Class M motorcycle license or motorcycle instruction permit.

Moped drivers do not need a Class M license. They can operate a moped with a Class D regular or probationary license. However, it is not legal to operate a moped with only a valid instruction permit.

A moped is:

Any of the following vehicles (excluding a tractor) capable of speeds not more than 30 mph, with 150 lb. Rider on a dry, level, hard surface with no wind, a power source as an integral part of the vehicle, and a seat for the operator:

  • A bicycle-type vehicle with fully operative pedals and an engine certified by the manufacturer at not more than 130cc.
  • A Type 1 motorcycle with an automatic transmission and engine certified at not more than 50cc.

A person must hold a Wisconsin motorcycle instruction permit or surrender a valid motorcycle license from another state before they may obtain a Class M license.

Instruction permit

To obtain a motorcycle instruction permit, the applicant must pass the motorcycle knowledge test, a sign test and a vision screening.

If under age 18, the following are also required:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have a sponsor
  • Provide proof of Driver Ed completion
  • Provide proof of enrollment or completion (form MV3575 or your MSF completion card) of a Basic Motorcycle Rider Course

A cycle instruction permit is valid for 6 months. If the cycle instruction permit expires before the applicant completes the skill test, the permit can be renewed for an additional 6 months. Once the cycle instruction permit has been renewed two times, you would be required to show proof of enrollment or completion (form MV3575 or your MSF completion card) of an approved basic motorcycle rider course before renewal of the license is allowed.

Some restrictions apply during the period the instruction permit is held:

  • Must wear eye protection
  • Must wear an approved helmet
  • Permit holders may ride alone during the day.
  • If cycling after dark, the permit holder must be accompanied by a person at least 25 years old with two years licensed driving experience and a Class M motorcycle license.

Skills test

The applicant must demonstrate competency in motorcycle operation by passing a Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) administered motorcycle driving skills test or providing a waiver showing completion of WisDOT approved (BRC) Basic Motorcycle Rider Course, (SBRC) Scooter Basic Rider Course, or (3WBRC) 3-Wheel Basic Rider Course.

For the WisDOT driving skills test, the applicant must provide a cycle in good working order and wear eye protection and an approved helmet.

Skills tests are conducted by appointment at DMV service centers located throughout the state.

Rider courses

Rider courses are highly recommended for anyone who wants to ride a motorcycle or who wants to improve their motorcycle riding skills.

Basic Motorcycle Rider Course

Successful completion of a Basic Motorcycle Rider Course is required for persons wanting a Class M license who:

  • Are under 18
  • Held three previous motorcycle instruction permits
  • Previously failed two WisDOT administered motorcycle skill tests

Advanced Motorcycle Rider Course

The Advanced Motorcycle Rider course is an advanced motorcycle safety course available to persons who already have a Class M license.

Motorcycle violations

Successful completion of either the Basic Rider Course or the Advanced Rider Course can also be used to reduce your driving record demerit points for motorcycle violations by up to 3 points, which you have been convicted of during the prior 12 months. A person is limited to only one point reduction every five years.

Courses are provided throughout Wisconsin and through the riding season by training sponsors in various locations.

Motorcycle Skills Test Waiver Program

Upon successful completion of a Basic Motorcycle Rider Course, the motorcycle riding instructor issues each student a signed waiver authorization Form MV3575, which is usable only one time and only by the person to whom it is issued. Forms issued on or after March 1, 2008 are valid for one year from the issuance date on the card. When other licensing requirements have been met, and the waiver form is presented at the DMV service center, a Class M endorsement will be added to the person's driver license.

Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service
Call: (608) 266-2353

Last modified: April 10, 2013
BDS/QIS

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