Do you know if you can drive a motorcycle without a permit in Massachusetts? this is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.
Riding a motorcycle is an incredible amount of fun. A lot of people wonder whether they need to head to the DMV to get themselves a permit before they hop on a motorcycle for the first time. This is a question that we will answer on this page for you.
So, can you drive a motorcycle without a permit in Massachusetts? No, you are not allowed to drive a motorcycle without a permit in Massachusetts. If you are caught driving on the roads of the state without a permit, then you are going to run into some serious legal problems. However, you can drive a motorcycle without a permit in Massachusetts only if you are driving on private property.
Let’s go into a little bit more depth on this, shall we?
This is because there are some motorcycle laws and permit restrictions you need to follow.
Table of Contents
Can you drive a motorcycle without a permit in Massachusetts?
Yes. Unless you are driving on private property (more on that soon), you are going to need to have a permit if you want to ride on the roads of Massachusetts.
There are multiple types of licenses that you are able to obtain in Massachusetts. The first time that you will legally be allowed to ride a motorcycle on the road will be from the age of 16.
Let’s quickly go through each of the licenses to tell you what you can and can’t do. If you skip ahead a couple of sections, we will also give you a brief overview of how you can obtain each license type.
Motorcycle Learner’s Permit
You can obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit from the age of 16. You will need to have parental permission to apply for the license. We will talk more about this in a short while.
The motorcycle learner’s permit will have severe restrictions on when you can ride the motorcycle.
For example, you are only going to be allowed to ride it between sunrise and sunset i.e. when it is light outside.
You are also not allowed to ride between midnight and 5am. This can be important during the summer months when it can sometimes get light before 5am.
You are also not allowed to carry passengers when you have this permit.
This does mean that the rules are slightly different from a standard driver’s license where you legally have to ride with an adult.
This license is sometimes called the Junior Operator License.
This will be valid for 2-years. At that point, you can either choose to upgrade the license to a full Class M motorcycle license, assuming that you have met the requirements, or you can renew.
At the time of writing, the renewal fee for a permit is $30.
Class M motorcycle license
Once you have had your Junior Operator License for 6-months and you have a clean driving record, you will be able to obtain a Class M motorcycle license.
Once you have this, the restrictions will be lifted You will now be fully qualified to drive on the roads of the state.
Can you drive on private roads on a motorcycle without a permit in Massachusetts?
Contrary to popular belief, the answer is probably not.
We know that there are some people that think that they can drive on private roads or off-road in Massachusetts without a permit.
However, the definition of private roads is actually a whole lot narrower than you may think.
If the area can easily be accessed by the general public e.g. they do not need to ask permission from the landowner, then this would not be classed as private property. For example, many forested areas, parking lots, etc.
You can drive a motorcycle on private land as long as the general public does not have a general right of access to the land, though. For example, if you were driving on a ranch or farm.
That being said, this is a right that only stretches so far. For example, you will not be able to drive on private land for business purposes unless you own a permit.
Honestly, with how simple it is to obtain a permit to ride a motorcycle in Massachusetts, it is probably just going to be worth actually getting a permit.
It is going to be a whole lot easier than navigating the complicated private road rules.
Can you drive in other states with a motorcycle permit in Massachusetts?
In most cases, no.
You will not be able to hop between states if you only have a learner’s permit for a motorcycle. You will need to wait until you have a full license before this is possible.
The laws and rules for riding on private roads will vary between states.
This means that you may need to do a little bit of research if you are planning on traveling somewhere with your motorcycle.
Do you need a permit to register a motorcycle in Massachusetts?
There are some people that will purchase a motorcycle before their 16th birthday, or at least before they get a motorcycle permit.
You do not need to have a permit to register the vehicle in your name. You will only need to have a permit if you are riding it on public roads.
How do you get a motorcycle permit in Massachusetts?
We are only going to talk about how to get your initial learner’s permit here. We are not going to talk about upgrading to a full license. This will happen much further down the line.
As we said, you are going to need to be at least 16-years-old. You will need to have the following documents when you apply:
- A completed M permit application form
- Birth certificate or passport as ID
- Evidence of your social security number
- Proof that you live in MA
You will also need to complete a vision test.
You will also need to complete two knowledge tests. These will be multiple-choice questions, and you will easily be able to study for the test using any motorcycle permit handbook.
This is a test that can be completed online. In fact, you should be able to complete the vast majority of the application process online.
There will be a small fee that you need to pay during the application process.
Do remember that the permit is going to have some restrictions in place. A permit issued in MA does not automatically entitle you to ride on the roads elsewhere in the US too.
In fact, you are pretty much limited to riding only in MA until you have upgraded your license to a full license, and this won’t happen for at least 6-months.
If you want to ride a motorcycle in most places in Massachusetts, then you are going to need to get yourself a motorcycle permit. You can obtain this from the age of 16.
You will not be able to obtain a full license until 6-months later. Do bear in mind that even though you will have a permit from the age of 16, there will be some restrictions in place when it comes to where and when you can drive.
Make sure that you follow the rules of the road here.
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