In the state of Connecticut, individuals must have a regular driver’s license before they can pursue a motorcycle license. This is because the privilege of riding a motorcycle works as a class M endorsement to your regular license. Before obtaining the endorsement, it is recommended that potential motorcyclists apply for a learner’s permit. This is not a necessary step, but it gives drivers the opportunity to practice riding a motorcycle legally. To get a permit, individuals will take a vision and knowledge test, and pay a fee. Potential motorcyclists need to be at least 16 years old and have parental permission if under 18 years of age.
Motorcycle License Requirements
- Valid driver’s license
- Notarized certificate of parental consent (if under 18)
- $40 fee
- Vision test
- Motorcycle knowledge test
- Motorcycle safety course
Motorcycle insurance laws dictate that at a minimum, Connecticut motorcyclists must have liability insurance. This protects them against the damages that they may cause during collisions where they are at fault. Drivers must be covered for at least $20,000 for the bodily injury or death of one person, and $40,000 for the bodily injury or death of two or more people. $10,000 worth of property damages must be covered as well. Motorcyclists must keep proof of motorcycle insurance coverage in their vehicles at all times. If caught driving without insurance, they can face fines, the revoking of their licenses, and even jail time. If they are found to be responsible for the cause of an accident, they will have to pay all expenses that result from damage and injury; therefore, even without the legal ramifications, not having insurance is extremely costly.
Motorcycle insurance policy rates vary based on a variety of factors. Motorcycle insurance companies take into consideration the make, model, and year of the motorcycle, as well as the safety features including in the design. Gender and marital status play a part in determining motorcycle insurance premiums as well. Studies have shown that women and married couples cause less accidents, and companies therefore charge them lower insurance rates. Older individuals pay less as well, though rates may increase for the elderly. Teens and senior citizens are rewarded with discounts on insurance rates if they complete a safety course. Companies even examine minor factors, such as where a car is parked and how it may be affected by the elements.
Motorcyclists should follow all state vehicle laws, as they exist to keep drivers as safe as possible. There are a variety of state-specific motorcycle laws that individuals must follow as well, as extra precautions against the hazards of driving motorcycles. Some of these laws are listed below and can be found in more detail on the state’s government website.
- Minors must wear safety helmets.
- Motorcyclists must wear vision protection, unless their motorcycles have windscreens.
- If riding a motorcycle made after 1980, motorcyclists must use daytime headlights.
- When carrying a passenger, passenger seats and footrests are required.
- Motorcycles must have at least one side mirror.
- There are sound restrictions.
- Handlebars must not be above shoulder height.
- Motorcycles can operate abreast in the same lane.
- Passing up another vehicle in the same lane is prohibited.
The Connecticut state website also provides information on safety, laws, and repercussions for teen drivers.