Drivers under the age of 18 (minimum age is 16) may apply for a motorcycle (Class M) license by proving date of birth, showing parental consent on the license application, and by providing a Social Security Number. Drivers 18 years or older may apply with a document proving date of birth, a document proving signature, a document proving Massachusetts residency, and a Social Security Number. Documents and the $30 fee are presented in person to any full service Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, after which the driver will take a written test. The driver will also take a vision test. A road test must be scheduled after passing the written test through the RMV telephone center.
Motorcycle License Requirements
- Proof of date of birth
- Proof of signature
- Proof of Massachusetts residency
- Social security number
- $30 fee
- Written test
- Vision test
- Road test
An alternative extended time, paper, or oral exam may be requested if cognitive or physical disabilities prevent the driver from taking the standard learner’s permit exam by speaking to the Branch Manager of a Registry of Motor Vehicles location or by calling (617) 351-4505.
Massachusetts requires liability insurance for all registered motorcycles, and compulsory minimum requirements of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident, personal injury protection of $8,000, $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident in liability coverage for underinsured automobiles, and $5,000 in property damage coverage. Drivers who are not able to obtain a liability insurance policy from an insurance company will be assigned to an insurer through the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan (MAIP). Drivers who may be assigned through the MAIP include newly licensed a driver applying for his or her own policy, a driver who has not been insured in Massachusetts in the 12 months prior to applying for insurance coverage, and a driver who has 10 or more merit rating points through the MAIP rate manual rules.
Massachusetts’ Safe Driver Insurance Plan Regulation (SDIP) collects and exchanges motor vehicle insurance claim and traffic law violation data and systemizes that information to regulate premiums based on driving data. Companies may use the SDIP as its merit rating plan or develop their own merit system to determine premiums based on driving behavior. Insurance companies in the state of Massachusetts are prohibited from excluding businesses or from rating based on sex, marital status, race, creed, national origin, religion, age, occupation income, education, and home ownership, but companies may still rate insurance premiums based on socioeconomic standards as risk factors, as well as number of at-fault accidents, number of traffic violations, years of driving experience, vehicle use, vehicle storage, annual miles driven, coverage type, and type of vehicle. Graduates of a Massachusetts Rider Education Program (MREP)-approved motorcycle safety course are entitled to a discount on their insurance, and other safety or anti-theft initiatives may lead to further deductibles.
Laws regarding the safe operation of motorcycles do not reciprocate between states, and a driver must follow the law of the state the driver is in or risk tickets, higher motorcycle insurance premiums, and/or license suspension or revocation. The following are the motorcycle laws for the state of Massachusetts:
- A helmet is required for all drivers and passengers including passengers in a sidecar. Eye protection is required by law for instructional permit holders unless the vehicle is equipped with a windscreen.
- A passenger seat and a passenger footrest are required if carrying a passenger. There are no restrictions on the age of the passenger.
- Periodic safety inspection is required by law.
- A mirror and turn signals are required.
- A muffler is required.
- Handlebar height may not rise above the driver’s shoulders when properly seated on the motorcycle.
- Motorcycles may ride two abreast in the same lane but lane splitting is prohibited.