New Jersey law defines a motorcycle as a motor bike, bicycle with an attached motor, or any motor-operated vehicle that is a bicycle or tricycle type, with the exception of motorized bicycles. In addition, all vehicles that count as motorcycles must have a saddle or seat for the driver to sit on or a platform to stand on. To operate a motorcycle in New Jersey, residents must have a motorcycle endorsement on their existing driver’s license or a separate motorcycle license. Applicants must be at least 17 years old to attain a permit, and those under the age of 18 must take the Motorcycle Safety Education Program Basic Rider Course.
Motorcycle License Requirements
- Proof of residence
- Vision test
- Written knowledge test
- On-cycle skill test
- Fees ($5 permit fee)
Applicants must get a permit and practice for at least 20 days before they can attain the endorsement. You must bring your own motorcycle (registered and insured), helmet, and eye protection to the road test.
Both the written and road tests will be waived for those who complete the Motorcycle Safety Education Program Basic Rider Course, certified by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and offered at more than 15 locations in New Jersey. Two different courses are available, one for beginners and another for more experienced drivers. When students successfully complete the course, they will receive a stamped waiver form and completion card. Bring these documents to a driver testing center to get the motorcycle endorsement.
New Jersey’s minimum insurance requirements for motorcycles fall under their minimum insurance requirements for all vehicles. New Jersey law requires that all vehicles have three types of insurance: liability insurance, which pays others for damages that you are legally responsible for; personal injury protection, which covers medical expenses; and uninsured motorist coverage, which protects you if you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have proper insurance coverage. The minimum requirements for liability coverage are $15,000 for bodily injury or death to one person; $30,000 if two or more persons are hurt; and $5,000 for property damage. Self-insurance is also available, but you must have more than 25 vehicles registered in your name to qualify.
Motorcycle insurance rates are based on each individual’s unique circumstances, so insurance rates will vary. When it comes to purchasing motorcycle insurance, there are several options. Be sure to check with multiple insurers to get the best price and coverage for your needs. Rates depend largely on the motorcycle’s make, model, and age; how often you ride the motorcycle; your personal driving record and the driving records of all other riders; and the year the motorcycle was registered.
However, most insurance carriers offer a discount to motorcyclists who complete a certified motorcycle training course every two to three years. Ask your insurance agent if your provider offers discounts for taking safety courses.
In accordance with New Jersey law:
- Motorcyclists must wear a safety helmet.
- Instructional permit holders must wear eye protection, unless their motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen.
- A passenger seat and footrest is required if motorcycle is carrying a passenger. A passenger must have the same type of protective equipment as the driver.
- Periodic safety inspections are required.
- Handlebar must be below shoulder height.
- When riding in groups, never operate directly alongside another motorcycle. Rather, a staggered formation is preferred. The leader should ride on the left side of the lane.