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How to get a Tennessee Motorcycle License

Tennessee Motorcycle License
  • Tennessee Motorcycle License Guidelines
  • How to Prepare for the Written Exam
  • Required ID and Paperwork

Tennessee DMV Motorcycle License Rules

Ready to take your motorcycle on the open road? We'll walk you through the steps to get your Tennessee motorcycle license with an extra emphasis on safe driving.

You'll need to be familiar with the Tennessee Driver's Manual. Think you know the material?
Take our Motorcycle License practice test now and test your knowledge here first!

First Time Motorcycle Riders

Under Tennessee DMV guidelines, anyone who drives a motorcycle must have a Class M motorcycle license or motorcycle instruction permit.

Applicants must be 16 years of age, pass the motorcycle knowledge test, a sign test and a vision screening. The final step is to pass the motorcycle skills test where you will demonstrate your competency in motorcycle operation.

If you currently hold a valid Tennessee driver license, Tennessee will waive your skills and knowledge test and issue you a license if you complete the Tennessee Certified Motorcycle Rider Education Program (MREP). These courses last anywhere from two to six weeks and include classroom instruction as well as driver training in a controlled, off-street environment. When you successfully complete this course, you will be eligible for your motorcycle driver's license.

If you do not currently hold a valid Tennessee driver license, you must also take a knowledge test for a Class D license based on the Tennessee Driver Study Guide. If you have completed a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course in any state, you may present the certificate of completion or MSF wallet card and have the ability skills test waived. The course must have been completed within three (3) years of the application date. MSF course completion does NOT waive the required knowledge test(s) for a Class D license.

Prepare for the Motorcycle License Written Test

The Tennessee DMV requires that all applicants must pass a written motorcycle knowledge test on traffic signs, motor vehicle laws and safe driving techniques. If you fail the exam, some states require you to wait until at least until the next day to take the test again and charge a re-examination fee.

All motorcyclists are encouraged to study for this written test so you don't take a chance on standing in line at the DMV Office only to go home empty-handed. Test your motorcycle safety and driving knowledge and take our Tennessee motorcycle practice test today!

Required Paperwork

Before you head to the Tennessee DMV Office, make sure you have the following required documents to get your motorcycle license. Examples include:

  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship, Lawful Permanent Resident Status or Proof of authorized stay in the United States
  • Drivers license or instruction permit issued in another state
  • Primary Proof of Identity
  • Secondary Proof of Identity
  • Proof of any Name Changes if Different than name on Primary ID
  • Two Proofs of Tennessee Residency with your name and resident address - NO P.O. BOXES (Documents must be current. Must be dated within last 4 months.)
  • A Social Security Number or sworn affidavit if no Social Security number has been issued.

If you are under eighteen (18) years of age and do not already have a Class D or PD license you will need the above documents for a Motorcycle License plus:

  • Teenage Affidavit/Financial Responsibility
  • Proof of school attendance / progress

If you are under eighteen (18) years of age and wish to have a Class D or PD and a Class M Motorcycle License endorsement, you will need to present the items listed above and:

  • Certification of 50 Hours Behind the Wheel Driving Experience (SF-1256)

On the Road

Once your licensing requirements have been met, a Class M endorsement will be added to your driver's license. Remember... the safe operation of a motorcycle requires practiced skill, knowledge, and a respectful understanding of the limitations imposed by the operator, the machine, and the environment.

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