• Motorcycle

Illinois Motorcycle

The state of Illinois takes particular precaution when issuing motorcycle endorsements.  Why?  Because, motorcycle accidents can result in severe injuries which just might be left in the state’s hands, should the motorcyclist be uninsured. 

The process to obtain your motorcycle endorsement is much like your Illinois state driver’s license.  You will be required to pass the mandatory exam and pay the fees which help to ensure that you are a responsible Illinois motorcyclist.

In Illinois there are two types of licenses that the motorcyclist will be issued which are:

  • The Class L Illinois Driver’s License which is issued to all motorcyclists that are driving cycles with an engine displacement of 150 cubic centimeters or less
  • The Class M Illinois Driver’s License which is issued to all motorcyclists operating a displacement of 151 cubic centimeters or more

Riders Under 18 Years of Age                     

Although a motorcycle may be a dangerous piece of machinery to drive, in the state of Illinois, riders in their teens can obtain a motorcycle license.  Teens as young as 16 years of age can begin their motorcycling experience on the roadways and highways of Illinois.  For all teens that are seeking their Illinois motorcycle license that are between the ages of 16 to 17 years of age, they will need to follow the proper process in order to obtain their Illinois motorcycle license.  The steps are as follows: 

  1. The teen motorcyclist must apply for their learner’s permit
  2. The teen motorcyclist must attend and successfully complete a driver’s education course through their school or a private party which is approved by the state of Illinois
  3. The teen will then be required to apply for their motorcycle learner’s permit which will be valid for 12 months
  4. The teen must also study the state of Illinois publication, Motorcycle Manual.
  5. It will also be the teens responsibility to study the Illinois publication Rule of the Road.
  6. The teen motorcyclist will also be required to enroll and successfully complete a 20 hour Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Motorcycle Rider Course.  The course is offered to motorcyclist at no cost.  For more information on the course visit  Motorcycle Rider Course or you can call the states IDOT’s toll free number at 800-642-9589 800-892-9607
  7. The teen must then hold their learner’s permit for a period of three consecutive months.  During the time of holding their learner’s permit they are permitted to operate their motorcycle during daylight hours only when supervised by a licensed motorcyclist
  8. The teen will then be required to take the motorcycle road exam that will be administered through their local SOS driver’s services office.
  9. They will also be responsible for paying the applicable fee of $10

Riders Over 18 Years of Age

For all you adult rider 18 years and older you will likely have to abide by the above requirements.  There is one exception that is granted by the state of Illinois and that is those motorcycle riders that complete the Illinois Department of Transit motorcycle Motorcycle’s Riders Course.  These riders will  bypass the state road exam.  The fee is the standard $10 for both a Class L or Class M endorsement.

Motorcycle Road Exam

Most applicants for their motorcycle endorsement will have to take the state’s road exam.  A state examiner will test the applicant to ensure that they have all the skills and experience required to safely operate the motorcycle on the roadways.  This will include starting the motorcycle and showing their operational skills by driving the motorcycle on the open roads. 

To prepare for your motorcycle exam you can download the Motorcycle Manual.


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