In Michigan, Do You Need a Motorcycle Licence?

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Do You Need a Motorcycle License in Michigan?

motorcycle license

If you are a Michigan resident who owns or wants to own a motorcycle, you may be wondering – do you need a motorcycle license in Michigan? In fact, you do not need to obtain a separate license to ride a motorcycle as a Michigan resident. However, you need a CY endorsement on your driver’s license to ride your motorcycle legally.

What Is a CY Endorsement?

Unlike laws in other states, Michigan does not require a separate license to operate a motorcycle. Instead, you must obtain a CY endorsement. This endorsement allows the driver to operate a motorcycle, defined as “every motor vehicle having a saddle or seat for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground but excluding a tractor.” 

How to Obtain a CY Endorsement

Citizenship/Lawful Resident

First of all, you must be a U.S. citizen or residing lawfully within the United States and be a Michigan resident.

Request a Temporary Permit (TIP) 

Request a temporary permit for motorcycle riding privileges – if you have a Michigan driver’s license or are over the age of 16, you can request this. Once you have the temporary permit, you must pass a knowledge/road skills test OR participate in the Michigan Rider Education Program to waive the required skills test. If you are a minor, you must complete a Basic Rider Course (BRC) or a Returning Rider Basic Rider Course (RRBRC) and show proof of enrollment before receiving your permit.

Pass a Motorcycle Skills Test / Vision Test

You will need to show that you have basic knowledge of how motorcycles work, safety features/protocols, and what size or engine capacity would work best for your height and weight.  You have to pass this knowledge test within 90 days of receiving your TIP.

Potential motorcyclists must also pass a vision test at a DMV branch location, just as you do to obtain a license to operate a car. 

Submit Necessary Documentation

Submit necessary documentation and fees to the Secretary of State. You must provide several forms of documentation to the Secretary of State to receive your CY endorsement, including:

  • Proof of Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Proof of legal presence in the United States, such as a birth certificate, U.S. passport, Michigan driver’s license, or permanent residency card
  • Proof of identity with a state-issued driver’s license, ID card, U.S. marriage license, U.S. court order for a name change, or military ID card
  • Two forms of residency, such as a utility bill, credit card bill, or bank statement

Once you’ve passed all of your tests and submitted all of the required documents, you can then file with the Secretary of State’s office to receive a CY endorsement on your license. During this step, you will need to provide proof that you are a currently registered driver and that you have comprehensive liability insurance coverage. 

Can You Get Your Endorsement Reissued if It Is Dropped?

Individuals who have obtained a motorcycle endorsement in Michigan within the past four years and can provide evidence of said endorsement may be eligible for reissuance without the requirement of retaking the knowledge or skills exam. If your motorcycle endorsement has lapsed for more than four years, it will be necessary to either complete a motorcycle rider safety course again or pass the knowledge test, obtain a temporary permit, and successfully complete the rider skills test.

Tips to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents in Michigan

Motorcycle accidents are more dangerous than car accidents because you are less protected. Remember these important tips for staying safe on your bike. 

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  • Wear a helmet: A helmet protects your head in case of a crash – it’s like wearing your seatbelt in a car – just do it! In Michigan, anyone under 20 years of age must wear a helmet while riding on a motorcycle.
  • Stay visible: Motorcycles are harder to spot in traffic than other vehicles. This means you must be extra vigilant in keeping a safe distance, staying out of people’s blind spots, and making sure your vehicle lights are working properly.
  • Wear safety gear: Again, motorcyclists are more exposed and more likely to sustain an injury in an accident. If your DOT-approved helmet doesn’t cover your entire face, you need to wear shatterproof goggles, a face shield, or a windshield to protect your face and eyes. Don’t forget heavy-duty riding pants, gloves, jackets, and boots to protect your skin and body from wind and road rash. 
  • Don’t drink and drive: This is another no-brainer – driving and alcohol don’t mix! 

Contact the Motorcycle Accident Law Firm of Lee Steinberg If You’ve Been Hurt

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If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle crash in Michigan, you may be legally entitled to compensation. Learn about your options by speaking with a Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer at Lee Steinberg Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Call our Michigan motorcycle accident lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or request your free consultation here. You’ll pay nothing until we settle your case.