If you are interested in operating a motorcycle in Illinois, you must first obtain a permit or license to do so. There are two different motorcycle licenses available depending on the motorcycle that you want to operate. In most cases, a Class M license is obtained because it offers the versatility of riding any kind of motorcycle. If you are new to the state or lawfully operating a motorcycle, you need to follow specific steps to get your license and avoid fines or penalties.
To get the Class L or Class M permit, you have to be at least 18 years old, have a current state ID or license, pass a vision test, complete the written rules of the road exam, and pay a fee for the permit. If you are 16 or 17, you must have completed a driver’s education class and be currently enrolled in a motorcycle training program. The Class L and M permits are valid for a year for those over 18, and for two years for those who are not yet 18.
With a permit, you may only operate a motorcycle during the day while under the supervision of another motorcyclist. They must have a Class M license, a year of experience, and be at least 21 years old. After you have your permit, there are two options for being licensed.
The first option is to study the Motorcycle Operator Manual and take some practice tests to prepare for the licensing exam. You will have to pass an on-cycle driving test as well as a written test. Those who do not have a Class D license will also need to pass a behind the wheel exam and rules of the road exam. You will also be required to pass a vision screening and pay a fee for the license.
Your other option is to sign up for a Chicago motorcycle license training course approved by the IDOT. This is required for any operator who is under 18. With a certificate of completion, you can waive the on-cycle and written exams if you are over 18. Those under age will still require the on-cycle exam. There will also be a visual exam and a licensing fee.
Nova Driving School provides Chicago motorcycle license training and is the only school in Chicago that includes preparation for the written driving exam. The school has certified instructors with years of experience to help you get on the road.