How Old Do You Have To Be To Ride A Motorcycle?


Are you considering purchasing your child a motorcycle and want to know if they are old enough? Perhaps you have heard that children can’t ride motorcycles and want to know if this is true?

Or are you curious and want to know more? Whatever the reason might be that brought you here today, I am here with the answers you need! 

How Old Do You Have To Be To Ride A Motorcycle?

Knowing whether your child is old enough to ride a motorcycle or not can be challenging. The last thing you want to do is buy them a bike or let them hop on the back of yours, only to be pulled over by the cops or served with a hefty fine. 

So you head online to find out more. But no matter what you do, you just can’t find the answers that you need! Everything you find is conflicting information or a vague response that leaves you none the wiser. 

Well, no more! Today I am here with the answers for you! Just keep reading to find out how old you have to be to ride a motorcycle and everything else that you need to know today! 

How Old Do You Have To Be To Ride A Motorcycle?

Let’s get straight into it! Unfortunately, the answer today isn’t a straightforward one, but don’t worry, I do have the answer for you!

How old you need to be to ride a motorcycle varies from state to state. There is currently no country-wide law that applies to all 50 states, but rather each state can set its own laws about this. 

It is important that you check what the laws are in your state before you purchase a motorcycle or put a child on your motorcycle.

Breaking these laws, even without knowing what they are, can leave you with a fine or points on your license! You can check the exact laws with your state’s DMV office, or by searching for these laws online.

The laws also cover how old passengers can be riding on a motorcycle. So let’s look briefly at these laws now to help you better understand how old you can be! 

How Old Can Passengers Be On A Motorcycle? 

Only five states have laws covering the age of a passenger on a motorcycle. In  Arkansas, you must be at least eight years old to ride as a passenger on a motorcycle.

In Hawaii, you can be seven years old or older. And in Louisiana, Texas, and Washington you must be five years or older to ride a motorcycle as a passenger. 

All other states have no restrictions on how old or tall a passenger must be before they can ride on a motorcycle.

Here you will need to use your own judgment to decide if it is safe for your child to ride as a passenger on your motorcycle or not. Remember, they will need a helmet and other safety equipment while they are riding! 

How Old Can You Be To Ride A Motorcycle?

To ride a motorcycle, in most states you must be 16 years old or older. You will also need to take a driving exam and have a learner’s permit before you can hop on a motorcycle and start riding.

In other states though, you can get your motorcycle license at 14, providing young people with a way to travel around their area. 

You can check how old you need to be in your state by contacting your local DMV office or checking the laws online.

Don’t forget to also check the laws regarding any tests, exams, or safety equipment that needs to be worn when riding a motorcycle.

Not all states have laws regarding safety equipment, but some, like Georgia, require anyone under the age of 21 to legally wear a helmet. I suggest wearing a helmet no matter your age, though! You only get one head, you don’t want to damage it! 

Do I Need To Pass A Test To Ride A Motorcycle?

I mentioned tests and exams earlier, so let me revisit this quickly before you leave. Most states will require you to take a motorcycle safety course or driving test before you can qualify for their learners permit.

The permit will work in a similar way to learner permits for vehicles, and you will need to pass another test to get your full motorcycle license. 

Some states don’t require this, but it is becoming more and more common to need a license to ride a motorcycle.

Do I Need To Pass A Test To Ride A Motorcycle?

Not only does it ensure that you have an understanding of how the motorcycle works, but that other riders also know what they are doing. The last thing you want is an unskilled rider crashing into you or damaging other vehicles because they don’t know how to handle the bike! 

The cost of permits and tests varies from state to state, and you can find out more information by contacting your local DMV office. These days, you can find all the information directly on their websites too and even apply for the permit online.

Whether you need to sit the exam in person or online will depend on your location these days, but anyone at the DMV office can provide you with more information about this! 

No matter where you live, if you want to ride a motorcycle on main roads, it’s safe to assume that you will need to take a test. And even if you don’t, you should still familiarize yourself with the Highway Code so that you are using the roads safely and carefully. 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it! While the age you can ride a motorcycle varies, you usually need to be around sixteen years old and have a learner’s permit that allows you to ride a motorcycle safely and carefully.

The age a passenger can be is far more flexible, and depending on the state, the decision is down to you. No matter the age, make sure that the correct safety equipment is worn at all times! 

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