Motorcycle license

Driver license requirements |Instruction permit​ | DMV road testRiderCourses ​| Motorcycle road test waiver​​

​​​Motorcycle means a motor vehicle originally manufactured with motive power, a seat or saddle requiring the rider to sit astride, not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, steering controlled by handlebars, and acceleration and braking controlled with handlebar and foot controls and that is capable of speeds in excess of 30 miles per hour.​​​

​​Driver license requirements

  • ​A Class M motorcycle license or motorcycle instruction permit is required to operate a motorcycle on Wisconsin roads.
  • To obtain a Wisconsin Class M license, you must either complete an approved Rider Course, hold a Wisconsin motorcycle instruction permit and complete a motorcycle road test, OR surrender a valid motorcycle license from another state.

​Instruction permit

A motorcycle instruction permit is valid for 6 months. If the motorcycle instruction permit expires before the applicant completes the skill test, the permit can be renewed for an additional 6 months. Once the motorcycle instruction permit has been renewed two times, you would be required to show proof of enrollment in an approved Basic Motorcycle RiderCours​e (BRC) or the 3-Wheel Basic RiderCourse before renewal of the license is allowed.​

To obtain a motorcycle instruction permit, the applicant must:

  • Pass the motorcycle knowledge test
  • Pass the signs test
  • Pass a vision screening

These restrictions apply during the period the instruction permit is held:

  • Must wear eye protection
  • Must wear an approved helmet
  • After dark, the permit holder must be accompanied by a person at least 25 years old with two years licensed driving experience and a Class M motorcycle license
    • The licensed person does not need to be a passenger on your motorcycle but must be nearby

If under age 18, the following are also required:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have a sponsor
  • Provide proof of Driver Ed completion (unless you already hold a probationary license)
  • Complete a Basic Motorcycle RiderCourse (BRC)​
    • ​Proof of enrollment in a BRC must be provided to the DMV prior to obtaining a motorcycle instruction permit
    • ​Most completion certificates are sent electronically to DMV. You may still want to bring your BRC waiver

DMV road test

  • ​The applicant must provide a motorcycle in good working order and wear eye protection and an approved helmet.
  • Skills tests are conducted by appointment at DMV customer service centers located throughout the state
  • Tests taken on a 3-wheel motorcycle will have a 3-wheel motorcycle restriction​
  • If you have a Bluetooth headset, you can bring it for the road test appointment, otherwise, one will be provided for you to use


There are three types of approved courses for motorcycle skills test waiver:

There are other courses​ ​available that help improve riding skills but do not count toward the waiver.

Point reduction

Successful completion of either the Basic RiderCourse or the Advanced RiderCourse can also be used to reduce your driving record demerit points for motorcycle violations by up to 3 points, which you have been convicted of during the prior 12 months. A person is limited to only one point reduction every five years.

Courses are provided throughout Wisconsin and during the riding season by training sponsors​ in various locations.

Contact Motorcycle Safety Program for more course information.


Motorcycle road test waiver

Instead of taking a skills test at a DMV, applicants may complete an approved Basic Motorcycle RiderCourse (BRC). Bring the waiver to a DMV and the c​lass M license will be added to your driver license. Some​ completion certificates are sent electronically to the DMV.​ The BRC waiver certificate is valid for 1 year from completion date.

EmailWisconsin DMV email service​​​