How To Get a North Carolina Motorcycle License

To get a motorcycle license in North Carolina, you must pass a motorcycle knowledge test and a road skills test.
Written by Melanie Johnson
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
To get a motorcycle endorsement on your North Carolina driver’s license, you must pass both a motorcycle knowledge test and a road skills test.
If you already have your North Carolina driver’s license and want to transition from four wheels down to two (or three), you’ll have to apply for a motorcycle endorsement to be added to your license. Every state has different rules on how to do this. 
, the
car insurance
expert and
trusted comparison tool
, has created a handy guide to legally operating a motorcycle in North Carolina. In this article, we’ll cover how to add a motorcycle endorsement to your N.C. driver’s license, how to get a motorcycle learner’s permit, and we’ll even cover how to save on your
North Carolina car insurance costs
. Let’s get started!

Do you need a license to operate a motorcycle in North Carolina?

Yes. The minimum age to operate a motorcycle in North Carolina is 16 and you must have either: 
  • A motorcycle learner’s permit
  • A motorcycle endorsement on your provisional, regular, or commercial driver's license
If you have an out-of-state motorcycle endorsement on your license, you are allowed to drive your motorcycle in N.C., as long as you carry the required documentation with you.

How to add a motorcycle endorsement to your North Carolina driver’s license

Having a basic driver’s license is step one to legally driving your motorcycle in N.C. The next step is adding a motorcycle endorsement to your license. Here’s how to do that: 
  • Pay a $20 fee
  • Motorcycle road tests are administered at select DMV locations on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays—weather permitting. To schedule a test,
    make an appointment
    at an
    NCDMV driver’s license office.
    In addition to other fees, you can expect to pay at least $2.55 per year to keep your motorcycle endorsement. You may pay by ​cash, money orders, personal checks, or a credit or debit card. 
    FYI: Persons under the age of 18 with a motorcycle endorsement will not be allowed to drive a motorcycle with a passenger. 
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    How to get a motorcycle learner’s permit in North Carolina.

    You are eligible to apply for a motorcycle learner’s permit in North Carolina if you are at least 16 and have a full provisional license. In order to obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit, you must:
    • Pass a motorcycle knowledge test
    • Pass a vision test
    • Pass a road sign identification test
    • Pay a $21.50 fee
    Applicants under the age of 18 must have signed parental or guardian consent and successfully complete a safety course offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation or North Carolina Motorcycle Safety Education Program.
    Permits are issued for 12 months and can be renewed once for a period of six months.

    How to save on car and motorcycle insurance in North Carolina

    North Carolina requires drivers to purchase
    motorcycle insurance
    , which is usually cheaper than
    car insurance
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    Yes! To get a motorcycle endorsement on your North Carolina license, you will need to pass a motorcycle knowledge and road test.
    Motorcycles are treated like cars in North Carolina, so you are expected to follow all of the state’s rules of the road while operating one. If you are caught driving without a license, you may face fines up to $200 and three points added to your license.
    No. North Carolina law requires motorcycle and moped drivers to carry at least the minimum liability insurance in order to legally operate their vehicles.
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