Do I need a motorcycle license in New Jersey?

To legally operate a motorcycle in New Jersey, you must either have a valid motorcycle license, or an endorsement to drive one as a part of your vehicle driver’s license.

You must also have the following

  • Non-reflective helmet with four inches of reflective tape on each side
  • Goggles or face shield if your motorcycle does not have a windscreen
  • Protective helmets for all passengers (it is harder to receive full compensation in a crash if you get a head injury with no helmet)

If you wish to be licensed to ride a motorcycle in New Jersey, you must follow these steps.

  • If under age 18, complete (and pass) New Jersey’s Motorcycle Basic Rider Course
  • Present completion documents to a driver testing center
  • Apply for a motorcycle permit
  • Pass a vision test

Adults (18 and over) who wish to have a motorcycle license or endorsement on their driver’s license without the Basic Rider Course must do the following:

  • Apply for a motorcycle permit at their local motor vehicle agency (MVA).  They will be given a temporary restricted license
  • Pass the MVA’s knowledge and vision test
  • Make an appointment for a road test date (no sooner than 20 days from the date you apply for the motorcycle permit)
  • Practice ride for a minimum of 20 days
  • Show up for the road test with a registered and insured motorcycle and wearing approved helmet and eye protection
  • Pass the road test
  • Pay the license fee

While they have their temporary restricted motorcycle license, motorcyclists may not operate their bike between sunset and sunrise, carry passengers, or ride on any state toll road or limited access freeway.

Titles and Registration for Motorcycles in New Jersey

All motorcycles must be titled and registered in New Jersey and meet National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) minimum safety standards. To register your motorcycle, visit an MVA office.

Bring your current proof of insurance and one of the following documents.

  • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin
  • New Jersey or out-of-state title
  • Notarized bill-of-sale from the previous owner/dealer

The above applies only to “street bikes.” It is illegal to operate an off-road “dirt bike” or ATV on any public highway or thoroughfare in New Jersey. Their use is restricted to private property only.

Motorcycle Crashes in New Jersey

If an unlicensed operator of a motorcycle crashes on a public thoroughfare and it was not his or her fault, the biker is not liable for injuries. However, many unlicensed motorcycle riders tend to not have liability insurance. So that’s two tickets they’ll likely receive; which could undermine their position if they try to seek damages from the person who caused the accident.

The defendant’s lawyer will certainly question their right to be on the street at the time of the crash. Since New Jersey is a comparative fault state, the odds of an unlicensed/uninsured biker collecting full damages could be rather low. To cover your rights, call Cordisco & Saile LLC at (215) 642-2335 or fill out our contact form.