Many of us ride motorcycles, whether for recreation, for daily transportation, or both. While the operation of a motorcycle in a safe manner is always important to avoid motorcycle accident injuries, this is particularly so when a motorcycle is sharing the road with other vehicles.
In Louisiana, before you are allowed to ride a motorcycle, you must demonstrate that you possess the skills and knowledge to safely operate one. This is done by obtaining a motorcycle endorsement added to your driver’s license. Learn where to take the motorcycle safety training courses and the requirements to get a motorcycle endorsement in Louisiana.
The Purpose Getting a Motorcycle Endorsement in Louisiana
Motorcycles can be a fun and fuel-efficient mode of transportation, but before you get started, be sure that you’re properly prepared. The purpose of obtaining a motorcycle endorsement is to ensure that you are educated and trained on motorcycle safety.
Our New Orleans, Louisiana, car accident lawyers understand that motorcycle safety should be taken very seriously. Far too many of the cases we’ve represented involve a motorcycle rider who has been seriously injured. While motorcycles represent just 2% of all registered vehicles in the United States, motorcycle accidents account for 5% of all highway fatalities each year.
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Motorcycle Endorsement Requirements
The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles is responsible for administering motorcycle endorsements to those who qualify. To obtain your motorcycle endorsement, you must complete:
- A vision test
- A written knowledge exam
- An on-cycle skills test
You must also pass a road skills test. For the on-cycle skills exam, you must have:
- Your current driver’s license
- Your own motorcycle to test on
- Current proof of auto insurance
- Current inspection sticker
- Current license plates
- A motorcycle helmet
Preparation can help you gain more confidence and make sure you’re ready to get your motorcycle endorsement. Louisiana offers online practice tests to ensure you are ready for the real tests.
Motorcycle Safety Courses in Louisiana
You can avoid taking the on-cycle exam if you successfully complete a state-approved motorcycle safety course. The Louisiana Department of Public Safety offers a 15.5-hour basic safety course, designed to train beginner riders in the special skills and mental attitude needed to navigate city streets and highways safely. This course includes classroom instruction as well as instruction on a motorcycle in a controlled, off-street environment.
For more advanced motorcyclists, there is also a 5-hour Advanced Rider Course, which helps riders practice cornering, braking, and evasive maneuvering techniques to keep them safer on the road.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation also offers a search feature to help you find a motorcycle safety course near you. There are many different educational programs throughout the state for those interested in learning more about motorcycle safety, such as Harley-Davidson Rider’s Edge New Rider Course or the Louisiana State Police Motorcycle Training Program.
Can I Get a Motorcycle Endorsement Without a Driver’s License?
Louisiana differs from other states, which issue separate driver’s licenses for passenger cars and motorcycles. A motorcycle endorsement is an additional certification that gets added to your driver’s license. You must have a valid Louisiana driver’s license to obtain a motorcycle endorsement.
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Can I Ride a Motorcycle Without an Endorsement in Louisiana?
It is illegal for Louisiana motorists to ride a motorcycle without first obtaining an endorsement. Uneducated and untrained riders are not only a danger to themselves but also a danger to other drivers. A motorcycle endorsement ensures motorists know how to operate a motorcycle and understand laws specific to motorcycle riders.
How Many Questions Are on the Louisiana Motorcycle Test?
There are 25 questions on the Louisiana motorcycle test. Each question is multiple choice with four answers to choose from. These questions are designed to test your understanding of traffic laws in Louisiana.
How Much Is It to Get a Motorcycle Endorsement in Louisiana?
A motorcycle endorsement requires you to pay a fee. If you have a valid driver’s license less than four years old, you pay a $15 endorsement fee. Otherwise you will pay a $19 fee.
If you need to take a motorcycle safety course, you will also pay a fee for the class. The beginner’s course costs $25 if you use your own motorcycle (not to exceed 550cc) or $100 if you need to be provided with one.
After Getting Your Motorcycle Endorsement
In addition to following the same traffic regulations required of other drivers and vehicles, a motorcycle rider must comply with the following regulations:
- You must wear a motorcycle helmet on the road
- You must wear eye protection unless your motorcycle has a windshield
- Your motorcycle must be inspected every year
- You must have proof of liability insurance or financial security at all times
- You must carry your driver’s license with your motorcycle endorsement at all times
- Your motorcycle must be registered with the state of Louisiana
Road safety is not simply a course to be taken once and forgotten. You must maintain your motorcycle for optimum performance and continue to educate yourself on any changes to Louisiana traffic laws.
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