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How to Get Motorcycle License in Illinois

Posted on October 31, 2021 in

Like motor vehicle drivers, motorcyclists in Illinois must comply with multiple laws, regulations, and requirements. One of the most important is to obtain a Class M or Class L motorcycle license through the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Obtaining a motorcycle license in Illinois is simple and very similar to the driver’s license process.

Types of Motorcycle Licenses in Illinois

There are two types of motorcycle licenses in Illinois: Class M and Class L. A Class L license allows you to operate any motorcycle with a displacement under 150cc. A Class M license allows you to operate any motorcycle on Illinois roads. Most Illinois motorcyclists obtain the Class M license, as it does not restrict the type of vehicle you can ride. The process for obtaining the two types of licenses is essentially the same.

Requirements for Obtaining a Motorcycle License in Illinois

To obtain a motorcycle license in Illinois, you will first need to obtain a Class L or Class M motorcycle permit. To qualify for a permit, you must meet one of the following groups of criteria.

  • If you are 18 years or older, you must complete a written exam on the rules of the road. You could also complete an optional motorcycle safety course to waive the written and driving test requirements.
  • If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must complete a driver’s education course and be enrolled in a motorcycle training program.

After you obtain your Class L or Class M permit, it is valid for 12 months if you are 18 or older. The permit is valid for 24 months if you are under the age of 18. You can use this permit to operate a motorcycle during the day and under the supervision of another motorcyclist who holds a valid Class M license, has at least one year of experience, and is over the age of 21.

Before your permit expires, you will need to take a few more steps to get your motorcycle license.

  • Bring a valid ID card to an Illinois Secretary of State Driver Services location
  • Present proof of completion of a motorcycle rider education course
  • Take the written and driving skills exam or present proof of completion of an IDOT motorcycle safety course
  • Pass a vision exam
  • Pay a permit fee

Insurance Requirements for Illinois Motorcyclists

After obtaining your motorcycle license, it is important to be aware of the other laws that motorcyclists need to follow. In particular, you must carry insurance to protect your interests in the event of an accident. Illinois is a fault accident state, meaning that at-fault drivers are financially responsible for paying for the losses of their victims after a collision.

Illinois law requires all motorcyclists to hold the following minimum amounts of liability insurance. You can choose to purchase higher amounts of insurance coverage if you choose.

  • $25,000 for injury or death to one person per accident.
  • $50,000 for total injury or death per accident
  • $20,000 for property damage per accident

If you are injured by another driver while operating your motorcycle, you can file a claim against his or her insurance to recover compensation for your losses. However, motorcyclists are often subject to unfair scrutiny during the insurance process. To protect your interests during the claims process, contact a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible following your accident to represent your case.