Motorcycle Licensing Requirements in Florida

Every state in the country requires motorcycle operators to obtain a special license. All but one state requires motorcyclists to either pass a training course or a road test to get their license. These requirements do not arise arbitrarily. Untrained motorcyclists endanger themselves as well as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists when they do not know how to ride safely.

After a motorcycle accident in St. Petersburg, FL, your compliance with the motorcycle licensing requirements in Florida could become an issue. A lawyer from Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys will help you navigate the claim process and address any concerns about your licensing and experience.

Contact our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers at (727) 933 0015 to discuss your motorcycle crash during a free initial consultation.

How Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in St. Petersburg, FL

How Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in St. Petersburg, FL

Since 2018, Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys has fought for compensation on behalf of injured people in St. Petersburg, Florida. Our attorneys have over 25 years of combined experience representing clients against at-fault parties and their insurers.

If you get injured due to someone else’s negligent or intentional actions, our St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyers will:

  • Evaluate your claim and explain your legal options for recovering compensation
  • Gather evidence and information proving your case
  • File your insurance claim and negotiate for a fair settlement based on your losses
  • Battle in court against the at-fault party and their insurer if they refuse to settle

You can suffer disabling injuries when a driver crashes into your motorcycle. Reach out to our St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your motorcycle accident and your right to pursue compensation under Florida law.

Why Do States Require Motorcycle Licenses?

Research shows that only about 20% of motorcyclists ride without a license, but about 40% of motorcyclists in fatal accidents are unlicensed. In other words, unlicensed riders are twice as likely to have a fatal collision as licensed riders.

Riding a motorcycle requires different skills than driving a car. You cannot simply jump on a motorcycle and ride safely, regardless of how much driving experience you have. Motorcycles are inherently unstable, and riders must have balance and skill to ride safely.

Equally importantly, riders have no protection during a crash, creating grave consequences for motorcyclists who crash. The risk of death for motorcyclists in a motorcycle crash is 24 times higher than the risk of death for motorists in a car crash.

According to an analysis by Ride Smart Florida, the greatest risk factor for young riders comes from riding without a license. In 2020, 36% of riders under 30 who died in motorcycle crashes had no license. For comparison, 30% wore no helmet, 22% were impaired by drugs or alcohol, and 31% were speeding at the time of their crash.

These statistics have persuaded every state in the country to require motorcyclists to demonstrate their knowledge and skills to obtain a motorcycle license.

How To Obtain a Florida Motorcycle License

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) licenses motorcycle riders. FLHSMV can issue you a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license or a motorcycle-only license. If you already have a driver’s license, you do not need to take the written test to earn your endorsement. Motorcycle-only license applicants must pass the test.

You have two paths for obtaining your license or endorsement.

Valid Out-of-State Motorcycle License

If you hold a valid motorcycle license from any state except Alabama, FLHSMV will issue a Florida motorcycle license after you move to the state. You must prove your Florida residency and pay a fee. You must also surrender your out-of-state license. Upon completing these requirements, you will receive your new Florida motorcycle license.

Former residents of Alabama must meet one additional requirement to exchange their motorcycle licenses. Alabama does not require applicants to pass a motorcycle safety course. However, Florida considers this course an integral part of its licensing system. To exchange your Alabama license, you must prove that you completed a motorcycle safety course.

First-Time Motorcycle Licensee

First-time applicants and holders of expired motorcycle licenses must pass a motorcycle safety course before applying for a new license. The Basic RiderCourse includes 15 hours of instruction. The class includes a classroom component and a hands-on riding component. At the end of the course, you must pass a written exam and a road test.

Once you complete the course, you will take your certificate of completion to an FLHSMV office. You will pay your fees and provide proof of Florida residency. You will not need to pass a road test at FLHSMV since you passed the Basic RiderCourse road test.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Motorcycle crashes can happen even when you do everything right by obtaining a license and riding carefully. Contact Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys for a free consultation to learn about your right to pursue compensation after a motorcycle accident in St. Petersburg, FL.