Basics of Motorcycle Licensing in Pennsylvania

Suppose a licensed driver in Pennsylvania who has driven nothing but automobiles since she was 16 years old suddenly, on a whim, decide she wants to buy a motorcycle. It was something she always had a fancy for, but never acted upon it. Maybe in her youth, she borrowed a friend’s mini bike to ride through off road areas in the brush just outside town.

However, just because one is licensed to drive a automobile does not mean she is qualified to ride a motorcycle. That requires a learner’s permit and license after passing Pennsylvania’s test standards.

A few of Pennsylvania’s laws on the subject are as follows, beginning with what constitutes a motorcycle or motor driven bike.

102. Definitions.

Motorcycle - A motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground or designed to travel on two wheels in contact with the ground which is modified by the addition of two stabilizing wheels on the rear of the motor vehicle.

Motor-driven cycle - A motorcycle, including a motor scooter, with a motor which produces horsepower not to exceed five brake horsepower.

Moped - A motor-driven cycle equipped with operable pedals, a motor rated no more than 1.5 brake horsepower, a cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 cubic centimeters, and automatic transmission, and a maximum design speed of no more than 25 miles per hour, or an electric motor-driven cycle equipped with operable pedals and powered by electric battery.

1504. Classes of license.

(3) Class C - A Class C license shall be issued to those persons 18 years of age or older, except as provided in Section 1503 (relating to persons ineligible for licensing) who have demonstrated their qualifications to operate any single vehicle with a gross vehicle rating of not more than 26,000 pounds... The holder of a Class C license shall be authorized to drive a motorized pedacycle or a three-wheeled motorcycle equipped with an enclosed cab, but not a motorcycle unless the license is endorsed.

(4) Class M - A Class M license shall be issued to those persons who have demonstrated their qualifications to operate a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle.

1505. Learner's permits.

(C) Operation of motorcycle - A motorcycle learner's permit entitles the person to whom it is issued to operate a motorcycle only between sunrise and sunset and, except for a driver licensed to drive another class of vehicle, only while under the instruction and immediate supervision of a licensed motorcycle operator. Motorcycle learners shall not carry any passenger other than an instructor properly licensed to operate a motorcycle.

If a motorcycle learner does not hold a license to drive another class of vehicle, he or she can only ride under the immediate supervision of a licensed motorcycle operator. The purpose of this restriction is to teach the motorcycle learner the rules of the road in practice much like is done for newly permitted automobile operators.

All of the above information is just the beginning of the life of a motorcycle rider. Plenty who have taken to the road believe the investment in money and time is worth it, even though they know there are many risks.

The attorneys at Michael J. O’Connor & Associates understand these risks and stress the importance of being prepared and protected before you take to the road. Pennsylvania laws restrict the benefits available to motorcycle riders through motorcycle insurance policies in the event of injury.

Contact us to review your insurance policy and your plan to deal with the unfortunate event the risks of operating a motorcycle become reality. And, if they do, the firm is very experiences in handling cases involving serious injury, hospitalization, disability, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you or someone you care about has been involved in a motorcycle crash, contact us for a free consultation.

Let us fight for your rights.

By Michael O'Connor

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