Frequently Asked Questions
7 day advanced notice for all rescheduling or refunds. A $50 rescheduling/cancellation fee will be applied. There can be no refunds for requests received less than 7 days.
1. All motorcyclists must:
- have a motorcycle instruction permit or a motorcycle endorsement.
- register their motorcycle and display a valid license plate.
- carry liability insurance for their bike and proof of insurance when riding.
- wear eye protection, either a face shield, goggles, or glasses. Windshields no longer meet legal requirements.
2. When riding on a motorcycle permit, riders:
- must wear a DOT-approved helmet.
- cannot carry passengers.
- cannot ride on interstate freeways.
- cannot ride at night. Motorcycle permits are valid for one year.
3.If you are under 18, you must:
- complete an approved motorcycle rider training course.
- wear a DOT-approved helmet.
4. For street-legal motorcycles:
- if the motorcycle has a passenger seat, it must also have passenger footrests.
- a rear view mirror, horn, and muffler are required equipment.
- the headlight must be on at all times when riding. Motorcycles are required to have at least one, but not more than two, headlights with both high and low beam. Headlight modulators are legal in Minnesota as an exception to FMVSS 571.108.
- a red tail light is required, including a brake or stop lamp. A "blue dot" on the tail light of up to one inch in diameter is legal.
- at least one brake is required, front or rear, which may be operated by hand or foot.
5. Motorcycle Laws
- Motorcyclists are entitled to the full use of their lane and have all the rights and responsibilities of other drivers.
- Motorcyclists are permitted to use high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) carpool lanes.
- All laws regarding driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs apply to motorcyclists as well.
- Passengers under 18 must wear a DOT-approved helmet
- Motorcyclists may only ride on a permanent seat. Passengers may ride on a passenger seat or in a sidecar.
- Passengers must be able to reach both footpegs while seated on the bike.
- Operators and passengers must face forward with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.
- Motorcyclists must not carry anything that interferes with holding onto the handlebars.
- Splitting traffic is illegal. No one except on-duty police officers may ride between lanes of traffic or in the same lane with other vehicles. It is legal for two motorcyclists to ride side-by-side in the same lane if both riders agree to it beforehand.
- Headphones/earphones: one ear only.
Penalties for riding without a motorcycle endorsement or instruction permit include up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, and having the motorcycle towed and impounded.
Sec. 42. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 169.06, is amended by adding a subdivision to read: Subd. 9. [AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE RELATING TO UNCHANGING TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNAL.] A person operating a motorcycle who violates subdivision 4 by entering or crossing an intersection controlled by a traffic-control signal against a red light has an affirmative defense to that charge if the person establishes all of the following conditions: (1) the motorcycle has been brought to a complete stop; (2) the traffic-control signal continues to show a red light for an unreasonable time; (3) the traffic-control signal is apparently malfunctioning or, if programmed or engineered to change to a green light only after detecting the approach of a motor vehicle, the signal has apparently failed to detect the arrival of the motorcycle; and (4) no motor vehicle or person is approaching on the street or highway to be crossed or entered or is so far away from the intersection that it does not constitute an immediate hazard. (b) The affirmative defense in this subdivision applies only to a violation for entering or crossing an intersection controlled by a traffic-control signal against a red light and does not provide a defense to any other civil or criminal action.
Minnesota law mandates that your automobile insurance policy includes coverage for you if you are involved in a crash with an underinsured or uninsured motorist. There are NO such mandates for you with your motorcycle coverage. This means if you are involved in a serious accident with a motorist who has minimal or no insurance, you could be faced with many bills and out-of-pocket expenses of your own! Talk with your insurance agent about adding these very basic protective features to your motorcycle policy.
If you are over 18 years of age, in order to obtain your motorcycle permit, you must pass a knowledge (written, multiple choice) test. No riding skill is required - just knowledge. The permit test can only be taken at a DPS exam station (link) - no appointment is necessary. DPS charges $21 for the permit. Permit manuals are not available in print from DPS but here is the link to read online or download and print the manual.
If you are under 18, you must attend the Rider Academy Basic RiderCourse (BRC) in its entirety. Upon completion of the BRC, you will receive official paperwork allowing you to take the written permit test at DPS. After passing the written permit test, you can immediately take the riding (skills) test to obtain your motorcycle endorsement.
Mopeds are defined in statute as having less than 50cc, 2 brake horsepower or capable of speeds less than 30 mph. Anyone in possession of a drivers license can operate a moped.
If you are 15 years old or older, and do not have a drivers license (cannot be suspended or revoked), you can take the classroom component of the Rider Academy BRC and receive official paperwork allowing you to obtain your moped permit at DPS.
In order to signup for the classroom component only, please call 612-424-1595. You must attend two classroom sessions - each is 2.5-3 hours long. Classroom sessions take place Thursday/Friday morning or Saturday/Sunday morning. The fee is $50.