What Are the Motorcycle License Requirements in Missouri?

Originally posted on July 12, 2021. Updated on January 23, 2023.

Riding a motorcycle is a fantastic way to enjoy the open roads in Missouri. They also provide a convenient form of transportation in busy cities with limited parking, especially during nice weather.

However, riding a motorcycle requires a Class M license in Missouri. Additional tests and certification are requisite for this license type, especially if you are under 18. The requirements increase further if you are trying to get a license that is compliant with the new REAL ID requirements under federal law.

If you’re thinking about getting your motorcycle license, make sure you have all the necessary documentation and meet the eligibility requirements. Here’s what you need to know about the motorcycle license requirements in Missouri.


The first step toward a Missouri motorcycle license is to get a permit. You can obtain a motorcycle license permit at age 15½ in Missouri. However, anyone under 16 must complete a motorcycle driving course before the permit can be issued. Applicants under age 16 are also restricted to riding only during daylight hours, no more than 50 miles from home.

For permit applicants over the age of 16, the motorcycle driving course is optional. However, these motorcyclists are still subject to additional restrictions, such as no passengers, while working towards their full license.

To get a full license, applicants must be 18 years or older. After successfully obtaining it, license holders can carry passengers and are not subject to other restrictions.


To qualify for a Missouri motorcycle license, you must prove that you are a U.S. citizen or legally authorized to be in the U.S. You must also be able to provide your age, Social Security Number, and documents proving your Missouri residency.

You can prove your identity and eligibility with various documents, including your birth certificate, Social Security Card, and utility bills. To qualify for a REAL ID-compliant license, you will need an embossed copy of your birth certificate issued by your state’s birth vital records agency. The hospital copy or a photocopy will not suffice.

You will also be asked to present your out-of-state license if you have one. Your out-of-state driver’s license may also help verify your identity if you are applying for a non-REAL ID-compliant license and the license has been expired for less than 184 days.


The motorcycle driving test consists of a knowledge test for general driving skills and an additional written knowledge test with questions about motorcycle riding. This test may be waived if you currently possess a valid out-of-state motorcycle license.

If you have not completed a motorcycle riding course, you will also need to take a motorcycle riding skills test. This test may be done either in traffic or on a private course, depending on the exact testing location.

You technically do not need to meet a minimum number of riding hours before taking your full driver’s license exam as long as you have had the permit for at least 6 months. However, lack of experience and poor skills are factors in many motorcycle accidents, so riders should gain as much experience as possible on safe roadways around their home before venturing out in poor weather or at night.


Mini-motorcycles, mopeds, and motorized bicycles are popular with young people. Missouri law technically considers these small vehicles separate from motorcycles and defines them as having a motor cylinder capacity of fewer than 3.1 in3.

However, these are still considered motor vehicles under Missouri state law and require a driver’s license to operate on public roadways. They do not require insurance or registration with state authorities, but they must follow all applicable motor vehicle laws.


It’s essential to be as safe as possible when riding, so keep in mind that just because you’re eligible for a license doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brush up on your skills. Defensive driving could make a serious difference in the outcome of a collision, especially when you’re driving near larger vehicles.


If you are involved in an accident, you’ll need the help of experienced St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyers to defend your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Lawyers at Cofman Townsley have experience in Missouri motorcycle laws and can help you establish the facts of the accident and seek justice in your case. Contact our team today for a free, no-obligation consultation.