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Motorcycle Licensing Requirements in Tampa

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Motorcycle Licensing Requirements in Tampa

Florida residents own more motorcycles than the inhabitants of any other state except California. Florida’s warm and sunny weather allows motorcyclists to ride throughout the year.

But motorcycles are different from cars. A motorcyclist must have the skill and training to ride safely. As a result, every state requires motorcycle operators to meet special licensing requirements before they can legally operate a motorcycle.

Need a consultation? Contact our experienced lawyers at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers today at (813) 223-6200!

How Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Tampa, FL

How Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Tampa, FL

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers is a Tampa, Florida, personal injury law firm. Founded over twenty years ago, our firm has since recovered tens of millions of dollars to help clients pay their medical bills and get their lives back after a serious accident.

Our Tampa motorcycle accident lawyers can help you after a collision by:

  • Conducting a free consultation to discuss your accident and your legal rights
  • Providing personalized service, including a legal strategy tailored to your case
  • Standing up to insurers and advocating for a fair and just settlement
  • Representing you in court if we cannot reach an agreement

Motorcycle accidents can cause life-changing mental and physical trauma. Contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation at (813) 223-6200 to learn how you can pursue injury compensation after your accident.

Why Do Tampa Motorcyclists Need a Special License?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 30% of motorcyclists killed in 2019 were riding without a valid motorcycle license. There is no guarantee that all of those riders would have avoided their motorcycle accidents if they had obtained valid motorcycle licenses, but at least some may have survived.

For this reason, every state requires riders to obtain a motorcycle license or a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license before operating a motorcycle. The exact licensing requirements vary by state, but 49 states and the District of Columbia require applicants for motorcycle licenses to take and pass a motorcycle safety course.

Florida Motorcycle License Requirements

Florida handles motorcycle licensing through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). By imposing statewide motorcycle licensing requirements, the FLHSMV ensures that all riders on Florida’s roads have met the same training and testing standards.

The motorcycle licensing requirements in Tampa depend on your current age and licensing status. Read below for details:

Previously Licensed in Another State

If you hold a motorcycle license from any state except Alabama, you have already met or exceeded Florida’s motorcycle licensing requirements. You can obtain a Florida motorcycle license by simply turning in your out-of-state motorcycle license and paying the license fee after obtaining Florida residency.

Alabama motorcycle license holders must prove that they took and passed an approved motorcycle safety course. If you turn in your Alabama motorcycle license and a motorcycle safety course certificate of completion, you will receive a Florida motorcycle license.

Currently Hold a Florida Driver’s License

If you have a valid Florida driver’s license, you can obtain a motorcycle endorsement for your license by:

  • Taking and passing a Basic Rider Course approved by FLHSMV
  • Visiting an FLHSMV office within one year of passing your course to pay the endorsement fee

The Basic Rider Course required in Florida follows the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s motorcycle safety course syllabus. This class takes 15 hours, but you will complete it in one day. The instructor will split the time evenly between classroom instruction and hands-on practice. It ends with a skills test.

The classroom portion of the course will teach you to ride safely, particularly around other vehicles. 

The skills topics covered in the course include:

  • Accelerating
  • Braking
  • Shifting gears
  • Turning
  • Emergency swerving and braking
  • Low-speed maneuvering
  • Crossing obstacles like train tracks

When attending the class, you must bring eye protection and gloves and wear long pants and a long shirt or jacket. The course sponsor will provide a motorcycle helmet and a motorcycle for you to ride during the skills portion.

Unlicensed and Over 18 Years Old

If you are over 18 but do not hold a driver’s license, you can obtain a motorcycle-only license by:

  • Taking and passing the Basic Rider Course from an approved course sponsor
  • Taking and passing the written driver’s license examination
  • Paying the license fee within one year of passing the course

This license only permits you to ride motorcycles and mopeds. You cannot use a motorcycle-only license to drive a car.

Unlicensed and Under 18 Years Old

If you are under 18 years old, you can get a motorcycle-only license by:

  • Obtaining a learner’s permit and holding it for one year without any citations
  • Taking and passing an approved Basic Rider Course
  • Taking and passing the written driver’s license examination
  • Visiting an FLHSMV office to pay the license fee after passing the course

Alternatively, you can obtain your driver’s license and then seek a motorcycle endorsement. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

You can cause motorcycle accidents even when you have the training and knowledge needed for a license. To discuss the compensation you can pursue for your motorcycle crash injuries, contact our experienced lawyers at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers today at (813) 223-6200 for a free consultation.

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