Knowing the basics of the Massachusetts RMV Motorcycle Test

In order to operate a motorcycle in the state of Massachusetts, you must first obtain a Massachusetts class M motorcycle license or endorsement. A big part of obtaining this is taking the actual motorcycle road test. The following article provides an overview of the requirements and procedures of the RMV motorcycle road test.

What is required before I can take the Massachusetts RMV motorcycle road test?

What is required of you before you can take your RMV motorcycle test and thereby earn your motorcycle or endorsement varies depending on whether or not you are at least 18 years of age or not. Anyone wanting to take the test, regardless of age, must first hold a valid Massachusetts class M permit. In order to sign up to take the test, you must first call the RMV telephone center and make an appointment. You will not be able to walk into an RMV office and make appointment, they will only schedule over the phone. They can be reached at either 857-368-8000 (anyone calling from the 339,617,781, or 857 area codes, or anyone calling from out of state) or at 800-858-3926 (all other callers)

If you are over 18, the following must be completed before you can attempt to take your RMV motorcycle test:

  • Present your valid Massachusetts class M learners permit.
  • Show appropriate identification that can prove your date of birth, signature, residency, and social security number. Examples of these documents can be found here
  • Pay the 50 dollar registration fee

If you are under 18 years of age, you can still apply for a class M license, but you must additionally meet all of the requirement of a junior operator license. They are:

  • Complete the Massachusetts Rider education program basic course
  • Passed an approved drivers education course
  • Logged at least 40 hours of driving supervised by a licensed driver
  • Parent or guardian signature on the first page of your class M application form

In addition, you must also complete all of the items required of a driver over the age of 18, as listed in the paragraph above.
Once you have filled all of these requirements, it will be time to take your actual road test. Road tests are scheduled very close together, so make sure that you show up on time, ready to ride for your scheduled appointment.

What equipment will I need to have for the Massachusetts RMV motorcycle road test?

When you come in for your test, it will be important that you have the right equipment. The test will be canceled if you show up without everything you need. You must have your motorcycle, which should be safe and in good working order. Your instructor has the final say on the safety of your motorcycle, and if they deem it unsafe, the test will be canceled. You must also have proof that your motorcycle is registered. If the registration is from Massachusetts , you will be required to have the sticker proving it has passed Massachusetts required annual safety inspection. Additionally, the vehicle must be insured to the Massachusetts minimum requirements, which are $20,000/$40,000 for bodily injury and $5,000 for property damage.
You will also be required to have proper personal safety equipment. All riders need to have a DOT approved Helmet. You can identify a DOT approved helmet by locating the stickers on the inside and outside of the helmet identifying it as DOT standard. If your vehicle is not already equipped with a wind screen, you will need to bring something to protect your eyes, such as eyeglasses, goggles, or a full face shield.

What knowledge will I need to demonstrate on the RMV motorcycle test?

After the examiner has verified that you have the proper equipment in good working order and all the necessary paperwork, the actual test will begin. Your instructor will first check that you are familiar with your vehicles equipment and controls. He/she may ask you to do things like demonstrate your turn signals, show where the brake controls are located, show where the accelerator is, and other basic functions of the motorcycle.

What skills will I need to demonstrate on the RMV motorcycle test?

The next phase of the examination will test your driving skills. Examiners can ask you to do any number of things to prove that you are capable of safely operating a motorcycle on the roads and highways of Massachusetts. The examiner may ask you to perform some or all of the following on your motorcycle:

  • Without allowing your feet to touch the pavement, perform figure eights and circles in both directions
  • Perform starts and stops
  • Operate the vehicle in traffic
  • Traveling over hills
  • Performing turns
  • Safely crossing intersection

You may not have to perform all of these actions, and you may have to perform actions not listed here. It will be up to your examiner.

What if I fail the test?

There are a multitude of reasons that people fail the RMV motorcycle test. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • You are involved in any kind of accident that you are at fault for
  • You violated any traffic law
  • You were driving in a way the examiner deemed as unsafe
  • You don’t follow the examiners instructions
    *The examiner deemed that you appeared inexperienced in operation of a motorcycle.

If you fail your test the first time, you may schedule and retake another test without needing to do anything additional. If you fail a second time, you will be required to take an approved basic riding course before you can reschedule another test.

Additional resources are available on the official Massachusetts RMV website. Other information can be found by talking with other riders or anywhere motorcycle safety courses are preformed.

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