NC Licensing and Registration

Getting your Motorcycle Endorsement

The law in North Carolina requires the operator of any motorcycle to have a motorcycle endorsement shown on their driver license. An endorsement may be obtained upon initial issuance of driver license, or at any time thereafter, by taking a knowledge test that includes questions on motorcycling, and an off-street motorcycle skills test. The knowledge test will be waived on a renewal. A duplicate license may be issued to add an endorsement to your present license if the above testing requirements are satisfied.

If you are not prepared to take the skills portion of the test, you may apply for a motorcycle learner permit if you possess a full provisional, regular or commercial license. The knowledge, road sign identification and vision test are required.

When you register a motorcycle with the Division of Motor Vehicles, you will receive a license plate to be placed on the back of the motorcycle. Keep the plate clean and readable. The registration fee for a private motorcycle is $18.00, or an additional $30.00 for a personalized plate. Some counties may require a Regional Transportation Authority Registration Tax of an additional $5.00.

On-Cycle Skill Test

Basic vehicle control and collision avoidance skills are included in on-cycle tests to determine your ability to handle normal and hazardous traffic situations.

You may be tested on:

  • Know your motorcycle and your riding limits.
  • Accelerate, brake, and turn safely.
  • See, be seen and communicate with others.
  • Adjust speed and position to the traffic situation.
  • Stop, turn and swerve quickly.
  • Make critical decisions and carry them out.

Examiners may score on factors related to safety such as:

  • Selecting safe speeds to perform maneuvers.
  • Choosing the correct path and staying within boundaries.
  • Completing normal and quick stops.
  • Completing normal and quick turns, or swerves.


Click below to review the DMV Motorcycle Handbook

DMV Motorcycle Handbook