Can You Buy a Motorcycle Without a License?


Yes, you can buy a motorcycle without a license. There are no laws or regulations requiring you to have a license to purchase a motorcycle 

Maybe you’re buying it as a gift for a friend or family member. Maybe you’re just going to ride it on your private property and not public roads. Maybe you saw a good deal and want to buy the motorcycle and get your permit or license afterwards.

The dealership doesn’t care. They just want your money.

That said, you do have to consider how you’re going to transport the motorcycle after you buy it. Without a license you won’t legally be able to ride it, so you’ll have to find another way to get it home.

Can you get a loan for a motorcycle without a license?

Yes, just like you can buy a motorcycle without a license, a bank can give you a loan for a motorcycle without a license. After all, you could be buying the motorcycle as a gift or for use only on private property. 

That said, most banks will require that you have insurance before they give you the loan. This is so you don’t crash it and then default on your loan. That brings us to our next question.

Can you get motorcycle insurance without a license?

Yes, once again, you can often get motorcycle coverage without a license. This is not always the case, though, and some insurance companies may require a motorcycle license number 

Can you buy a motorcycle with a learner’s permit?

Yes, absolutely – you don’t even need a license at all. Having a learner’s permit, though, will let you ride it off the lot. 

In fact, I’d say this is the best time to buy a motorcycle. Then you can take the practical test for your license on your new bike.

Options for Motorcycle Transportation

If you don’t have your license, you’ll need a legal way to get your motorcycle home from the dealership or wherever you bought it. Luckily, there are several different ways to do this:

Ask about delivery options:

motorbike on trailer

If you’re buying a motorcycle from a professional dealership, they may very well provide delivery within a certain range. This could be for an additional fee, or some might offer it for free.

If you’re buying your motorcycle off Craigslist, Billy Bob from two towns over probably won’t want to go through the trouble of delivering your motorcycle. But hey, it’s always worth asking. Just make sure to offer to drive him home after, and a little extra cash never hurts your chances.

Ask a friend with a motorcycle license:

This was my go-to when I decided to buy an old Honda Goldwing before I’d gotten my license.

I drove a buddy down with me to the man’s house who was selling it. Then, my friend rode it back to my house while I followed him in my car.

As an added bonus, he was able to look over the Goldwing and make sure everything was good to go since he knew a bit more about motorcycles than me at the time.

Just make sure you or your friend have insurance that covers them while they’re riding it.

Get a truck:

Whether you have your own truck or can borrow one from a friend, this is an easy solution, especially for smaller motorcycles. Just make sure you measure the bike and the bed of your truck first to make sure it’ll fit. If it doesn’t, you may need a bigger option like a moving truck.

Another thing to keep in mind is the weight of the motorcycle. Even for a small bike, you’ll probably need a ramp to wheel it up into the truck.

For really heavy bikes, you won’t just need a ramp, you’ll probably need help. I wouldn’t count on the dealership either. Bring a buddy or consider hiring a moving service.

When You Should Get Your License First

I would definitely advise getting your license before buying a brand new or otherwise expensive motorcycle. This is for a couple reasons.

First, you don’t want to make such a large—and depreciable—investment before you’ve gone through the licensing bureaucracy.

While it’s unlikely, imagine that for whatever reason you aren’t able to get a license or change your mind about going through the hassle. Now you’re out thousands of dollars.

Second, getting your license at least ensures you have some level of motorcycle skill and know-how.

This will let you better choose a motorcycle that fits your needs. Plus, you’ll be less likely to do something like drop your brand new bike and ruin the paint job. Get some experience first.