Do Motorcycle Licenses Transfer Between States?



Moving home, particularly to another state is an exciting and often stressful time.

So much to think about, but don’t forget you need to transfer your motorcycle driver’s license.

So, do motorcycle licenses transfer between states?

Yes, you can transfer your motorcycle license between states. Although the vast majority of regulations are the same, there may be some local ones to learn.

You can transfer your motorcycle license by visiting your new state’s’ DMV or licensing agency. 

What do you need to transfer your license?

To make the process of transferring your motorcycle licene between states easy, make sure you have the following documents when you visit the DMV.

  • Your current driving license
  • Some other form of identification – passport, credit card, or other ID
  • Social security number proof
  • An official document showing your new address – rental or purchase document, utility bill
  • Take and pass the sight test
  • New driving license fee

Different state requirements

While the majority of driving rules are the same across the US, it is well worth checking if there are any specific regulations for your new state.

You will have to take a written test at the DMV to get your motorcycle permit transferred to your new license. 

You can practice for the test using free DMV tests. It is a good idea to get a copy of the state’s motorcycle handbook and keep practicing until you are 100% confident.

Has your license expired?


If your motorcycle license has expired, then renew it in our old state before attempting to transfer it to your new state. This will save you a lot of headaches and trouble. 

An expired motorcycle license may not be accepted by your new state DMV and you may have to apply for a new license.

To get your new license, you may have to take an eye test, a written test, and an on-road driving test. That is a lot of hassle for the sake of keeping your license up to date!

Special requirements for teenagers

Depending on your age, some states may have additional requirements, even if you are transferring a full motorcycle license from your current state. You may have to complete specific riding courses before the state will issue a new motorcycle license.

Contact the local DMV of your new state to confirm their requirements.

Non-US licenses

If you are moving to the US from another country, it is highly recommended that you get an International Driving Permit (IDP) before you leave home. 

While an IDP is not a driving license itself, it provides a translation of your license into multiple languages, including English. It also shows that you have the relevant license for the vehicle you are driving.

An IDP should allow you to drive for up to a year without transferring your license. This gives you time to discover the requirements for your particular state and prepare.

Final thoughts

Transferring your license when you move between states shouldn’t be a problem, but a bit of planning beforehand will certainly help and make the process smoother.

Also see what is a motorcycle endorsement.