Texas motorcycle drivers aren’t usually surprised when their teens beg to have a bike of their own. Sure, they may not know the basics of motorcycle insurance and maintenance, but that can always come later.
This article walks you through everything you and your teen should know about getting a first bike and estimating how much everything will cost.
What Are the Steps to Get a Teen Motorcycle License in Texas?
If your teen is interested in a motorcycle, then you’ve probably already talked to them about basic safety, winter care, and other important things. But before they take their first ride on their own, you’ll have to complete a few essential steps:
- Take a general driver education course
- Take a motorcycle safety course
- Get a bike for your teen
- Get insurance for your teen’s motorcycle
- Apply for a motorcycle learner’s permit
Each step has an associated cost. Let’s go through each of them in detail.
1. Driver Education Course
Not only will your teen require a separate license in Texas to drive a motorcycle, but they’ll also need to show that they’ve completed a separate motorcycle safety course in addition to the “regular” driver education course.
So, as you’re calculating the total cost to get your teen on a bike for the first time, be sure to factor in the time and cost of the general driver’s ed course. The cost for a 32-hour classroom course for teens will cost anywhere from $75 to $150. Some schools charge more but include behind-the-wheel training, though you’ll only need to present a certificate of completion for the classroom to be eligible for a motorcycle safety course.
2. Motorcycle Safety Course
If your teen has completed 32 hours of driver’s education classroom instruction, then they can take an approved motorcycle safety course, which will cover Texas motorcycle laws and safety practices. After completing the course, make sure to get an MSB-8 or MSB-8R completion certificate. You’ll need this form to get a motorcycle learner’s permit.
An approved motorcycle safety course costs about $200 to $250. Note that the completion certificate is only valid for 24 months, so be sure to apply for the motorcycle learner’s permit within that timeframe.
3. Getting a Bike for Your Teen in Texas
The most expensive part of any motorcycle license process is getting the bike itself. This, of course, is completely up to you. But as you shop around for a motorcycle for your teen, it’s important to consider two things.
First, the value of your teen’s bike will affect your overall insurance rates. The more expensive the motorcycle, the higher the insurance premium. Second, 15-year-olds are limited to driving motorcycles with no more than 250cc (cubic centimeters). If you’re looking to get your teen something bigger, then it’s best to wait until they turn 16. At that point, they’ll be able to operate a motorcycle of any size.
Finally, don’t forget to get your teen a helmet. Texas law states that any motorcycle driver or passenger under 21 must wear a helmet. No exceptions.
4. Getting Texas Motorcycle Insurance for Your Teen
The next step is to ensure that your teen’s bike is properly insured. Just like with car insurance, motorcycle insurance is mandatory in Texas, and your teen can get into a lot of trouble if they’re pulled over without a valid motorcycle insurance policy.
Teens tend to engage in high-risk driving, so motorcycle insurance for them will be higher than insurance for older riders or insurance for passenger cars. For example, the average motorcycle insurance cost for a 19-year-old is about $995 per year, which is higher than the overall average cost for motorcycle insurance in Texas (around $475 per year).
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to reduce motorcycle premiums, such as installing security devices or bundling your insurance policies.
5. Getting a Motorcycle Learner’s Permit in Texas
Once your teen has taken all the required courses and has an insured bike ready, then they can apply for a motorcycle learner’s permit, officially known as a Class M license with a J restriction.
If your teen is under 18, then the fee for a motorcycle learner’s permit is only $16 in Texas, but the license will always expire on their 18th birthday.
With a motorcycle learner’s permit, your teen will be able to operate a motorcycle only when in sight of someone else who has a motorcycle (Class M) license and is at least 21 years old. At this point, the process is the same as for all Texas teen drivers, and they’ll have to log enough driving hours before they’re eligible to take a driving test and obtain a provisional motorcycle license.
The provisional license restricts when your teen can operate their bike (driving late at night won’t be allowed) as well as who they can carry as passengers.
Find Affordable Motorcycle Insurance for Your Teen in Texas
A lot of the overall cost of getting your teen a bike will be motorcycle insurance. At Baja Auto Insurance, we work with teen bikers and their parents to find the best possible rates on motorcycle insurance. All it takes is a few minutes for an online quote for Texas motorcycle insurance. Or you can visit one of our offices in person or give us a call at (800)-401-6870.