Motorcycle riders regard the Lone Star state as one of the most exhilarating and open roads in the country. However, before you can take advantage of the beautiful landscape Texas has to offer bikers, you need to ensure you comply with the state’s stringent motorcycle licensing requirements. If you are involved in a collision without a motorcycle license, it may be more challenging to hold the liable party accountable. An experienced Texas motorcycle accident lawyer at Sutliff & Stout can help you understand how driving without a motorcycle license in Texas could impact your right to total compensation for your damages.
Types of Texas Motor Vehicle Licenses
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there are multiple types of driver’s licenses motorists can apply for. The type of license you will need to obtain will vary depending on which vehicle you are operating. For example, Class A, B, and C driver’s licenses, also called commercial driver licenses (CDLs), are issued to motorists driving larger commercial vehicles, such as big rigs, school buses, and public transportation buses.
Traditional passenger vehicles require Class D driver’s licenses and can apply to standard-size SUVs, pick-up trucks, and sedans. However, whether you already hold a CDL or Class D license, if you will be operating a motorcycle, you must obtain a specialized endorsement that allows you to ride a motorcycle legally.
Types of Licenses for Motorcyclists
Do you need a motorcycle license in Texas? Yes. You can only operate a motorcycle with a valid license under Texas law. There are two primary types of motorcycle licenses motorists can apply for. These include Class M driver’s licenses and Class M driver’s licenses with restrictions. Anyone holding a Class M driver’s license will not have any significant restrictions when operating a motorcycle.
However, if you have restrictions on your Class M driver’s license, it is because you are operating a motorcycle with an automatic transmission. This means you may be unable to operate a motorcycle with a manual transmission if you have a Class M driver’s license with restrictions.
How to Apply for a Class M License in Texas
If you are hoping to get your Class M license in Texas, there are specific requirements you must be prepared to meet. These include:
- Visiting the local Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Passing your road and skills tests
- Providing DPS officials with the necessary documentation
- Be a minimum of 15 years old
- Provide proof of residency and identity
- Pass your motorcycle safety and knowledge test
Anyone under 18 hoping to obtain a Class M driver’s license must complete a motorcycle operator safety and training course and the previously mentioned requirements. However, if you are a motorcyclist aged 18 or older, you can either complete a motorcycle driver education program or complete your skills test to get your Class M license.
Texas Motorcycle Laws
You do not only need to have your Class M license to operate a motorcycle safely. You must also be prepared to follow all Texas motorcycle laws to protect yourself and other motorists on the roadways. Some of the most critical motorcycle laws you need to be aware of include:
- Purchasing motorcycle liability insurance
- Adhering to traffic laws
- Wearing a motorcycle helmet unless you have completed an approved motorcycle operator course and are at least 21 years old
Driving without a motorcycle license in Texas could have devastating consequences. Not only could you face traffic violations and fines of around $195 for failing to carry the correct license, but without motorcycle insurance coverage, you could also face additional fines of up to $470.
The Sutliff & Stout Difference
If you are driving without a motorcycle license and are involved in a collision, you can expect the liable party to attempt to use this against you. However, just because you did not have a valid Class M driver’s license does not mean you are entitled to compensation, especially if you are not responsible for causing the accident.
Our motorcycle accident attorneys at Sutliff & Stout are board-certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and have recovered over $1 billion in our 50+ years of combined legal experience. Our team is ready to help you demand justice, even if you did not have your Class M driver’s license at the time of the accident.
Meet With an Experienced Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Suppose you have the right motorcycle accident lawyer on your side after you are involved in a collision. In that case, the liable party will have no recourse but to compensate you for your full damages. An aggressive and knowledgeable motorcycle accident law firm can help you navigate the claims process and defend your rights. Learn more about how much your motorcycle accident case could be worth when you contact a dedicated personal injury attorney at Sutliff & Stout for a no-cost, risk-free consultation. You can reach us through our online contact form or phone to get started as soon as today.