Buying a motorcycle can be an exciting event, especially if you’re buying it for yourself. Riding a motorcycle takes additional training outside of just having a regular driver’s license and requires it’s own specific type of license.
There’s usually a lot of questions that go into the process of buying a motorcycle and a lot of those questions have to do with a motorcycle license. People may wonder if having one is a requirement to purchase a motorcycle in the first place.
Can I buy a motorcycle without a motorcycle license? It is legal and possible to buy a motorcycle without a motorcycle license. Dealerships and private sellers don’t require you to show your motorcycle license during the purchase. It is, however, illegal to ride the motorcycle you purchased without having a motorcycle license.
I have bought and sold close to twenty motorcycles in the last few years and have been able to get a good idea about how these procedures work. I did not have a motorcycle license when I bought my first motorcycle. This is what I’ve learned throughout that process.
Buying A Motorcycle Without A License
There are a lot of laws out there that relate to motorcycles, so it’s no wonder a lot of people think about what the specific rules are about buying a motorcycle without actually having a motorcycle license. Fortunately, the rules about this specific topic are pretty relaxed.
You actually do not need to have a motorcycle license in order to buy a motorcycle. There are no laws or regulations relating to such a rule, so you are free to purchase as many motorcycles as you would like without worrying about having to get your license first.
There are actually people out there who buy a motorcycle for a loved one with no intention of riding it themselves. This happens every day and it is done very simply; most don’t have any problems at all.
There are some rules when it comes to buying a motorcycle, but having that license isn’t one of them. When buying a motorcycle, whether it be through a dealership or a private seller, you’ll obviously need to provide the cash to purchase the motorcycle in the first place. Dealerships especially will likely ask for a photo I.D., which can be just a regular driver’s license, so they have verification of the buyer who ultimately becomes the new owner.
What the dealerships and private sellers really care about is getting the money for the motorcycle. They’re not under any jurisdiction from the law to confirm you actually have a license to operate the vehicle. For all they care, you could be buying the motorcycle as a garage decoration.
However, it is not legal to drive the motorcycle home after your purchase if you do not have a motorcycle license. A regular driver’s license does not permit you to operate a motorcycle. You can get a hefty fine if you’re pulled over without a motorcycle license, not to mention being at risk for a huge lawsuit if you cause some sort of accident. If you’re going to buy a motorcycle without a motorcycle license, you’ll need to plan ahead and figure out how you’re going to get home.
Using A Loan
The next common question a lot of people having concerning this topic is whether or not they need a motorcycle license to buy a motorcycle using a loan. A bank has a few caveats that may restrict what a buyer can and cannot buy, so it’s nice to know ahead of time what to expect.
Buying a motorcycle using a loan without a motorcycle license shouldn’t be a problem. Banks do not require that you have a motorcycle license to buy a motorcycle, but they do require you to have a driver’s license. You must be at least 18 years or older to get a loan in the first place, so having a driver’s license is a must for the paperwork you have to fill out.
Keep in mind that most banks do require that you have motorcycle insurance in order to complete the transaction of buying a motorcycle. They want to make sure their investment is protected and that their customer is being responsible with the machine they are purchasing.
If you’re getting a loan through the dealership you’re buying the motorcycle from, the same rules should still apply. They don’t care so much that you have a motorcycle license, they’re more concerned about your eligibility to buy the motorcycle in a financial sense.
How To Buy A Motorcycle Without A License
As mentioned earlier, if you plan to buy a motorcycle without having a motorcycle license, you’ll need to have a plan beforehand on how to get it back to your place. Do no plan on riding the motorcycle yourself because that could get you in serious trouble. There’s a reason the state requires extra training when it comes to operating a motorcycle.
If you’re buying from a dealership, talk with them about any delivery services they may have. Some dealerships will have a program where they can deliver the motorcycle to your home for a fee. Be sure to understand how much the fee is before you agree to it.
Trailering the motorcycle back to your place is probably going to be the most reasonable and easiest way to get it home. Luckily there are a few creative ways to tow a motorcycle such as using a tow dolly, a motorcycle carrier, or the traditional trailer. Click here to see my list of recommended ways to tow a motorcycle.
And there is, of course, always the option of bringing your trusty motorcycle riding friend along with you that can ride the motorcycle home for you. Be cautious of this option though; make sure you friend if quite familiar with how to operate a motorcycle.
And as a rule of thumb, always call your insurance right after you buy a motorcycle and get an insurance policy before you take it home, even if you aren’t planning on having the motorcycle ridden on the streets. There are still instances where insurance can come in handy while the motorcycle is out on the road, running or not.
Should I Get My License Before Buying A Motorcycle?
Now that we’ve covered the rules and regulations of what is required when you buy a motorcycle, the next question you may be asking yourself is whether or not you should have a motorcycle license before you buy a motorcycle.
Again, there’s no law saying that you have to do this, but really it’s a good idea to have a license before making the investment of buying a motorcycle. I bought a motorcycle before I had my motorcycle license and it turned out okay but that was mostly because I bought a very cheap motorcycle (I’m talking $500 cheap) that I was okay with it getting dinged up if needed.
If you’re wanting to buy a more expensive motorcycle, meaning anything more than $12,000, then I recommend you get a motorcycle license first before making a big investment like that. A lot of people like to buy a motorcycle first, get their permit, and use it to practice on so they can eventually get their license.
You’re risking a lot if you’re going to pay a large amount for a bike; having a new rider on a more expensive motorcycle could mean very expensive fixes for damages that a new rider is likely to make.
It’s also helpful beforehand to know whether or not you actually like riding a motorcycle. Riding a motorcycle isn’t for everyone and discovering that you don’t like riding after buying a motorcycle (then getting a license) can be quite annoying to say the least.
On the other hand, getting a license before buying a motorcycle can greatly help you understand the sport. If you’re okay with buying a cheap motorcycle to learn how to ride on so you can get a license, then go for it. Just remember that you need to obtain your motorcycle permit first and foremost before you even think about mounting your motorcycle. And there is always the option of borrowing a friend’s cheap motorcycle or dirt bike to practice on.