To ride a motorcycle, drivers must carry their valid licence at all times. They must also wear an approved helmet and have a valid licence plate, owner’s permit and insurance. Responsible drivers must obey all traffic laws and be diligent enough to drive safely. To legally drive a motorcycle, drivers will need an M Class licence. Residents 16 and over can apply for a motorcycle licence in Ontario. The type of licence a driver receives will depend upon the type of motorcycle he or she plans to drive. The most common full-speed motorcycle will require M1 and M2 types, while mopeds and limited-speed vehicles will require M with condition L.
Licence Requirements of Ontario Motorcycle License
Drivers looking to receive their M licence in Ontario need to be of legal age, pass an eye test and pass a written M1 test regarding the rules of driving and minding traffic signs. In order to receive the license, applicants must be prepared to show original identification that shows the driver’s legal name, date of birth and signature. Some forms of acceptable identification include:
• Canadian Citizenship Card
• Secure Certificate of Indian Status Card
• Ontario Photo Card
• Permanent Resident Card
• Confirmation of Permanent Residence
• Study Permit / Student Authorization
• Work Permit / Employment Authorization
• Temporary Resident Permit
Fees for Getting a Licence
The cost of getting an M licence depends on multiple factors. The cost of the written test is $14.95 plus taxes. The Class M2 road test costs $50.75, and a 90-day licence is $8.00. The bundle of all three will cost $74.00. The test for an M1 can only be taken with the Ministry of Transportation, and that for an M2 can be taken with the MTO or Motorcycle Safety Course. Taking the MSC route for an M2 licence is $420. A full M licence at the MTO is $75, and it costs $360 through a Motorcycle Safety Course.
The cost for getting a licence through the Ministry of Transportation is noticeably cheaper than taking a Motorcycle Safety Course, but there are benefits to this option. Some drivers may wish to take the standard route to save money, and others prefer a more comprehensive method. With the MSC, students receive over two days of training with instruction and practice for mastering the skills required to safely operate a motorcycle on the road. The same Ministry of Transportation test is offered at the end of the course. For those that prefer a more detailed process, the extra cost may be worth it to pass the test the first time.
The Process of Getting a Licence
To begin the process of getting an M licence, drivers must first pass the written test. Ontario’s Official Motorcycle Handbook can help drivers learn the rules of the road as well as useful driving tips. Drivers must pass through a graduated process in order to gain a full M licence, and this begins by finishing the two learning levels (M1 and M2, including L and M conditions) before passing two road tests. Once acquiring an M2 licence, drivers have up to five years to complete the process before having to start over to get a full licence. Applicants with a limited M licence that wish to upgrade to a full-class licence must receive a Full-speed Training Temporary Driver’s Licence.
If a driver has an M1 licence, he or she must meet the following criteria when riding:
• Maintain a blood alcohol level of zero
• Ride only during daylight hours
• Wear an acceptable helmet
• Only drive alone
• Avoid driving on roads with speed limits over 80 kilometres per hour except on specified highways
M1 drivers need to wait at least 60 days before taking their first road test, but the licence is only valid for 90 days before expiration.
After passing the M1 road test, drivers may receive an M2 licence. This licence allows them the ability to drive at night and on any road. Rules for alcohol and helmets are the same as those for M1 level. After 22 months, M2 drivers have the ability to take the second road test. Upon passing this test, the driver receives a full M licence. If the driver opts for the Motorcycle Safety Course, he or she gets to take the second road test after just 18 months. These drivers are also eligible to forgo the M1 road test and move straight to their M2 licence, and the licence still expires after 60 months with this method.
Drivers may book a road test after providing a valid licence number, a location to take the test, alternate locations and the preferred time slot.