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In Chicago, motorcycle riders are required to have valid licenses to operate a motorcycle with either a Class M or Class L designation. Class L is for bikes with engines 1cc to 149cc. A Class M license is required for any motorcycle that’s 150cc or larger.
Mopeds do not require a special class designation, and can be operated legally in Chicago with a valid driver’s license of any classification. Mopeds are determined by four criteria, and if the vehicle doesn’t meet all of the following, it will require an L Class license to operate legally. The Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual defines a moped as:
Electric scooters, like mopeds, don’t require a special license to operate one.
To get your Class M or Class L license in Chicago when you already have an Illinois driver’s license is pretty easy.
If you don’t have a valid driver’s license, you’ll need to apply for one and complete a vision exam, pass both basic and motorcycle written exams, and pass a driving exam. You’ll need to pay the fees and provide acceptable identification. You can find resources including the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual to study for these tests on the State of Illinois website.
The Cycle Rider Safety Training Program (CRSTP) offers courses that are free to any Illinois resident who is 16 or older and has a valid motorcycle license, motorcycle permit, or automobile driver’s license. The CRSTP is the only IDOT motorcycle safety course authorized by the Illinois Secretary of State to offer a license waiver. Riders younger than 18 must have written consent from a legal guardian in order to take a CRSTP class.
The CRSTP courses are free and teach riders of all skill levels and experience how to ride a motorbike safely and confidently. It includes riding and classroom instruction so upon successful completion, graduates in Chicago who are 18 or older can waive the written and driving exam when they apply for their Illinois motorcycle license. Some motorcycle insurance companies offer discounts for motorcyclists who completed the course as well.
The CRSTP safety courses are free and open to all experience levels from new to experienced riders. Some of the courses that are available to riders in Chicago include:
The Basic Rider Course includes classroom and riding instruction over 20 hours. It improves street riding skills and license waivers are issued for students who are 18 or older upon successful completion. A training motorcycle and DOT-approved helmet are provided.
The Basic Rider Course 2 is a one-day course that allows riders with basic skills (such as shifting, stopping, clutch control, and straight-line riding) to improve further. License waivers are also given for a successful completion of this course to students who are 18+. A training bike and DOT-approved helmet are provided for this course.
This course is similar to the Basic Rider Course, but is geared for three-wheel riders.
The Advanced Rider Course expands on the basic riding skills learned in the basic courses. It is an 8.5-hour training that puts emphasis on self-assessment, riding strategies, risk management, and riding behavior to help avoid motorcycle accidents. It also focuses on skill development in braking, cornering, and swerving to avoid a motorcycle accident. To attend this course, you must have a street-legal motorcycle that is in good repair, a DOT-approved helmet, your registration and proof of insurance, as well as your valid motorcycle license.
There are many locations throughout the Chicago metro area where you can take CRSTP training courses. Find course locations and registration information on the Illinois Department of Transportation site. The interactive map on this site allows you to search for courses and gives information about which regions have active motorcycle training classes.
Not all Illinois Secretary of State Facility Department of Motor Vehicles locations in Chicago provide the same services, so be sure to check which ones near you provide an Illinois motorcycle license test. You can search for DMV locations providing drivers license services including a motorcycle written test or a motorcycle road test on the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State website.
The Chicago DMV locations where you can get an Illinois motorcycle license are:
Visit this location for motorcycle written tests only.
160 N. LaSalle
Chicago, IL 60601
5301 W. Lexington St.
Chicago, IL 60644
This location provides motorcycle written tests and road tests.
5401 N. Elston Ave.
Chicago, IL 60630
You can do a written test and a riding test at this location for your Class M license.
9901 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Chicago, IL 60628
This location issues motorcycle licenses and issues both the written exam and road test.
At The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers, we understand the risks riders face on Chicago roadways. We urge all motorcycle riders to stay safe and take proper safety precautions when riding a motorcycle, like taking a CRSTP training course and wearing protective gear.
In the event of an unfortunate accident, our experienced attorneys are here to help you with your legal needs. Our law firm is capable of representing your interests and seeking the compensation you deserve for any accidents or injuries suffered. Our Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers are here to answer all of your questions, so please contact us if you’re ever injured in a motorcycle wreck.
We hope this information helps make sure that everyone rides safely on Chicago streets and highways! Stay safe out there!