Can You Register a Motorcycle Without a Licence?

After buying a motorcycle but having no license, you wonder whether you can register it without a license. The temptation of not applying for a license is understandable, especially considering the cost and days for statutory processing.


The advice is to look up the laws and regulations of your state regarding the requirements to ride on the road legally. Some states are not specific, though, but the thumb rule is to get a license before visiting the registration department.

can you register a motorcycle without a licence

Meanwhile, to ride a motorcycle, you need a license, except if you misplaced or lost your license. Maybe you’ve been operating the motorcycle with another person’s license, which is not advisable. Let’s find out about registering a bike without a license.


Can You Register a Motorcycle Without a Licence?

Yes and no. Typically, you are required to possess a motorcycle license to register a motorcycle. In some states, such as California, you do not have to submit a license to register your motorcycle.

Similarly, New York mandates insurance proof to register a motorbike statewide. Suppose you have active insurance coverage; you can bypass not having a license and register the motorcycle. Having a license, however, makes the process even more convenient.

States that do not mandate motorcycle licenses require proof of insurance to register a motorcycle with no license. However, if you have no license, it becomes challenging to find an insurance company. The reason is that most insurance companies request a license to give coverage.

Nonetheless, some insurance companies sell coverage to motorcyclists without a license, but you will be charged a higher premium.


If you’re below 16 (or the regulated age gap in your state), it is tougher to find insurance companies that will sell coverage.

Depending on your state, you may be able to ride your motorcycle on your car license.

Meanwhile, find out how to get rid of a motorcycle without a title.

Motorcycle Registration Requirements Without License

To register a motorcycle without a license, you must submit ownership proof, including motorcycle title, sales receipt, name, and lienholder address. You must be of the state’s regulated age, typically 16, to register a motorbike.

Additional requirements for registration without a license may include specific requirements such as motorcycle equipment (height of handlebars, windshield, headlamp, etc.). It could also change the license class you receive, such as ‘moped only’ or limited mode of motorcycle operation. Note that you may not be required to perform a smog check.

How to Register a Motorcycle Without License

Although a motorcycle license is an essential requirement for motorcycle registration, you can register with it.

Below are the steps to register a motorcycle without a license:

  1. Get a Safety Inspection

The safety inspection is not applicable in all states. However, if your state mandates motorbike safety inspection, you can register the bike out of state where inspection is not required. Some states that may not need an inspection to register your motorcycle without a license include Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, South Carolina, and South Dakota.

  1. Get an Insurance

Since you have no license, you can purchase an insurance premium. Typically, insurance companies do not offer coverage for people without a motorcycle license.

  1. Look Up Eligibility

Navigate to your motorcycle department’s website for requirements so that you do not have to return home without motorcycle registration after joining the queue.

Explain to the DMV that you either misplaced or lost your license. You will need to reapply for a replacement drivers license.

  1. Visit the Registration Office

Submit the necessary documents to your local registration office for registration. Depending on your state, your motorcycle equipment, including handlebar height, windshield, etc., may be checked.

  1. Make Payments

The fee varies by state, and the weight of your motorcycle could be a determinant.

Upon successful registration, you may be given tags and temporary plates to display on your motorbike. Do not ride the bike if you receive no tag or permit instantly.

What is the registration fee?

Depending on your state, the average motorcycle registration cost is $30. Motorcycle registration in Illinois, for instance, costs $41. $60 in California, $8 in Missouri, $18.50 in Kentucky, and $10 in Florida.

What is My Position Without a Motorcycle License?

Without a license, you can register your motorcycle, but you can’t ride it, even after the registration. States, including Washington, Texas, Mississippi, Rhode Island, etc., require a motorcycle license or endorsement (Class M) to ride a motorcycle. A motorcycle license indicates that you have completed the training course, and other road users can trust you.

Following a recent NHTSA motorcycle crash report, the number of motorcyclists killed in 2018 crashes dropped to 4,985, an almost 5% decrease, but motorcyclists are still overrepresented in traffic fatalities.

In essence, you can register a motorcycle without a license. If you have no license and no motorcycle training, apply and complete a training course before purchasing a motorcycle. If your license was stolen or misplaced, apply for a new motorcycle license to avoid a hard time with the police.

Meanwhile, can you get a motorcycle license without a motorcycle?

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