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How to Get Your Motorcycle License in Ontario

In Ontario, getting a motorcycle license happens in stages. You have to pass a test to move on to each stage until you get your full M license. The entire process can be as short as 20 months but should not take longer than five years to finish.

This article will discuss how to get your motorcycle license in Ontario in detail.

Requirements for driving in Ontario

When riding on Ontario roads, there are some important rules you should follow:

  • Always have your driver’s license with you.
  • Make sure to wear a helmet that’s approved for riding.
  • You need to have the right paperwork for your motorcycle, like the owner’s permit, license plate, and insurance.
  • Follow all the traffic rules and ride safely.

Motorcycle License Types in Ontario

You’ll need an M-Class license to drive a motorcycle in Ontario. The kind of license you get depends on the type of motorcycle you will ride.

In Ontario, three main types of licenses are issued:

  • M (includes M1 and M2): This is for regular motorcycles that can go at full speed.
  • M with condition L (includes M1 and M2-L): This is for mopeds and motorized scooters, also known as “limited-speed” motorcycles.
  • M with condition M (includes M1 and M2-M): This is for three-wheeled motorcycles.

Each license comes with its own set of rules you should follow. You can find out more about them on Ontario’s list of licenses.

Requirements for applying for a motorcycle license in Ontario

If you’re thinking about getting a motorcycle license in Ontario, there are some things you should know:

  • Age Limit: You must be at least sixteen years of age to ride a moped, or 16 years and 6 months old to ride a motorcycle.
  • Visit an Ontario Drive Test Centre: To take part in the M1 test, go to a drive center, and complete an Application for an Ontario Driver’s Licence. 
  • Eye Test: You need to complete an eye test to make sure you can see well enough to ride safely.
  • Written Test: Finally, you’ll have to attend a written test. This test is all about traffic signs and basic road rules. You should try some practice tests on dedicated sites online. You can see more here. This site has an organized list of blogs and tests. 

Stages of Motorcycle License Test in Ontario

  • M1 License: After you pass vision and written tests, you’ll earn your M1 license. This makes you a beginner rider. The M1 license allows you to practice riding, but there are rules you must follow.
  • M2 License: Once you’ve had some practice and passed a road test, you can upgrade to an M2 license. This lets you do more things on your motorcycle.
  • M License: After you’ve had your M2 license for a while, you can apply for a full M license. This means you can ride without any restrictions.

What is an M1 license?

Getting your M1 license is the first step in becoming a complete motorcycle rider in Ontario. Unlike other licenses, there’s no ridden or road test required for the M1 and it only lets you practice your skills.

The written test for the M1 includes questions about the rules of the road, like identifying highway signs, and specific rules for motorcycles. If you’re not already a licensed car driver or need a refresher, it’s also a good idea to study the Ontario Drivers’ Handbook.

If you pass and score 80% or higher, you’ll get your Class M1 license. You can take the test as many times as needed, but there’s a fee each time.

When you have an M1 license, there are some rules you should follow:

  • Make sure you don’t have any alcohol in your blood when you ride.
  • Ride only in the daytime, from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.
  • Wear a helmet that’s approved for riding. But, there are some exemptions for Sikh riders who meet certain requirements.
  • Stick to roads with speed limits of 80 km/h or less, except for certain highways.
  • Always ride alone; you can’t have a passenger or pillion with you.

What is an M2 license?

After getting your M1 license, the next step is earning your M2 license. To do this, you need to pass a basic skills test called the M1-Exit test. This test happens on a closed course, either at a selected Ontario Drive Test Centre or through a training course. You can only apply for the M2 after riding for at least 60 days with an M1 license.

One option for the M1-Exit test is the Gearing Up-M1 Exit course, which is certified by the province. The course doesn’t involve riding on the street, so you can take it anytime while you have an M1 – you don’t have to wait for the 60 days to pass. However, the paperwork from the course should only be submitted after 60 days but before 90 days for the upgrade to apply.

The M2 license is like a probationary license, where you can apply the skills you learned with your M1 on the road. Once you have your M2, you don’t have to follow the remaining restrictions of the M1, except for keeping a blood alcohol level of zero.

Your M2 license lasts for 5 years. By then, you should be ready for full motorcycle licensing privileges. If your M2 license expires without renewal, you’ll have to start the process over again, including waiting times.

What is an M license

After 22 months, you can take your second road test for upgrading to the next stage. If you pass this test, you’ll earn a full M license.

When you’re ready to test for your full M license depends on how you got your M2 license:

  • If you earned your M2 license through a safety course, you can test after holding an M2 for 18 months.
  • If you got your M2 through testing at the Ministry, you can test after holding an M2 for 22 months.

Once you earn your M license, there aren’t any special restrictions beyond the usual laws, and it doesn’t expire. Because of this, the M2-Exit test is more challenging than the previous road test. It includes riding on streets and highways.

What is an M2 with condition license

If you have an M2 with condition L license, you have to follow the same rules as a regular M2 license. But with this license, you’re only allowed to ride a moped or motorized scooter:

  • That doesn’t exceed the speed of 70 kilometers per hour.
  • On roads where the speed limit is no more than 80 km/hour.

What is an M2 with condition M licence

If you have an M2 with condition M license, you have to follow the same rules as a regular M2 license. But with this license, you’re only allowed to ride a three-wheeled motorcycle, also known as a motor tricycle.

How to get your motorcycle license in Ontario

To get your motorcycle license in Ontario, you need to follow these steps:

Pass the written test

Before anything else, you’ll need to study for a written test to check if you understand the basic rules of driving and the road. All the questions are from the Official Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Motorcycle Handbook.

Apply for the motorcycle license

Once you’re ready, visit a drive test center. You’ll need to bring an ID which can be a birth certificate, passport, or citizenship card. Permanent or temporary residents can bring a permanent residence card, passport, or other official documents. After a vision test, you’ll take a written test.

Learn to ride

With your M1 license, you should start to learn to ride, for which you can try a government-approved motorcycle safety course. These courses cover safety basics and give you practical experience.

Pass your road test to get an M2 license

After 60 days with your M1 license, you can take a road test to get your M2 license. The test assesses your driving skills. Some safety courses include a road test, while others require you to book one at a drive test center.

Take the Class M road test and upgrade to your full license

Once you’re ready for your full license, it’s time to take the Class M road test, which is more advanced and includes highway driving. You can take it after 18 months with an M2 license if you take a safety course, or after 22 months without one.

Difference between Limited-Speed Motorcycles (LSM) and Three-Wheeled Motorcycles

Limited-Speed motorcycles

Limited-speed motorcycles, also called mopeds or motorized scooters, have specific features that help identify them. If you’re unsure whether a vehicle is a limited-speed motorcycle, there are ways to tell. For starters, if it’s made after 1988, you can look for a label on the steering column or under the seat. This label should have the letters “LSM/MVL” next to “type of vehicle,” confirming it’s a limited-speed vehicle.

But what if there’s no label? Don’t worry, you can still figure it out.

Limited-speed motorcycles typically have certain characteristics. They’re either electric or gas-powered and have a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour. They also have an automatic transmission and an engine size of 50 cubic centimeters or less.

Another clue is their design; they often have a “step through” style between the seat and the handlebars. So, if you spot a vehicle with these features, chances are it’s a limited-speed motorcycle.

Three-Wheeled Motorcycles

Three-wheeled motorcycles, also known as motor tricycles, come in two main designs: some have a single front wheel and two rear wheels, while others have two front wheels and a single rear wheel.

If you take a road test on a three-wheeled motorcycle, you’ll get an ‘M’ license with an ‘M’ condition. This means you can only drive three-wheeled motorcycles.

There are certain rules that motor tricycles must follow:

  • They must have three wheels touching the ground.
  • The driver’s seat should be straddled.
  • Steering is done using handlebars.
  • They can’t have more than four seats.
  • The total weight of the vehicle should be 1,000 kilograms or less.
  • Except for a structure in front of the driver and the seat backrest, they shouldn’t have any enclosure around the driver and passenger.

Final Takes

Getting your motorcycle license in Ontario takes some steps. First, you study and pass a written test. Then, you learn to ride safely. After that, you take road tests to upgrade your license. It’s important to follow each step to make sure you’re ready to ride safely on the roads of Ontario.

Last Updated on by Icy Canada Team


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