Skip to main content
Contact Us:
Call to 877-831-4677

Can I Buy a Motorcycle Without a License in Georgia? 

A young woman rides a sport bike - cheap motorcycle insurance in Georgia.

If you’re a bike lover without a license, you’ll be happy to know that you can indeed buy a motorcycle in the Peach State. Unfortunately, however, that won’t get you too far. Literally. Owning a bike isn’t the same as riding it on public roads and highways here. To do that in Georgia, you must have motorcycle insurance and an operator’s license or permit. 

Georgia’s Stance on Motorcycle Ownership Requirements 

Let’s start with a legal definition of a motorcycle. In Georgia, that means any vehicle with fewer than four wheels, handlebars, a saddle for a seat, and an engine size of 51cc or larger. This definition excludes mopeds and other small bikes, which have different ownership requirements and operating regulations. 

It’s easy to buy a bike in Georgia without a license. However, your motorcycle dealership might ask you for a license or other form of official I.D. before selling you such a big ticket item. To ride a motorcycle in the state, however, you need to pass a vision exam and have a Class MP permit or Class M license. 

The Truth Behind Unlicensed Motorcycle Purchases 

Let’s say you don’t have your license yet, but you found the bike of your dreams. If you’re okay with your motorbike gathering dust in your garage as it gains in value (with zero mileage!), you’re welcome to do that. When it comes to the question of can you buy a motorcycle without a license, the law here won’t stop you from making that purchase. 

But if you want to have some fun with your new bike, there are a few steps you must first take. You can head over to a nearby Department of Driver Services (DDS) customer service center to start working on the requirements for licensing both you and your bike. And since fines, penalties, and even driving suspensions are what to expect if you get caught riding without motorcycle insurance, you’ll want to give your agent a call before you hit the road. 

Legal Considerations for Purchasing a Motorcycle 

Probably your most important consideration upon buying that bike is going to be figuring out how quickly you can take it out for a full-throttle ride in the Peach State. There’s nothing more thrilling. Two key things to get you going are your license and insurance.  

Additionally, you must have a helmet in this state, one that meets the safety standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Your passenger, if you have one, must also have an approved helmet. Lastly, it’s a good idea to brush up on spring motorcycle maintenance to ensure your bike is in tip-top shape before you rev up that engine. 

How to Get a Motorcycle License in Georgia 

First, get your motorcycle operator’s license. You can get a Class M license if you’re 17 or older and have passed a Motorcycle Skills Test and a written exam. Both can be scheduled and taken through any DDS customer service center. You must bring your own bike if you’re applying for a Class M license, but a bike will be provided if you’re applying for a permit. 

You must also take and pass a vision exam unless you’ve already had one within the year to get some other form of state licensing. 

If you’re age 16, you will need to get a motorcycle permit in GA. The process is like getting a license, except that you’ll end up with a Class MP. This is good for up to six months as you learn to ride your vehicle. Unlike fully licensed Georgia riders, permit holders have certain restrictions. You can only ride during daylight hours, you can’t have passengers, and you are not allowed to drive on limited access roadways, such as freeways and interstates. 

Any under-18 applicant for either a license or permit must prove that they’re in school. Minors must also bring a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult to the DDS center and fill out their own forms. 

The Georgia Department of Driver Services outlines requirements for Class M licenses and Class MP permits. You can also download the required paperwork from their website. 

Man with yellow shirt pointing to motorcycle helmet in his arms and smiling - cheap motorcycle insurance in Georgia.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in Georgia 

You must have motorcycle insurance in Georgia. This means at least carrying liability insurance, which is coverage that pays for the medical costs or the property damages of others if you’re found to be at fault for an accident. 

Liability does not, however, cover your own costs for injuries to you or your passenger or damages to your bike in an accident for which you’re at fault. And that minimal level of insurance won’t cover the theft of your bike, collision with wildlife, floods, fires, or any other way your bike might be lost or badly damaged. 

Adding collision and comprehensive coverage greatly expands your level of financial protection. Ask your independent motorcycle insurance agent for details. The reason you’ll want to conduct business with an independent agent is that they don’t work for just one insurance company. They contract to provide insurance plans from multiple companies, so your independent agent can always go out shopping on your behalf for the coverage that’s most affordable and most appropriate for your specific circumstances; this is one of the secrets of motorcycle insurance savings. 

Can I Register My Motorcycle in Georgia Without a License? 

In a word: nope. To get your bike insured, you must have either a Class M license or a Class MP permit. And you can’t take your bike on the road until it has a license plate and is registered with the state. That’s why you’ll want to begin making your way to street-legal with a trip to any nearby DDS customer service center. 

Steps to Buying a Motorcycle Without a License 

If you have your heart set on buying that new (or used) motorbike without first getting your Class M motorcycle license or Class MP permit, you can certainly go ahead with the purchase. You will just want to keep some important factors in mind when purchasing a motorcycle without a license. 

If You’re Underage, Shop with an Adult 

Take a parent or legal guardian just in case the bike seller has doubts about dealing with a minor. You’ll also want to have a legal form of I.D. if asked. Perhaps you have your auto driver’s license, just not one to operate a motorcycle. A passport or non-driver state I.D. would likely also work. 

Secure Transportation or Storage 

You might proudly receive the keys to your new bike, but that doesn’t mean you can ride it out of there immediately (although you may want to check out these tips for new motorcycle owners). Either go with someone who has a Class M license and ride your new bike as a passenger or have a truck or trailer ready so you can legally take your motorcycle home. You could also consider asking the seller if they can store it for you, if you’ll be securing your license soon. 

Keep It Off the Street (For the Sake of Your Wallet) 

Sure, it will be tempting to sneak a quick ride on your new bike, but it’s important to avoid that temptation. Getting caught can mean, for starters, a fine of up to $1,000. On top of that, you might have to hire a lawyer and pay various court costs. 

Get That License 

Remember, the only way you can truly enjoy your new bike is by getting a Class M license or Class MP permit if you’re 16. That, and motorcycle insurance, is a great start to many roads of adventure. 

Plan Your First Ride 

If you need some motivation to get that license, why not start thinking about where to take your motorcycle this summer in Georgia? The Peach State offers so many beautiful roads that you’ll have no shortage of options for your first trip. 

Getting Your Bike Insured Today

One of the most critical steps to beginning your bike adventures in Georgia is getting affordable motorcycle insurance. That’s why you need to contact your independent Southern Harvest insurance agent as soon as you’re even considering a big bike purchase. Your independent agent can help you find the most affordable and appropriate coverage available. 

Call us at (877) 831-4677, or get a quick quote online. You can also find a nearby Southern Harvest Insurance office wherever you live in Georgia and schedule a meeting with a knowledgeable agent.