Have a Question? Read our FAQ before you contact us.
PAMSP is looking forward to the 2014 training season however;
the course schedules are not quite ready yet. Please check back later.
Motorcycle Facts, Laws, and Characteristics

Special Rules For Motorcycles, Motor-Driven Cycles, Motorized Pedacycles.  
  Download PDF Reader

Motorcycle in Traffic - pdf
DUI in PA - pdf
DUI Under 21 in Pa - pdf
Fact Sheet - pdf

102. Definitions.
Motorcycle - A motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground or designed to travel on two wheels in contact with the ground which is modified by the addition of two stabilizing wheels on the rear of the motor vehicle.

Motor-driven cycle - A motorcycle, including a motor scooter, with a motor which produces horsepower not to exceed five brake horsepower.

Moped - A motor-driven cycle equipped with operable pedals, a motor rated no more than 1.5 brake horsepower, a cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 cubic centimeters, and automatic transmission, and a maximum design speed of no more than 25 miles per hour, or an electric motor-driven cycle equipped with operable pedals and powered by electric battery.

1504. Classes of license.

(3) Class C - A Class C license shall be issued to those persons 18 years of age or older, except as provided in Section 1503 (relating to persons ineligible for licensing) who have demonstrated their qualifications to operate any single vehicle with a gross vehicle rating of not more than 26,000 pounds... The holder of a Class C license shall be authorized to drive a motorized pedacycle or a three-wheeled motorcycle equipped with an enclosed cab, but not a motorcycle unless the license is endorsed.

(4) Class M - A Class M license shall be issued to those persons who have demonstrated their qualifications to operate a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle.

1505. Learner's permits.
(C) Operation of motorcycle - A motorcycle learner's permit entitles the person to whom it is issued to operate a motorcycle only between sunrise and sunset and, except for a driver licensed to drive another class of vehicle, only while under the instruction and immediate supervision of a licensed motorcycle operator. Motorcycle learners shall not carry any passenger other than an instructor properly licensed to operate a motorcycle.

(d) Duration of permit - A learner's permit shall be valid for a period of one year after date of issue, or until the holder of the permit failed the examination as authorized in Section 1508 (relating to examination of applicant for driver's license) three times within the one year period.

(e) Authorization to test for driver's license and junior driver's license.--A person with a learner's permit is authorized to take the examination for a regular or junior driver's license for the class of vehicle for which a permit is held. Before a person under the age of 18 years may take the examination for a junior driver's license, including a Class M license to operate a motorcycle, the minor must:

(1) Have held a learner's permit for that class of vehicle for a period of six months.

(2) Present to the department a certification form signed by the father, mother, guardian, person in loco parentis or spouse of a married minor stating that the minor applicant has:

(i) completed 65 hours of practical driving experience accompanied as required under subsection (b); and
(ii) except for a Class M license to operate a motorcycle, the 65 hours included no less than ten hours of nighttime driving and five hours of inclement weather driving.

(3) Have the certification form completed when the minor is ready for the licensing examination. The certification form shall be developed by the department and will be provided by the department when the original application for a learner's permit is processed. The department will make this form readily available through the mail or electronic means.

(4) For a Class M license to operate a motorcycle, present evidence of successful completion of the department-approved motorcycle safety course.

3314. Prohibiting use of hearing impairment devices.
(a) General rule - No driver shall operate a vehicle while wearing or using one or more headphones, earphone, or any similar device which the department by regulation determines would impair the ability of the driver to hear traffic sounds.

(b) Exception - This section does not prohibit the use of hearing aids or other devices for improving the hearing of the driver nor does it prohibit the use of communication equipment by motorcycle operators complying with Section 3525 (relating to protective equipment for motorcycle riders).

3521. Applicability of traffic laws to motorcycles.
Every person operating a motorcycle shall be granted all the rights and shall be subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this title, except as to special provisions in this subchapter and except as to those provisions of this title which by their nature can have no application.

3522. Riding on motorcycles.
(a) Use of the seat by operator and passenger - A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached to the motorcycle, and the operator shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorcycle unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for two persons, or upon another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle at the rear or side of the operator. In no event shall a passenger sit in front of the operator of the motorcycle.

(b) Method of seating - Unless in a sidecar, a person shall ride upon a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.

(c )Articles carried by operator - No person shall operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle or other article which prevents him or her from keeping both hands on the handlebars.

(d) Interference with operation. - No operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that will interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.

3523. Operating motorcycles on roadways laned for traffic.
(a) Right to use of lane - All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle the full use of a lane.

(b) Overtaking and passing - The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.

(c) Operation between lanes or vehicles - No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.

(d) Limitations on operating abreast - Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.

(e) Limited access highways - No motorized pedacycle shall be operated on any limited access highways.

(f) Exception for police officers - Subsection (b) and 8 do not apply to police officers in the performance of their official duties.

3524. Footrests and Handholds.
(a) Passengers - Any motorcycle carrying a passenger, other than in a sidecar or enclosed cab, shall be equipped with footrests and handholds for the passenger.

3525. Protective equipment for motorcycle riders.
(a) Protective headgear - Except as provided in subsection (d), no person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle (other than a motorized pedacycle) unless wearing protective headgear which complies with standards established by the department.

(b) Eye-protective devices - No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle (other than a motorized pedacycle) unless he or she is wearing an eye-protective device of a type approved by the department.

(c) Approval of equipment - The department may approve or disapprove protective headgear and eye-protective devices required under this section and may issue and enforce regulations establishing standards and specifications for the approval of the headgear and eye-protective devices. The department shall publish lists of all protective headgear and eye-protection devices by name and type which have been approved.

(d) Exception - The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to the following:

(1) The operator or any occupant of a three-wheeled motorcycle equipped with an enclosed cab.

(2) A person 21 years of age or older who has been licensed to operate a motorcycle for not less than two full calendar years.

(3) A person 21 years of age or older who has completed a motorcycle rider safety course approved by the department or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

(4) The passenger of a person exempt under this subsection, if the passenger is 21 years of age or older.

3526. Motorcycle Headlight Law
Lighted lamp requirements for motorcycles. Not withstanding the provisions of section 4302 (relating to periods for requiring lighted lamps), the operator of a motorcycle, manufactured during or after 1986, upon a highway shall display the lighted head lamps and other lamps and illuminating devices required under Chapter 43 (relating to lighting equipment) at all times.


7904. Fees -
Fees relating to motorcycle licenses for motorcycle operators to be collected by the department under this chapter shall be in addition to any other fees imposed under the provisions of this title and are as follows:

(1) An additional fee of $5.00 shall be assessed and collected for each original motorcycle operator's license.

(2) An additional fee of $5.00 shall be assessed and collected for each annual renewal of a motorcycle operator's license.

(3) An additional fee of $5.00 shall be assessed and collected for each motorcycle learner's permit.

(4) An additional fee of $5.00 shall be assessed and collected for each replacement motorcycle operator's license.

© Copyright 2002-2015 ยท Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program        |        Terms of Service