To operate a motorcycle in North Carolina, you must have an endorsement on your current driver's license or a motorcycle learner's permit. Licenses are issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You can apply for a learner's permit at age 16. You can apply for a motorcycle endorsement if you currently have a full provisional, regular, or commercial driver's license. A motorcycle permit or endorsement allows you to operate a motorcycle, motorbike, scooter, or moped on public roads.
To receive a motorcycle learner's permit, you must apply, submit the required documentation, pay the fees, and pass the vision screening, the motorcycle knowledge exam, and the traffic signs test. Minors will also need to successfully complete a motorcycle safety course. To receive a motorcycle endorsement on your license, you must apply, submit your documentation, pay the fees, and pass the vision screening, the knowledge exam, the traffic signs test, and the motorcycle rider skills test.
Tests are scheduled through the DMV. The motorcycle knowledge test contains 25 questions on traffic laws and safe driving practices. You must answer 20 of the questions correctly to pass. The traffic signs test examines your ability to identify signs by shape, color, and meaning. You must score at least 80 percent to pass. The motorcycle rider skills test assesses your ability to handle normal and hazardous traffic situations. If you fail a test, you may have to wait between one and five days to retest.