Can You Buy a Motorcycle Without a License? – Quick Answer!

While buying a motorcycle is exciting, it can be nerve-racking for first-timers due to licensing issues. You may be wondering if you should get the bike first or the license. So, can you buy a motorcycle without a license?

Yes, you can buy a motorcycle without a license. However, you cannot ride it legally without one. It’s advisable to get a license beforehand if you intend to ride the bike the first day you buy it.

We will provide a detailed guide on motorcycle licensing, especially for new riders, to help you begin your motorcycle riding journey on the right side of the law.

Let’s get to it!

Do You Need a License to Buy a Motorcycle?

Globally, laws on buying a motorcycle are relaxed. You don’t need a license to buy a motorbike as there are no laws requiring you to do so as a new buyer.

The lack of such laws means you can get any motorcycle you can afford anytime without worrying about the license. 

If you have some money that you don’t want to spend otherwise and would instead invest in a motorcycle, go ahead and buy it and then worry about the license later.

Remember, not everyone buys a motorcycle to ride it, just like not everyone buys a car to drive it. Some buy them as gifts for other people, which means it’s the recipients who should worry about the license.

While you don’t need a license to buy a motorcycle, you need it to ride one. 

Most dealers will likely ask for your ID, while others may ask for your driver’s license to verify your identity, and then you can pay for your motorcycle.

Can You Buy a Motorcycle on Loan Without a License?

While you may not have a problem buying a motorcycle in cash without a license, most banks require you to have a driver’s license before securing a motorcycle loan.

Not only that, you must be of legal age (18 years plus) and provide an ID to prove that. But before you can take the motorcycle home, banks may require you to secure its insurance.

These simple rules also apply when buying a motorbike through a dealership loan arrangement.

How You Can Buy a Motorcycle Without a License

As shared, you don’t need a motorcycle license to buy a new motorcycle. But before you can go ahead with the purchase, it’s crucial to plan things. 

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Find someone with a license to ride the motorcycle back home.
  • Alternatively, trail the bike on your truck if you have a driving license.
  • You can also request the dealer to deliver it to your home or where you want it to go.
  • Plan for insurance before getting the motorcycle.
  • Preferably, the insurance policy should kick in from the first day you buy the motorcycle. In that case, you should get an insurance quote before paying for the motorbike.
  • Sign up for a motorcycle riding class if you plan to ride the motorcycle the same day.

Should I Get a License Before Buying a Motorcycle?

While it’s not mandatory to get a license before buying a motorbike, you may want to get it first for one reason – riding the bike.

Unless you are buying the motorcycle for someone else, consider getting a motorcycle license first to allow you to ride it back home from the dealer as soon as you pay for it. 

It’s also a good idea to get a license first when buying an expensive model. With a license, you can practice with any motorcycle before you buy your dream model.

Can I Register a Motorcycle Without a License?

Though you may not be riding the motorcycle, it’s essential to register it to protect your new investment if it gets stolen or an accident happens.

Typically, you don’t need a license to do it but an ID, driver’s license, or any other valid document that can confirm your identity.

Can I Buy Motorcycle Insurance Without a Motorcycle License?

While it’s not entirely impossible, buying a motorcycle insurance policy without a motorcycle license is challenging. That’s mainly because insurance companies typically look at your license when setting the rates.

However, you can try speaking to the company representative to see if they can insure your unlicensed motorcycle. Some insurance companies accept that.

Generally, you can boost your chances of getting insured by naming someone else as the primary rider (exclude yourself).

You can still play the waiting game. Sometimes it pays to be patient. Keep your motorcycle in your garage as you attend the classes. Once the license is out, you can use it to get insurance before riding.

There are a few scenarios where an insurance cover is necessary without the license. These include:

  • A vintage motorcycle you no longer ride
  • A newly bought motorcycle you haven’t started riding
  • The bike was purchased as a gift in your name
  • Your motorcycle license is suspended.

Can I Buy a Motorcycle with a Learners Permit? 

There’s no difference between buying a motorcycle with a learner’s permit and doing it without a license. In both cases, you can only make the purchase, but you cannot ride the bike as it’s illegal to do so. Don’t confuse a learner’s permit for a motorcycle license, as the former precedes the latter.

The difference is that the learner’s permit may legally allow you to ride the motorcycle back home on your first day of purchasing it but not beyond that.

Can I Ride a Motorcycle Without a License?

You can get into deep legal trouble riding a motorcycle without a license. It’s illegal to do so, just as it is to drive a car without a valid license.

If you decide to ride a motorcycle without a license, just don’t get caught. If you do, you may face a hefty fine or, worse, criminal prosecution if you cause an accident and injure someone or damage someone’s property.

To avoid trouble, just get a license before riding a motorcycle.


You don’t need a license to buy a motorcycle as there are no laws compelling you to do so. You can also buy a motorbike without insurance.

However, you need a license if you plan to ride a motorbike on public roads. And you’ll also need insurance once you buy the motorcycle.

People Also Ask

The motorcycle licensing subject is detailed, and several questions are likely to arise, even though we’ve covered the basics.

Here are the ones that people often ask online.

Can You Buy a Motorbike Without Insurance?

Yes, you can buy a motorbike without insurance first. Note, however, that you cannot ride it on the road without insurance as it’s illegal and even dangerous to do so. It’s important to schedule your insurance policy to kick in on the day you expect to receive your motorcycle.

Can I Ride a Motorcycle with A Car License?

Image Credit: Motorcycle Safety Foundation

You can only ride a motorcycle with a car driving license, only if your motorcycle is a 125cc dirt bike, off-road motorbike, or scooter.

But even so, you are expected to take the motorcycle basic training first before using your car license to ride the motorcycle.

Do You Need a Motorcycle License for a 150cc Scooter?

You not only need a motorcycle license to ride a 150cc scooter. You need a car driving license and a motorcycle license to ride such an engine on-road.

However, with a 50cc motorcycle or scooter, you can ride it with a car driving license alone.

Can I Ride Someone Else’s Motorcycle?

Given that most motorcycle insurance policies cover bikes instead of the motorcyclist, it’s possible to ride someone else’s motorcycle. 

It’s essential, however, to confirm the insurance terms to ensure that it’s okay to do so. You should have your motorcycle license as it’s illegal to use someone else’s.

Can You Register a Motorcycle Without a License?

Laws vary between states when it comes to registering motorcycles without a license. In most of them, however, you’ll need to provide some proof of motorcycle insurance before you can register your bike.

That’s the case in New York, but you’ll need a license to register your motorbike when it comes to California.

Can You Ride a Motorcycle If You Are Banned from Driving?

Usually, a driving ban doesn’t only stop you from driving a car for the entire ban period but also other motorized machines such as motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds. 

So, no, you cannot legally ride a motorbike if you are banned from driving.

About Alex

Hi Friends! Welcome to Motorcycle Exploits. I'm Alex! If you ever had any personal hindrances or doubts about your abilities to ride a motorcycle, then you are in the right place, Mate! My desire is to help you overcome any fears and other personal struggles you have so that you, too, can celebrate your EXPLOITS!