Today I Learned: How to get your motorcycle license (endorsement)

A long winded guide to getting your motorcycle license in NJ from the Lodi DMV.  I particularly wanted to write about this topic because I found the process a little confusing and I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to find any detailed instructions.

Here’s an overview of the path I took (I realize there are other paths available).

Sign up for and take the Basic Rider Course
I took it at the Riding Academy of NJ.  The course set me back 300$ and a weekend from morning to afternoon. I just needed a driver’s license and the ability to ride a bicycle to be eligible.  The instructors I had were great- patient and funny.  When you complete the course, you will receive a waiver for the motorcycle exam.

Go to DMV, get a motorcycle permit
This is the part I was a little lost on.  You still need to get a motorcycle permit, the thing you get to start practicing without a full license (which, along with the examination, you skip using the waver).  Take your 6 points of identification, take your waiver just in case (I don’t think it’s necessary but it’s a sheet of paper, it won’t kill you to have it), and head to the DMV.  There’s 2 or 3 lines out front of Lodi DMV, you want the license line.  People will come out handing forms early in the morning.  The permit looks like a sheet of paper, I think you’re meant to fold it in half.  There’s a small section that looks like a card.  Just to clarify, you don’t get any card-like objects at this point.

Eye exam + get your permit stamped / stickered
I was REALLY confused at this part.  You take your blank permit, and you have to have it stamped and have a holographic sticker put on it.  I… don’t know what’s the real term for it.  Certified?  Approved?  In the Lodi DMV, there’s an entrance in the back, opposite the main entrance where everyone is lining up for license renewals and what not.  There’ll be signs that say something about ‘Testing.’  That’s where you need to go, there’ll be a shorter line there.  Take your permit to the desk, and show your waiver and identification.  There’ll be a small eye-test machine on the desk, she’ll ask you to read the first line.  They stamp your permit, put on a sticker, and send you on your way.

Get your motorcycle endorsement
You’re finally there!  Take your stamped/stickered permit, and go back to licensing in the main entrance.  The lady that gave me the permit told me I could skip the line, which felt incredibly awkward to do, but it was nice.  I’m pretty sure that’ll not always be the case.  You will need another form, your 6 points of identification, the permit, and 25$.  (It costs slightly less than that).  They’ll ask if you want your picture done again, do whatever you want.  They hand you back your stuff, and you go home.

My morning
I just came back from the DMV, with the long process of getting my motorcycle license finally complete.  I suppose in a strict sense it really only takes 2 days to go from nothing to motorcycle license in NJ, but for me, it took a few days shy of half a year.  I was incredibly close to just saying “Forget it, I don’t want to do this anymore” this morning.  I meant to wake up at 6AM, but slept in until 7AM.  The DMV opens at 8AM.  I made my final resolution to go in and forfeiting the next 3 hours to the licensing process, and made my way to Lodi DMV.  Now I’m free! 😀

Pretty sure I’m not going to actually get a motorcycle in the next 2 years.  I’ve been just hemorrhaging money lately, and while I COULD afford it, I’d rather save money for now.  It’s the insurance payments that are warding me away.  It’s winter, anyhow.

When I do muster up the courage to do it though, I’d probably get a Honda CBR250R, because I’m a pussy, I guess.

even I feel a little dry

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