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How to get a motorcycle licence in Ontario

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As a personal finance expert, I’ve never been cool enough to own a motorcycle. But you probably are.

Learning to ride a motorcycle is fun and exciting (I’m told) – and it requires the proper licensing if you want to ride on the road. In Ontario, you can be fined up to $1,000 and lose your motorcycle if you’re caught without the proper licence. Even if you drive a limited-speed motorcycle with an engine under 50cc, you can be fined for driving without a licence.

Fortunately, it’s easy to get a motorcycle licence in Ontario and for a small fee, you can get on the road right away. Here’s what you need to know to get licenced to ride in Ontario.

Key takeaways on Ontario motorcycle licensing

  1. There are three main different types of motorcycle licences in Ontario – M with Condition M (for three-wheeled motorcycles), M with Condition L (for limited-speed motorcycles), and full M (for any type of motorcycle, including full-speed bikes).

  2. To obtain your motorcycle licence in Ontario, you'll need to go through an extensive process which includes five steps: studying for a written test, applying for the licence, learning to ride, passing the M2 test, and finally, passing the M test for a full licence.

  3. Just like with a car, you need proper insurance to ride a motorcycle in Ontario. Be sure to compare personalized quotes with to find out how much (or how little) you could be paying.

The different types of motorcycle licences in Ontario

Ontario has three different types of motorcycle licences depending on what kind of motorcycle you want to ride. Each of these licences is part of Ontario’s graduated licensing program, meaning you’ll begin with a learner’s permit and progress to a second-stage licence with restrictions after passing a road test. You can take a second road test after 22 months.

M with Condition M is an Ontario motorcycle licence for three-wheeled motorcycles, which are also called motor tricycles. With this licence, you’ll be qualified to drive a motorcycle with three wheels and a gross vehicle weight of 1,000 kg or less. 

M with Condition L is an Ontario motorcycle licence for limited-speed motorcycles, which can also be referred to as mopeds or scooters. With this licence, you’ll be qualified to drive a limited-speed motorcycle with an automatic transmission, maximum engine size of 50cc, and maximum speed of 70km/h.

Full M licence is an Ontario motorcycle licence that qualifies you to drive any type of motorcycle including three-wheeled motorcycles, limited-speed motorcycles and full-speed motorcycles.

How to get a motorcycle licence in Ontario 

Step 1: Study for the written test

Getting a motorcycle licence in Ontario begins with a written test to prove you know the rules of the road and are competent to begin learning how to ride. All of the questions on the test are based on the Official Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Motorcycle Handbook

Step 2: Apply for a motorcycle licence

To apply for your Ontario motorcycle licence, visit your closest DriveTest Centre.

To get started, you’ll need to bring an ID that shows your legal name and date of birth (note you need to be at least 16 before you can apply). Canadian citizens can provide a birth certificate, passport, or citizenship card. Permanent or temporary residents can show a passport, permanent residence card, work permit, record of landing, or a variety of other official documents. Check with DriveTest for a detailed list of accepted ID documents.

From there, you’ll be asked to complete a short vision test to make sure you can see well enough to safely ride a motorcycle. If you need to wear glasses to pass the test, your motorcycle licence will come with an “X” condition requiring you to wear corrective lenses every time you drive.

Once you pass the test, you’ll be asked to complete a written knowledge test based on the MTO Motorcycle Handbook. The multiple-choice test will be administered on paper or at a computer and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. You’ll get your results right away, and you will receive your Class M1 licence as long as you score 80% or higher. You can take the test as many times as you need to pass, but note that DriveTest charges a fee of $16 each time you write the test.

Step 3: Learn to ride 

With your Class M1 licence in hand, you’re ready to learn to ride. While you have your M1 licence, you must always maintain a zero blood alcohol level, only ride during daylight hours, not drive on roads with speed limits over 80km/h (with a few exceptions) and not carry passengers.

The best way to learn is by taking a government-approved motorcycle safety course. Your motorcycle course will take approximately 18 hours and will cover the basics of safety, give you hands-on experience with your motorcycle in a controlled environment, and teach you the skills you need to safely handle your motorcycle on your own.

Your Class M1 licence is only valid for 90 days, so don’t put off this important step.

Step 4: Pass your road test and get your M2 licence

After you’ve had your Class M1 licence for 60 days, you can take a road test and get your Class M2 licence, which allows you to ride at night, carry passengers, and drive on all roads including 400-series highways.

Some motorcycle safety courses include a road test proctored by their instructors. If you’ve taken and passed a road test this way, you’ll be given written proof that you’ve passed. You can take this documentation to any DriveTest location to upgrade to your M2 licence.

If you haven’t passed a road test as part of an approved motorcycle course, you’ll need to book a test at your nearest DriveTest Centre. The 20-minute test will assess your basic driving skills like driving, travelling through intersections, parking and reversing, foreseeing hazardous conditions, and following the rules of the road. You can take the test as many times as you need to pass for a fee of $53.75 per test.

At this stage, you may choose to stream into one of Ontario’s conditional motorcycle licences. You have the choice to get a full M2 licence, an M2-L licence for limited-speed motorcycles, or an M2-M licence for three-wheel motorcycles.

Step 5: Take the Class M road test and upgrade to your full licence

With your M2 licence in hand, you have most of the same privileges as fully licenced motorcyclists. This is the time to continue working on your skills and building confidence on your motorcycle.

When you’re ready to get your full licence, you can take the Class M road test. This test is approximately 30 minutes long and assesses more advanced skills including highway driving. Like the previous tests, you can take it as many times as you need to pass provided you pay the $91.25 fee each time.

If you choose to take another government-approved motorcycle safety course, you can take the Class M road test 18 months after you receive your M2 licence. If you choose not to take a motorcycle course, you can take the Class M road test after 22 months.

How to get motorcycle insurance in Ontario

Just like with a car, you need proper motorcycle insurance to ride a bike in Ontario. The province has strict minimum coverage requirements in four categories:

  • Third-party liability. This coverage covers your expenses in the event you’re responsible for injury, death, or property damage while riding your motorcycle.
  • Uninsured automobile. This coverage protects you in case you’re involved in a crash with another driver who can’t be identified or who doesn’t have insurance.
  • Accident benefits. Perhaps the most important coverage for motorcyclists is that this protects you financially in the event you’re injured in an accident. As you’re much more likely to be injured in a motorcycle accident than in a car accident, you will want to make sure you go above the minimum coverage and get  
  • Direct compensation for property damage. This coverage pays to repair your motorcycle in the event of a crash that’s not your fault. While this is standard, you have the option to opt out of it with OPCF49.

You can also opt for optional coverages, including collision insurance and comprehensive insurance which ensures your physical bike is covered against risks of loss and damage.

The best way to get motorcycle insurance in Ontario is to compare insurance quotes online using a site like You can see offers from multiple insurance providers and select the coverage that offers the best balance of coverage and price for your needs.

Looking for motorcycle insurance in Ontario?

We can help – connect with one of our verified brokers today to compare personalized quotes from the province's top providers.

The bottom line

Securing a motorcycle licence in Ontario is a straightforward process that not only ensures your safety but also the safety of others on the road. By following the graduated licensing program and adhering to the province's insurance requirements, you can enjoy the thrill of motorcycling with the peace of mind that comes from being properly licenced and insured.

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