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Do You Need a License to Operate a Motorcycle or 3-Wheeler in Texas?

Updated: Jun 10

Motorcycle Class
Two students being coached during a motorcycle class.

Whether you're considering a Beginner Motorcycle or 3-Wheeler Class or the Intermediate Motorcycle Class, you will probably have some questions about what the requirements are. In this blog we will share answers to those common questions and also give you an opportunity to ask other questions.

Is a license required to operate a motorcycle in Texas?

Yes. A Class M driver license is required to legally operate a motorcycle in Texas. Click here to visit the Texas Department of Public Safety website regarding Motorcycle Licensing in Texas. It will look like this (red square), next to your C Class Endorsement (CM):

Properly licensed motorcycle rider
Texas driver license showing the M Endorsment

Is a license required to operate a 3-wheeler in Texas?

First of all, a 3-wheeler or trike is generally defined as having 3 wheels (two in front or two in back) that leave 3 separate tracks, handlebars, and a straddled seating position where the rider and passenger sit front to back. What has three wheels that is NOT considered a 3-wheeler in Texas? A Slingshot (autocycle) where the riders sit side by side and a motorcycle with a sidecar.

Yes. A Class M driver license is also required to legally operate a 3-wheeler in Texas. It will look just like the license above on the front, and there will be a restriction indicating Trike only.


Is a license required to operate a slingshot in Texas?

No. Your C Class driver license is all you need to operate a slingshot in Texas.


What is required to obtain a Class M driver license for a motorcycle or 3-wheeler in Texas?

You must successfully complete a state-approved safety course which includes a written test and an on-cycle evaluation. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation's (MSF) Basic RiderCourses meet these requirements.


What are the requirements to take the MSF Basic RiderCourse?

Riders must be 15 years of age and older and must currently have a Class C license. Riders under the age of 18 must have written consent by a parent or guardian.

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