Illinois Motorcycle Manual 2016


The state of Illinois offers motorcyclists various opportunities for interesting riding. Before you get out on the road, you’ll need to get the motorcycle endorsement on your Illinois driver’s license.

The IL Motorcycle Learner’s Permit

Before getting the motorcycle endorsement, you might want to obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit, which can help you get some first-hand experience operating a motorcycle on the road. Permit holders may only operate a motorcycle under the direct supervision of a licensed operator who is at least 21 years old.

The following limitations apply for holders of the permit:

You are not permitted to:

  • Operate a motorcycle on a limited access highway
  • Operate a motorcycle at night
  • Operate a motorcycle out-of-state
  • Carry passengers on the motorcycle

The “L” or the “M”?

The “L” classification allows individuals to operate motor-driven cycles with less than 150cc displacement.

The motorcycle endorsement allows individuals to operate a motorcycle as well as a motor-driven cycle on Illinois roads and public highways.
In order to get an “M,” you’ll need the following:

  1. A valid Illinois driver’s license
  2. Successful completion of a motorcycle training course approved by the Department of Transportation (for applicants 16 or 17 years of age)
  3. Successful completion of a written and driving examination, or completion of the Department of Transportation training course (for applicants aged 18 or older)

The IL Motorcycle Knowledge Test

Passing the motorcycle knowledge test is necessary in order to obtain both the learner’s permit as well as the motorcycle endorsement. The knowledge tests can be taken at any full-service DMV branch office on a walk-in basis. The test is made up of 16 questions taken from the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual (available below). 

The IL Motorcycle Manual

The Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual is an indispensable resource for those learning how to ride, as well as veterans who want to refresh their knowledge. The Manual teaches the following riding principles, which are essential for any safe rider to know:

  1. Wear the right gear
  2. Be familiar with your motorcycle
  3. Check the motorcycle equipment
  4. Be a responsible rider

It also includes plenty of information on the main elements of safe riding:

  • The motorcycle endorsement
  • Preparing to ride
  • Riding abilities
  • Being in shape to ride
  • Earning the license

Careful study of the IL Motorcycle Operator Manual will not only enable to you to earn your motorcycle permit or license, it will ensure that you are safe and responsible on the road. See the Manual below and start getting ready today!

Ride safe!

Click here to take FREE IL DMV practice tests →