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Graduated Licensing System

None of the promising-practices States has implemented a full graduated licensing program consistent with the recommendations outlined by NHTSA (NHTSA, 1993). NHTSA guidelines call for a three-stage process of obtaining a motorcycle endorsement in which riders begin with a learner’s permit, then receive an intermediate license, and finally receive a full motorcycle endorsement. All five promising-practices States have a permit system for motorcyclists, though the State administrators interviewed did not consider it a component of a graduated licensing system. Administrators in one State explained that they thought a full graduated licensing system was too expensive and impractical to implement.

Although Maryland and Oregon may not have a graduated licensing program dedicated to motorcyclists, these States require that riders under 18 abide by the graduated licensing provisions for automobile drivers. In Maryland, this means that young riders must take a driver’s education course, follow restrictions on driving times and passengers, and maintain a clean driving record for 18 months. Riders under 18 in Oregon must meet similar requirements.


  • None of the promising-practices States have implemented full graduated licensing for motorcyclists.

  • Maryland and Oregon require riders under 18 to abide by the graduated licensing provisions for automobile drivers.

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