band of color


Effective date of original law: May 1, 1982

Ultimate Program Responsibility
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Hill Farms State Transportation Building
4802 Sheboygan Avenue
P.O. Box 7910
Madison, WI 53707-7910

Day-to-Day Administration
Ronald L. Thompson
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Motorcycle Safety Program
4802 Sheboygan Avenue,
Room 933
Madison, WI 53707-7936
Phone: 608-266-7855
Fax: 608-267-0441
Web site:

Program Administration
Legislative Provisions

  • Source of funding: Appropriation from Transportation Fund (funding included as a line item in the State’s budget)
  • Stipulated use of funds: To establish courses from grants through the Department of Transportation

Relationship Among Various Programs

  • All involved agencies are within the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). The Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program is located in the state highway safety office (Bureau of Transportation Safety).

Collection of Rider Training and Licensing Data

  • Agency responsible for collecting rider training data:
    Wisconsin Department of Transportation/
    Bureau of Transportation Safety
  • Agency responsible for collecting licensing data: Wisconsin Department of Transportation/
    Division of Motor Vehicles
  • Data available in electronic format: Some
  • Link between crash, licensing, and rider education data: None

Rider Education
Training Delivery

  • Months of instruction: April through October
  • Number of instruction sites: 31
  • Types of providers: Commercial schools, Rider’s Edge, and vocational technical schools

Operations and Participant Characteristics

  • Courses offered: 633
  • Students enrolled: 7673
  • No-shows or registration refunds: N/A
  • Time until course reaches capacity: N/A
  • Average waiting period to take course: N/A
  • Students on waiting list: 1,500

Program Funding and Expenditures

  • Annual budget: $454,000
  • Source of Federal funds: Section 402
  • Average cost to State to educate rider: $59.17
  • Course tuition charged to novice rider: $48.50
  • Course tuition charged to experienced rider: $19.50
  • Special fees in addition to course fees: $8


  • Approved curricula: MRC:RSS,
    BRC, and ERC
  • State advisory committee:
    Members are appointed by the Commissioner to 2-year terms.
  • Curricula approved by: Wisconsin Department of Transportation/Bureau of Transportation Safety
  • Process to modify curricula: Proposed changes are forwarded to the State administrator/chiefs and on to MSF if needed
  • Data collected for modifications: N/A
  • Validation process for modifications: Site observations and training reports.

pie chart
pie chart
pie chart
comparison graph

Instructor Selection, Training, and Evaluation

  • State certification or approval is required for Instructors and Chief Instructors.
  • No probation or internship requirement exists for Instructors.
  • State offers Instruction Preparation Course (IPC).
  • Updates for Instructors are required every 2 years. Instructors are monitored by Chiefs/RiderCoach Trainers and peers on a varied schedule.

Profile of Instructors

  • Certified Instructors/RiderCoaches: 190
  • Chief Instructors/RiderCoach Trainers: 4
  • Instructor candidates in 2001: 31
  • Percentage of successful Instructor candidates: 74%
  • Instructor demographics: 88% male, 12% female
  • Reciprocity for Instructors trained in other States: Yes

Quality Control Procedures

  • Quality control measures in the form of site reviews are conducted as often as possible where Motorcycle Rider Courses are offered.
  • Three Chief Instructors are responsible for the site reviews. Also, the lead Instructors at the sites are instructed to observe courses whenever possible.
  • The Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program manager generates a list of Chief Instructor visit assignments.

Program Evaluation

  • Program conducts regular evaluations when funding is sufficient to cover travel costs, and an effort is made to visit most of the sites on an annual basis.
  • An assessment team was appointed to gather information from individuals in various aspects of motorcycle safety to conduct a complete review of the Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program.
  • Implementation of Motorcycle Assessment recommendations as time and
    funds permit.

Special features of rider education and/or licensing program

  • State offers point reductions for riders who have successfully completed a rider education course.

Licensing Requirements

  • $22 issuance fee
  • Successful completion of eye exam
  • Successful completion of knowledge exam
  • Valid for 6 months
  • Can be renewed 3 times


  • $12 endorsement fee, $15 skill exam fee, and $8 renewal fee
    (for 8 years)
  • Rider may be licensed at 16 upon successful completion of a rider education program. Rider must be 18 if course is not completed.
  • Motorcycle endorsement must be renewed every 8 years.

Operator Licensing
Testing and Training Responsibilities

  • Testing agency: Department of Transportation
  • Third-party testing: Yes
  • Agency responsible for training examiners: Wisconsin Department of Transportation/Division of Motor Vehicles

Knowledge and Skills Tests Used

  • Primary knowledge test used: Local
  • Skills test used: Motorcyclist In-Traffic Test (MIT)


  • Rider education waiver: Skills
  • Reciprocity for rider education completed in
    another State:
  • Reciprocal license waivers: Yes

Operator and Vehicle Characteristics

  • Motorcycle operators licensed: 357,673
  • Registered motorcycles: 201,143
  • New motorcycle licenses/endorsements issued in 2001: N/A
  • Operators licensed through rider education in 2001: N/A
  • Operators licensed without rider education: N/A
  • Operators without license or proper endorsement: 64,381

Motorcyclist Licensing System

  • Graduated licensing: None
  • Tiered licensing: None

Public Information and Education

  • Operator’s manual used: Motorcycle Operator’s Manual
  • Annual budget for public information and education:$50,000–$100,000