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Portland Motorcycle Licensing Requirements

Portland Motorcycle Licensing Requirements

In its 2021 statistical report, the Oregon Department of Transportation reported 915 motorcycle crashes. 114 of these crashes happened in Portland, OR. While Oregon does not release statistics about how many of these crashes involved unlicensed riders, studies suggest that as many as 46 of the motorcyclists might not have had licenses.

If you get injured in a motorcycle accident, the at-fault driver might raise the issue of your compliance with Portland motorcycle licensing requirements. Understanding more about these requirements and how a lawyer can help after a crash is essential for motorcyclists in Oregon.

Contact Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer at (503) 773-3333 for a free consultation with an experienced Portland motorcycle accident attorney.

How Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Portland, OR

How Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Portland, OR

Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer was founded to help victims of accidents and other traumatic incidents in Portland, Oregon. Our founding attorney has recovered millions of dollars in financial compensation for injured clients.

If you get injured, a Portland motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm can provide:

  • A free case evaluation to help you understand where you stand
  • An investigation into the motorcycle collision
  • A skilled negotiator to battle insurers for a fair settlement
  • An advocate with over 17 years of experience to fight in court if your case does not settle

A motorcycle accident injury may require expensive medical treatment while disabling you from working. Contact Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer to learn more about how we can help you pursue compensation from the at-fault driver.

Why Does Oregon Require Motorcycle Licenses?

All 50 states require motorcycle operators to earn special licenses or endorsements on their driver’s licenses. Unlicensed operators have a higher likelihood of getting injured or killed in a crash than licensed riders. Studies show that about 20% of motorcyclists have no license, but 40% of motorcycle crash fatalities involve unlicensed riders.

The licensing process in Oregon is designed to ensure that applicants have the proper training to avoid suffering injury or death in a motorcycle crash.

Motorcycle License Requirements in Oregon

Motorcyclists have three ways to get a license in Oregon. Each option has different requirements. The path you take will depend on your licensing status and the type of license you want to get.

Previously Licensed

New residents with a valid, unexpired motorcycle license or endorsement can exchange it for an Oregon motorcycle license when they move to the state. 

Oregon honors motorcycle licenses issued by:

  • Any other U.S. states
  • U.S. territories
  • Washington D.C.
  • Canadian provinces

To get an Oregon motorcycle license, you must pay a fee and provide proof of Oregon residence. You do not need to take any exams or safety courses.

No Prior License

If you do not have a valid, unexpired license from another state, you can obtain a motorcycle endorsement on your Oregon driver’s license. Unlike other states, Oregon does not issue “motorcycle-only” licenses. You must have a driver’s license to earn your motorcycle endorsement.

To get a motorcycle endorsement, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Pass an approved safety course
  • Pass a written knowledge test

If you take the basic safety course, the state waives the written knowledge test. If you pass any other course, you must take the written test. 

The basic course lasts eight hours, split over two days. It covers:

  • Checking your motorcycle before riding
  • Starting and accelerating safely
  • Shifting gears
  • Turning and braking
  • Making emergency maneuvers

The course includes both classroom instruction and hands-on instruction. At the end of the course, you must pass a skills test.

Instruction Permit

Oregon has a motorcycle instruction permit. Many states do not offer these types of licenses that allow riders to take lessons and practice. These licenses serve the purpose of ensuring all licensed riders can gain the experience to ride safely. 

To get an instruction permit, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Pass the written knowledge test

You do not need to pass the safety course for an instruction permit. 

However, since you have not proven your skill level, you will have three limits on your riding with a permit:

  • You cannot carry passengers
  • You can only ride in daylight
  • A licensed rider at least 21 years old on a separate motorcycle must accompany you

Oregon does not have a process for converting an instruction permit into a full endorsement. Instead, you will take the safety course and apply for an endorsement.

The Risks of Riding Without a License

If you crash without a license, you might lose your right to seek full personal injury compensation. Oregon uses modified comparative negligence to allocate liability for injuries. If you played a role in your crash or injuries, your compensation will be reduced by your share of the fault.

Even if the other driver caused your accident, a jury might shift at least a portion of the liability for your accident to you. For example, if a jury finds you 20% at fault for your injuries, you can only get compensation for 80% of your losses.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With Our Portland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcyclists often suffer serious injuries since they have almost no protection in a crash. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Portland, OR, contact the experienced and compassionate team at Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer for a free consultation today.

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