How to get your motorcycle licence in Canada


Ontario starts you off with an M1 licence. You must be 16 years old to apply for an M1 licence, you must pass an eye test, and you must pass a written test on traffic signs and the rules of the road.

You must hold your M1 licence for at least 60 days before advancing to an M2 licence, though you can take the road test needed for this at any time during this period; the M1 licence expires after 90 days. While you hold your M1 licence, you must have a 0% blood alcohol level while riding, you cannot carry passengers, you cannot ride on a highway with a speed limit over 80 km/h — with some exceptions, noted here. You also may not carry passengers.

After passing your riding test and earning your M2 licence, you may ride at night, and on any highway; however, you must still maintain a 0% blood alcohol level while riding. After 22 months (18 if you’ve completed a recognized training course) you may then take a second road test to get your unrestricted M licence.

Enrolling in a motorcycle safety course can speed things up. As per Ontario’s website: “When you successfully complete a motorcycle safety course, you will get a referral envelope.  If you bring this referral envelope to a DriveTest centre, within six months, you do not need to take the M1 road test — you move directly to the next level (M2). You also will be able to take the second road test sooner, after 18 months instead of the standard 22.”

Also remember: There are three different M licences available. There’s the M licence, which covers all motorcycles, the M-L for mopeds and scooters, and the M-M, for three-wheeled motorcycles. Each class of the M licence follows a similar progression to gain a full licence.

For full details of the Ontario graduated licencing program, click here.


  1. Someone once told me that here in BC, when he got his licence back in the 70s, the clerk walked out into the parking lot and told him, “Ride out that gate there, and ride back in that gate over there.”

    Exiting through the one gate put you on a one-way street, and the only way to get back was to take a long loop around the block that went through a couple of intersections and over some railroad tracks. If you made it back in one piece you got your endorsement.

  2. Maybe check your info on the ON licence – you state in the article “You must hold your M1 licence for at least 60 days before taking a road test to advance to an M2 licence”….incorrect, you can take a recognized course anywhere in that time period, do the test within the course & be M2 qualified – the Ministry just waits until the 60 days to recognize it. Also you write “After 22 months you may then take a second road test to get your unrestricted M licence.” It is only 18 months if you take a recognized course.

    • Nope wife and I did the Ontario M licencing and the ministry states you have your M1 for ONLY 90 days after passing the written test, but after 60 days can you take your M1 exiting test and after the 90 days are up you either have your M2/ML or you have to start the process all over again.

  3. My dad took his car test back in the 50s and the examiner said, “Oh, do you want this to be good for a motorcycle too?” When my dad said “Sure!” The examiner ticked a second box and there you go – licensed for a bike for life.

  4. I had always assumed that to get your motorcycle licence in Alberta that you just went through the same process as a regular drivers’ licence there – fill out the form on the back of the cereal box, cut it out and mail it in with your proof of purchase.
    Learn something new every day.

  5. Times have changed…my dad took his test in Windsor Ontario in the late 60’s and it was basically ride around the block from the mto office and if you made it back in 1 piece you passed

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