How to get your motorcycle licence in Canada



To get your motorcycle licence in Saskatchewan, you must first hold a Class 5 licence, or higher. The motorcycle licence process starts with tests on the rules of the road, road signs, and motorcycle knowledge; you must also pass a vision test, and a basic ability road test (or complete an approved motorcycle training course). If you’re under 18 years old, you must also have parental consent.

With this all done, you can get a learner’s licence. You must have this licence for one year, and no more than two years, before progressing to Novice 1 endorsement. This learner’s licence restricts you from riding after dark, you can carry no passengers, you cannot have any amount of alcohol or drugs in your body, and you must wear protective gear — arms and legs must be covered, gloves and boots must be worn, and your helmet must be at least a three-quarters open-face. And, while you ride, you must attach a red placard to your licence plate, indicating you’re a learner.

After holding a learner’s licence for 12 months and passing a road test, you can get your Novice 1. This relaxes the restrictions a bit; now, after-dark riding is only off-limits between 1 AM and 5 AM. There’s still a ban on passengers, and you cannot be under the influence of any alcohol or drugs. You must hold this licence for 12 months as well, and attach a green placard to your licence plate while riding to indicate you are a novice, and wear protective gear.

Then, you can get your Novice 2 licence. Now you can ride all night long, if you please, and ditch the placard from your licence plate. Restrictions on drugs and alcohol are not lifted, though. After 12 months of this, you can get your full Class 6.

Every time you progress from one licencing stage to the next, you will be charged a $500 Graduated Licencing fee. The provincial government’s website says these $1,500 in fees will be waived for riders who complete an SGI-approved training course. It also says there’s a $450 training rebate for motorcyclists who enter the MGDL program after January 1, 2016, complete an approved motorcycle course after January 1, 2016, and graduate from the MGDL program with no licence suspensions or motorcycle traffic convictions, or at-fault collisions. This means it’s very, very smart to keep your nose — or rather, your driving record — clean through this process. More details at SGI’s website 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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