The Motorcycle Safety Program in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP), otherwise known as the state's motorcycle driving school, is a program designed to teach riders how to ride a motorcycle safely in the state of Pennsylvania. It is a motorcycle safety course offered through the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) that is required for riders between the ages of 16 and 18, and is optional for adults. Although the PAMSP program may seem like a simple requirement to be completed, these motorcycle classes offer valuable information regarding the safe operation of a motorcycle and what Pennsylvania law states about motorcycles. Learn more about motorcycle safety course curriculum by downloading our free guide. Below, review details on what a PA motorbike safety class will teach you, what the benefits of these classes are and how you may enroll.

Pennsylvania Motorcycle Classes and Benefits

There are four motorcycle classes offered through PAMSP for learning riders: two for beginners and two for more experienced bikers. Most motorcycle safety courses will be provided with motorcycles and helmets for practice. All other gear, including jackets, gloves and shoes, must be furnished by the student, while other motorbike courses may require the rider to use his or her own bike. The motorcycle training courses offered by the PAMSP are as follows:

  1. Basic Rider Course (BRC): This is most basic motorcycle license class that is used as part of the application process for a Class M license. A prerequisite to this course would be the ability to maintain balance on a two-wheeled vehicle. Students should practice this skill before enrolling. BRC helps students in Pennsylvania learn to ride a motorcycle by covering the basics of protective gear and vehicle maneuvers such as starting, stopping, shifting and turning. Furthermore, this course will review hazard avoidance and help build critical thinking skills when on the road. This motorcycle license course includes five hours in the classroom, 10 hours on the road and is typically completed over the course of two weeks.

  2. Basic Rider Course 2 (BRC2): This is the second beginner's motorcycle training course, and necessitates a slightly more advanced knowledge over the BRC course. This motorcycle training class requires the student to use his or her own bike, and primarily concerns crash avoidance. As such, the course requires proof of insurance, current registration and safety inspection to cover skills in braking, cornering and swerving.

  3. 3-Wheel Basic Rider Couse (3WBRC): As an advanced motorcycle training course, 3WBRC is designed to teach riders who are experienced in two-wheel motorcycles how to ride three-wheel biked. It covers the same curriculum as the BRC and comprise of 12 hours; four hours in the classroom and eight hours on the road. Note that this motorcycle safety course does not accommodate the use of an autocycle.

  4. Advanced Rider Course (ARC): The fourth and final motorcycle safety class offered by the PAMSP program is the Advanced Rider Course. This is a one-day motorbike course that is designed for experienced riders who may already have registered motorcycles to hone their riding attitudes and awareness on the road. This is not a motorcycle licensing course, and is only used to enhance the riding behavior of experienced bikers in Pennsylvania. Only riders who already have a valid Class M designation may be enrolled.

Download our comprehensive guide to read more about motorcycle safety classes in PA.

How to Enroll in Pennsylvania Motorcycle Classes

If you are interested in receiving a Class M license to operate a motorcycle, you may be required to enroll into a Pennsylvania motorcycle class, such as the Basic Rider Course, as part of your application. Specifically, if you are an applicant between the ages of 16 and 18, you must first complete this motorcycle course before receiving a motorcycle license. Applicants over age 18 can opt to either take a motorbike safety class and waive the motorcycle road skills test as part of their application, or take the test directly without enrolling into a class.

For all ages, enrollment into the PA motorcycle safety program can only be done after completing the application for a learner's permit in Pennsylvania, if applicants do not have a Class M license. Learn more about motorcycle license application procedures in our comprehensive guide. Experienced riders who do have a Class M designation and are interested in a motorcycle training course are already eligible to enroll into a PAMSP course.

In order to receive a learner's permit to begin taking motorcycle classes through PAMSP, interested riders must first complete the Motorcycle Learner's Permit Application, pay the applicable fees and then pass a vision test and motorcycle knowledge test. From here, applicants between ages 16 and 18 will be required to enroll into a motorcycle license class. Interested riders who already have a Class M designation may register for these motorcycle courses at any time.

Motorcycle training courses within the PAMSP program are free for Pennsylvania residents. If you are an out-of-state rider who is interested in enrolling in motorcycle training courses, costs will apply depending on the course.

Learn more about motorcycle class requirements in Pennsylvania by downloading our free, informative guide.