Before you buy your first motorcycle you should know that all provinces require you to have a specific motorcycle license for anything above a 50cc scooter. Half of the provinces even require a specific license for those too. All provinces now have a graduated license system. Although the nomenclature varies from province/territory to province/territory it basically consists of a written beginner license test, followed by a practical test to get your intermediate license. A full license will require approximately 18 months to 5 years of experience to achieve.
No province or territory currently restricts motorcycle size or displacement for beginner or intermediate riders. However you should check with insurance rates in your area. If the insurance industry feels that you have selected too much bike for your experience, the insurance rates will be sure to let you know. Most beginner licenses come with restrictions such as no access to multi-lane highways, no passengers, no travel at night and zero alcohol.
You will need a specific motorcycle license if:
- You want to ride any powered two wheel (PTW) vehicle that has a top speed over 32 kmh with the exception of 49cc speed limited scooters in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec & New Brunswick.
- The above mentioned provinces allow the use of a 49cc scooter with speed limited to 70 kmh or less as long as you have a car drivers license.
- Alberta and Quebec allow a 14 year old to be licensed to operate a 50cc scooter with a top speed limit of 70 kmh or less. Licensing and testing is required. Training is mandatory in Quebec and highly recommended in Alberta.
- Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland/Labrador and Saskatchewan all require a form of motorcycle license to operate any PTW (Powered two wheeler) that has a speed limit of greater than 32 kmh.
- Off road riders do not need a license to ride off road or cross a road at 90 degrees. However it does get a little tricky as most crown land requires the motorcycle to be insured. The majority of insurance providers require ownership and you need a license to get an ownership. It does not have to be a motorcycle license, a car license will suffice.
- For more information about Canadian Motorcycle Licensing Requirements please click here.