Motorcycles and Three-Wheeled Vehicles

blue motorcycle drawing side view

Nevada Helmet Law

Yellow motorcycle helmet

Helmets are required for drivers and passengers on motorcycles, mopeds and trimobiles with handlebars and a saddle seat.

Helmets are not required on three-wheeled vehicles with an enclosed cab that are equipped with a steering wheel rather than handlebars.

Helmets must meet standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

See NRS 486.231 and the Comparison Chart below for more details.

Getting a Motorcycle Driver License

Nevada issues a Class M driver license rather than an endorsement. Both your Class A, B or C and Class M are listed on one license.

Nevada transfers motorcycle endorsements and Class M licenses from most other states. If you are moving to Nevada and are currently licensed in the U.S., see our New Resident Guide.

If you are applying for your first Class M license, you may either complete an approved course or take the DMV motorcycle written and skills tests. Riders under 18 must also comply with all of the Nevada Teen Driving requirements on age, holding a permit, etc.

  • Take a Course

    Take a Course

    You do not have to take the DMV written and skills tests if you complete a course certified by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF).

    Courses are available from many Nevada public colleges and motorcycle dealerships. A motorcycle is provided and no instruction permit is necessary.

    Find a Course

    You may also call Nevada Rider at (800) 889-8779 or (775) 684-7480 for courses or with any question related to motorcycle safety.

    Get your License

    Upon completion, you may bring the Certificate of Completion (MSF card) and your existing Nevada license to a DMV office to have your new license issued.

    The DMV will accept courses up to one year after completion. The cost is $8.25.

  • Take the Tests

    Take the Tests

    If you choose to take the knowledge (written) and skills (driving) tests, you should apply in person and take the vision and knowledge tests at a DMV Office. You will have to take a Class C written test in addition to the Class M if you do not currently hold a Class C license.

    A $25 testing fee will apply in addition to the licensing fee. Be sure to bring your existing Nevada license or ID card.

    If you do not have a Nevada license or ID, you will need to bring proof of identity.

  • Instruction Permit

    Instruction Permit

    Riders age 18 and older who take an MSF course are not required to receive an instruction permit.

    If you are 18 or older and take the tests, it is your choice whether to obtain a permit. If you do not, you may not ride a motorcycle until you have completed the skills test. A licensed motorcycle operator will have to ride the cycle to the DMV for your skills test.

    All riders under 18 must:

    • Obtain and hold a motorcycle instruction permit for a minimum of 6 months
    • Complete 50 hours of supervised experience on a motorcycle while holding a motorcycle instruction permit and document this on the DMV drive log, and
    • Successfully complete a course in motorcycle safety.
      • If no course is offered within a 30-mile radius of your residence, you may complete an additional 50 hours of supervised experience.

    Time Limits

    • Age 18 or older - permit is valid for six months and may be renewed only once every five years.
    • Under 18 years old - permit is valid for one year and may be renewed multiple times. Permit will expire when the rider reaches 18.

    Riding

    A motorcycle instruction permit allows you to practice driving when you are accompanied by and in direct visual supervision of a licensed driver who:

    • Has a valid motorcycle license
    • Is at least 21 years old
    • Has at least one year of driving experience, and
    • Is also riding on a motorcycle at the time of supervision.

    The licensed driver supervising you while on a motorcycle may not be in a car or truck. When driving with a motorcycle instruction permit, you may drive during daylight hours only. You may not carry passengers or drive on freeways or other high-speed roadways.

  • Skills Test

    Skills Test

    You must pass the knowledge test before you schedule your skills test. Skills tests are administered by appointment. Larger offices also offer tests on a stand-by basis. Not all DMV locations offer all tests.

    Please have your instruction permit number ready when you call or schedule online.

    • Online Scheduling
    • Las Vegas area - (702) 486-4368
    • Reno/Sparks/Carson City - (775) 684-4368

    See Motorcycle Skills Test for a preview of the course and test requirements. Upon successful completion of the skills test, you will have your picture taken and your new license will be mailed to you.

    Skills Test Failures

    Failing the motorcycle skills test administered by the DMV two or more times will result in a permanent denial of future motorcycle instruction permits. You will have to take a course to obtain a Class M license.

  • Class M Restrictions

    Class M Restrictions

    If you take the test on a motorcycle of less than 90cc, your license will be restricted to 90cc or less (Restriction U).

    If you take the test on a moped of less than 50cc, your license will be restricted to 50cc or less (Restriction Q).

Registration

Motorcycle License Plate

Motorcycles and trimobiles are subject to the same registration requirements as other vehicles. You must have a properly signed-off title or Dealers Report of Sale and Nevada Evidence of Insurance. If you purchased a motorcycle from a Nevada dealer, you may register it online without visiting a DMV office.

See Vehicle Registration Requirements. Motorcycles are exempt from emission inspections and odometer reporting.

Motorcycle registrations are assessed an extra $6 fee to help fund Nevada Rider safety programs throughout the state. See the Nevada Rider website. Registration fees and governmental services taxes are calculated in the same manner as other vehicles.

"Motorcycle” means every motor vehicle equipped with a seat or a saddle for the use of the driver and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, including a power cycle but excluding a tractor and a moped. (NRS 486.041)

Off-Road to On-Road Motorcycle Conversions

Motocross rider drawing

An off-road motorcycle may be converted for use on Nevada public roads and highways if it meets the definition of an off-highway two wheeled motorcycle, is properly equipped and has been certified as safe to operate on Nevada public roads and highways by a Nevada licensed motorcycle dealer or Nevada registered motorcycle repair shop. See the following forms:

Sharing the Road

Motorcyclists, moped riders and bicyclists have the same rights and the same responsibilities as other drivers. However, there are special situations and conditions we all need to be aware of so we can safely share the road with them.

Motorcycles

Motocross rider drawing
  • Motorcycle operators have the right to use a complete traffic lane. Two motorcycles may share a lane.
  • Because of their smaller size, motorcycles are less visible and may appear to be farther away than they really are.
  • It is difficult for other drivers to judge how fast a motorcycle is going.
  • Motorcycles may be forced from their position on the road by strong winds or a rough road surface.
  • Turn signals are not self-canceling on most motorcycles. Before you make a lane change or turn that depends on what a motorcycle’s path is, be sure you know what a motorcyclist is doing. Watch for clues such as operators or passengers turning their heads to look behind, or operators beginning to lean or tilt their motorcycles.
  • If you are coming up behind a motorcycle, slow down sooner than you would for another vehicle. Leave plenty of space.
  • Always dim your headlights when approaching a motorcycle. Because motorcyclists balance as well as steer their vehicles, the blinding effect of your high beams can be far more dangerous to them than to drivers of cars or trucks.
  • Bad weather and slippery roads can be real problems for motorcyclists. Allow even more following distance when it is raining or the road is slippery.

Mopeds

Motocross rider drawing
  • Mopeds must be given the use of a complete traffic lane. Do not pass a moped in the same lane.
  • Moped drivers must obey the same rules and regulations as other types of vehicles.
  • Mopeds must ride in the extreme right-hand lane of a multi-lane road unless preparing to make a left turn, if it is unsafe to do so or if otherwise directed by a police officer.
  • Helmet use is required. Mopeds must be registered but are not required to have liability insurance.

Bicycles

Motocross rider drawing

When bicycles are ridden with other traffic, cyclists must obey the same rules and regulations as other types of vehicles. The safe interaction between bicyclists and motorists is the responsibility of both parties. See NRS Chapter 484B for the laws on operation of bicycles. Helmets are not required.

Motorists are not allowed to intentionally interfere with the movement of a person lawfully operating a bicycle; bicyclists may not intentionally interfere with the movement of a motor vehicle.

  • At intersections, motorists must yield to cyclists as they would for other vehicles and pedestrians.
  • When passing a cyclist, motorists must move into an adjacent lane to the left if possible. If not, the motorist must pass with at least 3 feet of clearance.
  • Motorists must yield the right-of-way to a cyclist on a bicycle path or in a bike lane.
  • Motorists may not stop, park or drive on a designated bicycle path or lane unless they are entering or leaving an alley or driveway, performing official duties, directed by a police officer, or an emergency situation exists.
  • A cyclist is required to ride on the right side of the roadway.
  • Cyclists ride in a traffic lane, staying to the far right as practicable unless preparing to turn or overtake another vehicle.
  • Cyclists must obey all traffic signs and signals and use hand signals to let others know what they plan to do.
  • Inexperienced riders, especially children, require special courtesy and care. They may not always follow traffic rules. Be especially careful around these riders and expect the unexpected.

Cyclists Should:

  • Obey the law.
  • Wear a helmet.
  • Wear brightly colored clothing.
  • Keep bikes in good repair.

Cyclists Should Not:

  • Ride on the wrong side of the road.
  • Wear a headset when riding.
  • Ride at night without required lights and reflectors.

Bicycles Ridden at Night Must Have:

  • A white lamp in the front visible from at least 500 feet away.
  • A red tail reflector visible in a vehicle's low beams from 300 feet away.
  • Reflective material on the sides of the bike visible in low beams from at least 600 feet away or a lamp visible from both sides from 500 feet away.

Vehicle Comparison Table

Comparison Table PDF Version

  Motorcycle Trimobile Other Three-Wheeled Moped Off-Highway Vehicle
Driver’s License Yes - Class M Yes - Any Class Yes - Any Class Yes - Any Class No
(unless operated on a public highway where allowed)
Helmet Required
(Helmet use is always suggested)
Yes Yes
(Vehicles with handlebars and saddle seat)
No
(Vehicles with enclosed cab and steering wheel)
Yes No
(unless operated on a public highway where allowed)
Registration Yes - at DMV or online if eligible Yes - at DMV or online if eligible Yes - at DMV or online if eligible Yes - at DMV only Yes - by mail only
Liability Insurance Yes Yes Yes No Large ATVs only
VIN Inspection At DMV unless previously registered in NV or sold by an NV dealer At DMV unless previously registered in NV or sold by an NV dealer At DMV unless previously registered in NV or sold by an NV dealer At DMV, Sheriff in counties with no DMV office or at NV dealer if sold by dealer NV OHV dealer or law enforcement in rural areas
Maximum Engine Size       50 cc or 1500 watts  
Maximum Horsepower       2 brake horsepower  
Maximum Speed       30 mph  
Maximum wheels on Ground 3 3 3 3  
Notes Is not a moped or electric bicycle A motorcycle with a sidecar is considered a motorcycle     OHVs may not be driven on public streets except in designated areas
Dealer Licensing Yes - Any business which sells, leases or rents any of these vehicles must have a DMV business license. See Occupational and Business Licensing.

Legal Definitions

NRS 482.070 “Motorcycle” defined. “Motorcycle” means every motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, except any such vehicle as may be included within the term “electric bicycle,” “tractor” or “moped” as defined in this chapter.

NRS 482.129 “Trimobile” defined. “Trimobile” means every motor vehicle equipped with handlebars and a saddle seat and designed to travel with three wheels in contact with the ground, at least one of which is power driven. The term does not include a motorcycle with a sidecar.
(Revised definition effective 10/1/19)

NRS 482.069 “Moped” defined. “Moped” means a motor-driven scooter, motor-driven cycle or similar vehicle that is propelled by a small engine which produces not more than 2 gross brake horsepower, has a displacement of not more than 50 cubic centimeters or produces not more than 1500 watts final output, and:

  1. Is designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground but is not a tractor; and
  2. Is capable of a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on a flat surface with not more than 1 percent grade in any direction when the motor is engaged.

The term does not include an electric bicycle.

NRS 482.0287 “Electric bicycle” defined. “Electric bicycle” means a device upon which a person may ride, having two or three wheels, or every such device generally recognized as a bicycle that has fully operable pedals and is propelled by a small electric engine which produces not more than 1 gross brake horsepower and which produces not more than 750 watts final output, and:

  1. Is designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground but is not a tractor; and
  2. Powered solely by such a small electric engine, is capable of a maximum speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on a flat surface while carrying an operator who weighs 170 pounds.

The term does not include a moped.

Electric bicycles do not require helmet use, a driver's license, registration or insurance.

NRS 490.060 “Off-highway vehicle” defined.

  1. “Off-highway vehicle” means a motor vehicle that is designed primarily for off-highway and all-terrain use. The term includes, but is not limited to:
    1. An all-terrain vehicle, including, without limitation, a large all-terrain vehicle without regard to whether that large all-terrain vehicle is registered by the Department in accordance with NRS 490.0825 as a motor vehicle intended to be operated upon the highways of this State;
    2. An all-terrain motorcycle;
    3. A dune buggy;
    4. A snowmobile; and
    5. Any motor vehicle used on public lands for the purpose of recreation.
  2. The term does not include:
    1. A motor vehicle designed primarily for use in water;
    2. A motor vehicle that is registered by the Department in accordance with chapter 482 of NRS;
    3. A low-speed vehicle as defined in NRS 484B.637; or
    4. Special mobile equipment, as defined in NRS 482.123.

NRS 490.043 “Large all-terrain vehicle” defined. “Large all-terrain vehicle” means any all-terrain vehicle that includes seating capacity for at least two people abreast and:

  1. Total seating capacity for at least four people; or
  2. A truck bed.