This course is designed for the true novice rider who has little or no riding experience. It includes at home study assignment, formal classroom, and riding instruction on the basic riding skills and strategies necessary for an individual to begin to practice street riding.
Courses are taught by Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) Approved and Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Certified Instructors/RiderCoaches. You should be able to ride a bicycle, balance, and be able to catch a ball, tossed at you from about 20 feet, hand-eye coordination, to participate in this course.
What is updated about this course is that about 6-hours of relatively fast-paced classroom instruction has been replaced by an online eCourse. The eCourse can be done in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace prior to the start of the Basic Rider Course.
There is no additional charge for the eCourse as it is included in the cost of registration. The eCourse will prepare you for your first riding experience and covers topics like basic operation, preparing to ride and some more advanced topics like risk and riding, and basic street strategies. Prior to your first riding session you must present a copy of your eCourse Completion Certificate to your Instructor/RiderCoach.
Please see the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s website for more information on the eCourse
Remember, the eCourse is included with your registration. If you pay for it the training center where you have registered for the course, or the Motor Vehicle Administration/Motorcycle Safety Program will not be able to reimburse you for it.
There are approximately 4 – 5 hours of formal classroom instruction that covers rider perception and decision making. A variety of inter-active activities are used to help explain and illustrate important concepts.
The riding activities for the BRC have been updated as well. Participants still receive approximately 10 hours of riding instruction on a training motorcycle practicing clutch-throttle control, stopping, turning, shifting, and basic crash avoidance skills. However, there is more emphasis placed on decision making and cornering skills.
Throughout the course the Instructors/RiderCoaches evaluate and coach each rider's performance. Participants who do not achieve the minimum performance standards will not be allowed to continue in the course.
To complete the course, riders must pass a knowledge and skill test administered at the end of the course. Riders who pass will receive a Maryland Motorcycle Safety Program Completion Card. Riders with a Maryland Driver’s License will also receive a Completion Certificate to get the Class M license added to their current license.
There is no guarantee that an individual enrolling in this course will pass or become eligible for a motorcycle license or endorsement.
Participants in a BRC should not ride their personal motorcycle to class unless done so legally. Please see the Program's policy
about riding a motorcycle to class.
- Individuals who possess a valid driver’s license, a Class “M” (motorcycle) learner’s permit or individuals that are eligible for a learner’s permit may enroll in the basic course. Parents or guardians of individuals under the age of 18 enrolling in the course must sign a consent/release form.
- Students must provide all their own riding gear. This includes:
- A Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 compliant helmet:
- Any style of compliant helmet may be worn, but the Program recommends the full-face, or modular, a.k.a. flip-up and open-face, a.k.a. ¾ style helmets because they provide the most protection for a novice rider;
- All labeling, exterior and interior, must be intact;
- Be in good condition with no damage to the outer shell or have an excessively worn interior lining; and
- Must fit properly.
- Jacket or sturdy long-sleeved shirt.
- Full fingered gloves.
- Long pants of sturdy material. Cannot have any tears or holes.
- Over-the-ankle foot wear, preferably with a heel.
The course Instructor/RiderCoach shall be responsible for inspecting a student’s riding gear. If any item of the student’s gear does not meet the required standards the student will not be allowed to participate in the course.
Course participants are encouraged to bring their riding gear to the first-class session for evaluation by the course Instructor/RiderCoach.
- Pay the course registration fee to be officially enrolled in a course. You may attempt to enroll in a course as a stand-by student by reporting to the center on the first day of the course and if selected paying the fee by credit or check card.
Course Completion Requirements and Getting Your License
To pass the course you must complete the eCourse, participate in all the course sessions and pass a knowledge test and on-cycle test. Riders satisfactorily completing the Basic Rider Course are eligible to receive a Maryland Completion Card and their Class M license
- A motorcycle learner’s permit is not required to participate.
- Students must provide all their own riding gear.
- Individuals applying for a motorcycle license as a first license will still have to complete the requirements of the Graduated Licensing System (GLS), a.k.a. Rookie Driver, and must be eligible to be issued a full license before their Class M License Certificate expires.
- Training motorcycles are provided.
A participant may use their personal scooter in a BRC if it has an engine displacement of 51 cubic centimeters or more. Personal scooters must be in good operating condition and be transported to the training center legally. A personal scooter must be insured, and the owner must accept all liability for its use in the course. The Program will not be responsible for any damage to a personal scooter as a result of participation.
Note: Please contact the Program office or the training center where enrolling to make arrangements.
- Some insurance companies offer discounts on motorcycle premiums to course graduates.
- The eCourse takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete.
- Course participants get approximately 15 hours of formal instruction: 4 - 5 hours in the classroom, and 10 hours on-cycle.
- The curriculum is approved by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and meets or exceeds the standards established by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
- Course participants are required to report to all scheduled sessions regardless of weather.
- Lateness policy.
- Participants are eligible for one retest of both tests within 30-days of their course completion date.