How to get a Utah motorcycle license and use lane filtering

By mbrooks on June 4, 2019
File – A motorcyclist rides between cars in slow moving traffic on Highway 101 October 16, 2007 in Corte Madera, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By Matthew Brooks

Motorcycle riders are increasingly visible in Utah, partly due to lane filtering.

For the last couple of weeks, the lane filtering law allows motorcyclists in Utah to legally pass in between lanes of cars.

A study at UC Berkeley found that motorcyclists are less likely to be an accident while lane splitting – the California version of lane filtering – than while in normal traffic.

Lane filtering

Passing in between other cars in Utah comes with some restrictions:

  • The speed limit is 45 mph or less
  • The road has two more adjacent lanes moving in the same direction
  • Motorists can only pass by stopped vehicles
  • Motorists can not exceed 15 mph
  • Lane filtering can be performed safely.

The process of getting a motorcycle license also has some requirements.

First, the motorcycle license is an added endorsement on the driver license, known as a Class D license. This means that applying for the endorsement requires you to renew the driver license you already have.

How much a motorcycle endorsement costs

The cost for Utah residents to renew the driver license is $32.

The motorcycle endorsement is $11.

There are two ways for hopeful motorists to pass the driving test.

One, motorists can pass the riding test at the DMV.

Or two, motorists can pass the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Beginning Rider Course. The course is 15 hours, with ten of those hours spent on a motorcycle. Experienced riders, with 2,000 or more hours on their motorcycle, can get a waiver from the full class and take a five-hour class instead.

The Salt Lake Community College offers the beginning rider course for $230. The cost for the experienced class is $80. Other classes are available, including a class for women only, a class that teaches advanced techniques, and a class for riders with experience but no formal training.

Dixie State University offers the beginner rider course for $175.

Motorcycle tests

Getting a motorcycle endorsement comes with a few tests beyond the riding tests.

Riders must pass a vision test. The vision test for the endorsement is the same as for the Class D license.

Motorists must demonstrate that they have “20/40 vision and peripheral fields (side vision) of 120 degrees in at least one eye,” according to the Utah Department of Public Safety.

Riders must pass a 25-question written test [link to the handbook].

Once all of these steps are completed, the new driver license with the motorcycle endorsement is sent out within 8 to 10 weeks.


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