How to Get a Motorcycle License in Ottawa

This post explains the step by step process for acquiring a license for a motorcycle. For a step by step guide on how to get a car/automobile license in Ottawa, please click here.

A driver’s license is more than a piece of plastic; it represents one’s ability to ride a motorcycle legally. As the process in Canada is determined by each Province, the rules and regulations that apply in Ottawa are the same as those throughout Ontario.

From 1st April 1994, everyone who is applying for a motorcycle license for the first time have to fulfill the requirement of registering into the Ontario Graduated Licensing System. This system allows individuals to gain driving experience gradually over a minimum 20 month time frame.

New drivers earn their full driver privileges in two learner stages (known as M1 and M2) and have two years to complete the full program to graduate to a full license (M). Test locations and fee information is available below.

For Location: Visits

For Fee Information click here: Fees


  • 1

    M1 License

    The first step in order to obtain a M1 license is to pass a written motorcycle knowledge exam. This test can be taken at your nearest test location from the above link.

    The test is based totally on the Ministry of Transportation Ontario Motorcycle Handbook. This can be purchased for a price of $16.00 CAD (taxes included). Information on how to obtain the Handbook can be found here.

    The cost of the test is usually $57.50. If however you take and complete a Ministry of Transportation-approved motorcycle safety course the cost is reduced to $17.50. Completing this course exempts you from taking the M1 road test that will be detailed in the step below.

    A list of motorcycle safety courses providers can be found here.

    Once you complete this exam, you will get an M2 license valid for 90 days and an information package. If you elect not to take a course, you must successfully pass an M1 road test. Road tests can be booked here.

    M1 riders must ride under the following conditions:

    a.  blood alcohol level of 0.00%;

    b. must only ride between daylight hours (1/2 hour before sunrise and 1/2 hour after sunset);

    c. no passengers; and

    d.  Speed limits with more than 80 km/hr must avoid highways.

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    M2 License

    By taking a motorcycle safety course, you will be exempt from a M1 road test and also will be able to upgrade to a M2 license after 60 days. An added benefit of taking this course is that you can reduce the time at this level from 22 months to 18 months.

    With an M2 license, you have added privileges over an M1, including the ability to ride at all times of the day and on any road.

    You are still required to take a M2 road test to get a full M license. There are also restricted M licenses for mopeds and limited speed motorcycles (up to 70 km/hr). Information on this testing can be found here.

  • 3

    Good luck to everyone looking to get their motorcycle license in Ottawa.

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