Motorcycle License, M1, M2 & M + Training Courses in Ottawa

How do I get a Motorcycle License in Ontario?

The province of Ontario offers additional information here, but in short, to apply and take the required tests, visit a DriveTest centre. You will need to bring original identification that shows your legal name, date of birth and your signature. Check out an M1 practice test here.

You will also need to:

  • obtain and study the motorcycle handbook (available at any licensing office or at Canadian Tire)
  • be at least 16 years old
  • pass an eye test
  • pass a written test about the rules of the road and traffic signs

Once you pass these tests, you will get your M1 licence. You are considered a beginner rider with driving restrictions and need to practice riding and gain experience over time.  Review the M1 license restrictions here.

You need to wait at least 60 days before you can take your first road test, also known as your M1 exit test. Your M1 licence is valid for a maximum of 90 days. If the licence expires, you will need to start over.  Make sure you book your M1 exit test right away to secure your spot (click here), or, register for a motorcycle safety course (see below).

After you pass the M1 exit test, you get an M2 licence. You can now ride at night and on any road, however, you must still maintain a zero blood alcohol level.

After 22 months (or 18 months with the motorcycle safety course), you can take the second road test, the M2 exit test. If you pass, you get a full M licence.

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What Type of License do I need?

To drive a motorcycle, you will need an M Class license. The type of license you get will depend on the type of motorcycle you want to drive. The three main types are:

  • M (includes M1 and M2): for full-speed motorcycles, all scooters & 3 wheeled motorcycles.
  • M with condition L (includes M1 and M2-L): limited to mopeds and motorized scooters under 50 cc. (also called “limited-speed” motorcycles).
  • M with condition M (includes M1 and M2-M): for three-wheeled motorcycles.

All licenses come with certain conditions, click here for more details.

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Do I need to take a Motorcycle Safety Course?

While the decision is, of course, ultimetly your own, it is important to remember we never stop learning. Whether you are a new rider or have been on a motorcycle for many years, the Ottawa Goodtime Centre highly recommends improving your skills in a safe environment with a motorcycle training course.

When you successfully complete one of the three Ottawa safety courses listed below, you will get a referral envelope. If you bring this referral envelope to a DriveTest centre, within six months, you do not need to take the M1 exit road test — you move directly to the next level (M2). You will also be able to take the second road test sooner, after 18 months instead of the standard 22.

Approved safety courses in Ottawa can be taken at:

  1. Algonquin College
  2. Ottawa Safety Council
  3. Rider Training Institute

Additional training courses available in Ontario can be found here.

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Things To Know

These courses book up very quickly and can be difficult to get into during the summer so don’t be afraid to plan ahead and sign up early!

Courses typically take place over a weekend, full days Saturday and Sunday on the bikes, plus one weeknight of in class training. You must have passed the written M1 Ministry test before taking the course.

You are taught motorcycle safety theory and both basic and advanced maneuvering, including collision avoidance and defensive driving techniques. Skills such as balance, braking, emergency braking and lane positioning will also be addressed.

A variety of motorcycles are provided for these courses. Proper riding gear, however, must be supplied by the student. Ask any of our trained accessory staff in the Ottawa Goodtime Centre for assistance in picking the right riding gear for you, or browse through our online shop here.

Learning to ride a motorcycle is exciting, if you need more information on these courses please do not hesitate to ask any of our team. Make sure to sign up in advance as these classes quickly fill up!

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