Motorcycle endorsement brain teaser

First person that can answer wins! Well, that person wins bragging rights. No prize given. If your answer works and it’s not the answer I thought of, you still win.

This is a question I thought up after reading about something in particular. Of course, I can’t tell you what that is without giving a hint to what the answer is, so I won’t. The question is regarding a hypothetical person living in NJ with a NJ driver’s license. I picked NJ because that’s where I live, but I’m confident this person can live in most other US states and the scenario will work just as well. It doesn’t have the most exciting answer in the world, but I find it interesting and motorcyclists especially might also find it interesting.

There is a man living in NJ. He has driven/ridden only one vehicle in his life- the 2018 Nissan Altima he drove when he took the road test for his driver’s license in 2018. He has never driven/ridden any other car, motorcycle (including 3 wheeled motorcycles), moped, etc. This isn’t a trick question regarding what “other” type of vehicle he may have driven/ridden. That Altima was the one and only. He never drove/rode another vehicle, including that Altima, after the day of that road test.

In 2019 he had a non-restricted motorcycle endorsement added to his NJ driver’s license, and he received it without breaking any laws and without the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission or any other entity or person breaking any laws or making any mistakes. How was that accomplished?

Has he successfully completed a motorcycle safety education course?

^ That’s not the answer I was thinking of. You’d have to post more specific details so I can see if that would work.

I don’t think that works. Our guy can’t complete that course, gaining an endorsement, without riding a motorcycle and passing the final skills test.

Well, there’s this:

[spoiler]
NEW JERSEY
A person who successfully completes a road test for a motorcycle license or a motorcycle endorsement when operating a motorcycle or motorized scooter with an engine displacement of less than 231 cubic centimeters shall be issued a motorcycle license or endorsement restricting the person’s operation of such vehicles to any motorcycle with an engine displacement of 500 cubic centimeters or less. A person who successfully completes a road test for a motorcycle license or motorcycle endorsement when operating a motorcycle with an engine displacement of 231 or more cubic centimeters, or successfully completes an approved motorcycle safety education course, shall be issued a motorcycle license or endorsement without any restriction as to engine displacement.

The director of the MVC may waive the road test portion of the examinations required for a motorcycle license or endorsement if the applicant has successfully completed a motorcycle safety education course.[/spoiler]

Bolding mine.

^ I’m going to skip the spoiler box because I don’t believe you’re on the right track.

AFAIK, the motorcycle safety education course mentioned in your link must be given by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). From their website (bolding mine):

https://www.msf-usa.org/students.aspx#brc-brc

More info here (first clickable link (the word “Register”) under “1. Enroll in the Basic Rider Course (BRC)”:

If there’s a safety education course that doesn’t include mandatory cycle time which NJ will accept as a waiver exempting one from taking a road test with the Motor Vehicle Commission, you have to cite it. :slight_smile:

edit: removing spoiler tag thanks to getting comprehensively ninja’d by x-ray vision.

Sure, but to my knowledge, there is no way to complete the NJ (or any state) motorcycle safety course without taking the riding skills test at the end. The waiver mentioned is just to remove the duplicative effort of then taking another riding skills test at the DMV.

You sure it was an endorsement?

Some states allow the permit, with a time limit to learn the machine. Then the applicant will come back to DMV for their road test. Gives a time window where an un-endorsed person is still legal. I don’t think he had an endorsement, only a learners permit.

I’m often wrong about things, too.

Ah, gotcha. Good point; I’ll drop it.

Hmm, one way i can see around either the road test or the Basic Rider skills sessions on a bike would be if there were a foreign country that allowed conversion of a US MC permit (which you can get with a written test only) into a local full license (perhaps said country doesn’t have a permit system?).

Then, after a year (you did mention the time gap was from 2018 to 2019), the person comes back to US and there are procedures to convert a foreign license to a full endorsement.

A casual Google search didn’t turn a country that that up, though, and an IDL (International Driver’s License) does require a full endorsement from the person’s native country (where they hold their original license) for the motorcycling endorsement to carry over.

I’m sure it was an endorsement. The hypothetical person has never been outside of the US.

Read through Indiana’s laws and the only way without passing a riding skills requirement (which would require riding a motorcycle) is if you have a valid endorsement from another state. I don’t plan to go through every state to see if there is a state that lets you get the license without ever riding but that would be the only way here.

The other way… since this is NJ. He slipped the person at the DMV a hundred or so and/or has a relative in a high spot in the organization.

I can’t think of any way anyone can get a motorcycle license (or MC endorsement on a driver’s license) without ever having ridden a motorcycle.

There is no course (of which I’m aware) offered in any state that gets you a license without actual time on the bike.
I’ve got a question, though – is it possible to get a motorcycle license (in the US, any state) without having a driver’s license first?

Yes, in my state (NJ) it’s the only way to get a motorcycle “license” and not an M endorsement.

I can imagine that some jurisdictions would grant some public servants (police officers maybe? or military personnel?) additional driving certifications “for free” as part of their job, for some technical / legal reason.

Well technically, it’d be a “driver’s license” with the M endorsement only and no D endorsement.

When I got my MC learner’s permit it was a separate document that looked just like my driver’s license with the D endorsement, but it said PERMIT on it with an M; when I passed the road test, I turned it in along with my regular driver’s license and they gave me back a license with the DM endorsement.

If I had no D class license already, I would simply have been given back a full license with the M endorsement but no D.

BTW as far as crazy loopholes go, what you’re describing is surely dangerously crazy, but what I got in real life was not a whole lot better - I passed the motorcycle road test on a 150cc “twist and go” scooter, a Vespa GT4 with 10" wheels and a CVT. Which would require a full MC license to ride in NY, and so qualified for use in taking the road test. Doing figure 8s on one of those things is silly easy. And so I got a full M endorsement that legally would allow me to buy a Harley Fat Boy at a dealership and (attempt to) ride it home.

About 2 months after that, I signed up for the MSF Basic Rider course to learn to ride a “standard” motorcycle for that reason. I was unsurprisingly the only person in the class who already had an M endorsement, haha. And in fact, one of the minority of people who’d never operated a clutch before… About half the class were guys with MC permits who’d been riding motorcycles for years - some even riding to the course - but got ticketed for riding “out of class” on a permit, so were doing this class to avoid the hassle of the road test.

BTW as far as crazy loopholes go, what you’re describing is surely dangerously crazy, but what I got in real life was not a whole lot better - I passed the motorcycle road test on a 150cc “twist and go” scooter, a Vespa GT4 with 10" wheels and a CVT. Which would require a full MC license to ride in NY, and so qualified for use in taking the road test. Doing figure 8s on one of those things is silly easy. And so I got a full M endorsement that legally would allow me to buy a Harley Fat Boy at a dealership and (attempt to) ride it home.

About 2 months after that, I signed up for the MSF Basic Rider course to learn to ride a “standard” motorcycle for that reason. I was unsurprisingly the only person in the class who already had an M endorsement, haha. And in fact, one of the minority of people who’d never operated a clutch before… About half the class were guys with MC permits who’d been riding motorcycles for years - some even riding to the course - but got ticketed for riding “out of class” on a permit, so were doing this class to avoid the hassle of the road test.

I have a buddy who’s a cop and who was certified to ride a motorcycle to be in motorcades, etc. But getting that certification by the NYPD involved actually learning to ride the motorcycle, go figure. Essentially they had an all-cop internal MSF Basic Rider Course program as training (they didn’t have to pay for it themselves), but the M endorsements they earned by passing went on their personal licenses (of course).

Was that in NY? Every cite I checked states that there is no M endorsement when getting a license to ride a motorcycle without a driver’s license in NJ and it is called a “motorcycle license” in that case.

https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/vehicletopics/motorcycle.htm