Motorcycle Licensing in Illinois

You are not my lawyer, I am not your client, blah blah blah.

I’m in the market for a motor scooter. Something like this.

The guy at the shop said that anything under 50cc (and wouldn’t you know it, the bike he was trying to sell me was 49cc) can be drive with a regular IL drivers license; anything over required a motorcycle license (requiring a course, road test, and about $200 in fees).

Nay nay, say the guys at work. You can drive a scooter between 50-149cc with some sort of license that requires only a written test and $5.

The Illinois Secretary of State’s discussion of the topic is not very helpful.

Anyone familiar enough with Illinois law to speak about this?

I guess it comes down to the capabilities of the particular scooter you’re looking at. From the same site:

Under 50cc you can use a normal (car) license. Over that, you need a special endorsement on the license. There are various ways to get this, but it’s never anything like $200.

I highly suggest taking the MSF course. When I took this (in 2001, I think), it cost $20. This included training, and a written and riding test at the end which serves as the licensing test. You then need to go to a license facility, turn in your documents, get an eye test and new picture, and you’re on your way. I think this is $15, total.

The $20 for the course was refundable, so getting from a car-only license to a car + motorcycle license cost me $15.

I’m not familiar with requirements for 50cc - 150cc bikes.

49cc or under: Class D (vanilla license)
50cc-149cc: Class L
150cc-up: Class M

I agree the MSF course is invaluable for any rider but it cost me $350.00 in 2010 in NY. Well worth it since I think I would have crashed already if no one taught me how to brake in an emergency.