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Visionary
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Back to the original question, I rode for a couple of years back in the 80s, I rode dirt bikes and mopeds on the street underage with no license at all, then I never got an M endorsement on my car license, just rode motorcycles anyway for a couple of years and never got caught, I think I did have a NY permit once but never took a test.
I restarted riding around 7 years ago, and got a permit, then eventually took the MSF course, passed the test and got a real M on my license after all these years.
So I'm licensed and my bikes are all registered and fully insured, but we won't talk about Pennsylvania inspections.... :)
 

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I started riding in '85. Ohio required a motorcycle endorsement on your driver's licence. I took a written test and got a learner's permit, then a couple months later took the motorcycle license test and passed the first time. I've carried the M endorsement on my license ever since, even during the 29 years I wasn't riding. I never even considered riding without being licensed.

Ohio doesn't now and never has had (as far as I know) any kind of motor vehicle inspection for personal vehicles. Except for emissions testing in the 5 counties with the largest concentrations of population. Motorcycles are exempt from this.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Maryland has a crazy inspection law. Doesn't have to be inspected to sell it, but when you buy any vehicle it has to be inspected to be registered. After that inspection you are good to go until someone else buys it and wants to register it. Needless to say inspections aren't that cheap.
 
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Something I'm curious about... I've been riding since I was 15 but had a large gap after a bad wreck almost took my legs, took a lot of baby steps but I've been on motorcycles again for 5 years. I've only recently however actually gotten my motorcycle license and a lot of riders around here that I know of just don't have one.
Did you get a license/learner's permit before you started or did you wing it? If so for how long?
The laws differ for different states. When I got my learner's permit in 1970 all you had to do was take a written test. Then, within 30 days you had to take the riding test. That involved cones, circles, figure 8's.

Since you are just getting back into riding, I'd suggest the MSF course (Motorcycle Safety Foundation...or equivalent). More cars, worse drivers, higher speeds have changed since you last rode.

If you ride without a license, the fine can be steep, plus the fees for impounding the bike. It's just not worth it to NOT get a license.
 

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Maryland has a crazy inspection law. Doesn't have to be inspected to sell it, but when you buy any vehicle it has to be inspected to be registered. After that inspection you are good to go until someone else buys it and wants to register it. Needless to say inspections aren't that cheap.
In Utah there are no inspections for motorcycles, neither safety nor emissions. That's good and bad. I've seen guys riding with the cords showing through the rear tires. NOT SAFE.

Then there are the "Loud pipes save lives" guys that have straight pipes that are very loud. Loud pipes don't help when someone makes a left turn, car or bike.
 

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Nightfly
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I believe everyone should do what is best for them. In PA I could not purchase a bike with out proof of motorcycle stamp on my license. And having a license it just being judicious... Insurance would frown on not having one should you have an accident.
 

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My "licence" experience is almost identical to Critter -- military was the first course I took (week long as i recall), then I was stationed overseas and let my drivers licence expired (drove on the international) but that didn't transfer back into the states, so after getting the car licence, took the MSF course to get back on post -- eventually they required the "old-guys MSF course (whatever that is called) as well...

Inspections in Virginia can be on a different cycle to tag exasperation, but still annual -- as far as I can tell the only thing they require for bike tags is that your taxes have to be up to date (another reason to buy old, used, cheap...), and you have to assert liability insurance...
 
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