AUGUSTA — If you want to be licensed to drive a motorcycle in Maine, you will have to complete a hands-on rider education course.

On Friday, Gov. Paul LePage signed emergency legislation that included a requirement that Maine residents seeking a motorcycle endorsement on their licenses to complete the Basic RiderCourse  (BRC), according to a statement released by Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap.

Because it is emergency legislation, the new law goes into effect immediately.

Before the new law, prospective motorcyclists could take either the BRC or the Maine Motorcycle Safety Education Course (MMSEC), which was an 8-hour classroom-only course . Completing the MMSEC allowed participants to earn permits and later take a road test to get their motorcycle endorsement.

Now, only the Basic RiderCourse will be recognized by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) for motorcycle licensing. This  is a 15-hour course that combines classroom instruction with hands-on training.

A written test and a motorcycle skills test are administered at the completion of the BRC. Those who pass the written test are eligible to receive their motorcycle permit and complete a road test administered by the BMV at a later date. Those who pass the skills test and hold a valid driver’s license are also eligible for a road test waiver.

Participants who complete the MMSEC course by May 15 will be grandfathered and can complete their road test to earn their endorsement during their permit period.

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