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post #1 of 10 Old 07-11-2012, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brooklyn NY
Posts: 15
Angry Motorcycle Driving Test

Warning this is a general rant just need to yell! I am a Kentuckian living in NYC still with a KY drivers license. I know I know problem number one... I am heading to Alaska or planned to rather this Friday. When I got out my drivers license i realized it had expired ( I dont use it much in NYC during the winter). No big right wrong so I made it down to KY and went to the DMV and the women said I need to take the MC driving test again which they only do on Wednesdays. It was Monday I thought to myself no problem I took it like 15 years ago should be snap. Wrong!! I got their at one and the instructor started setting up this course hmm that looks different... Well needless to say he was not in a good mood did not really explain what he wanted me to do and then failed me for not following his instructions ( I guess I have a listening problem) I feel it was my fault a little and mostly his fault. I did think i was an experienced rider, I have made many cross country trips and even taken a MSF course about ten years ago. Well I went down to the DMV and explained my situation to the women she was relatively helpful and issued me a MC permit and a new DL which makes me legal kinda. I still need to take the test again but have to wait and that messes up the trip I am already suppose to be on. One more for the road my wife had a death in the family and is flying down from NYC to KY this weekend and the funeral is the same time as the Drivers test next week. I am Tired!!!! Can I get across the boader with a passport and a permit? Thanks for the ears!! have a better day than me..



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post #2 of 10 Old 07-11-2012, 06:15 PM
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Location: Decatur, IL
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Thumbs down

Don't feel too badly about failing the test. From what I see here in IL the test is extremely tight and compact. It is all but impossible to get a H.D. bagger or Gold Wing through it. A lot of the people in my area borrow a 250cc type of bike but IMHO there is something wrong with the way they judge a person's skill level. I recall the 1st time I took a test for the motorcycle (I had been riding for 20 years before they required a different test for motorcycles) and the state inspector asked me to push a gold wing about 1/3 block ! I said "what in the heck for" and his reply was he needed to know that I could handle the bike if it stopped on the road. I demonstrated to this guy I could indeed push it far enough to get it off the road and out of harms way but didn't push it a 3rd of a block. He and I had a heated conversation over this until I asked him if he required all people testing for a car license or semi to push it 1/3 block also... End of discussion and I was lucky he gave me my motorcycle endorsement after all that.

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post #3 of 10 Old 07-11-2012, 06:26 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Elk Creek, Kentucky
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Sorry about your luck. They recently changed the test...made it harder as you discovered.

I had to retake mine about 6 years ago after I had let my old one expire. I only owned my HD bagger then and was concerned about falling on my chrome doing the cone slaloom run.

In my county in the sticks they only give the test by appointment. After finally getting mine scheduled I took off from work and practiced a little then headed into town. The cop greets me and asked how my ride into town was. "Fine sir" I say. He asked did I wreck getting to the courthouse. "Nope" my short reply. He then said good enough for him, here is your license and have a great day.

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post #4 of 10 Old 07-11-2012, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brooklyn NY
Posts: 15
Thanks for the support!! Does anyone one want to way-in on weather i can continue my trip with a mc permit valid DL and a passport.. My US marshal buddy said i should be fine all they care about is your insurance and your passport both of which are about the only thing that seem to be ok with the start of this trip.... Ugh I just want to get back on the road!!



2003 copper SV650S sold
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-11-2012, 09:12 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Hamilton, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,515
I've never had my license, registration or insurance checked when entering the US, or re-entering Canada. They seem to be only concerned with whether or not you are permitted to enter the country legally, and with what you might have brought with you. Now, if you run into the Mounties, that's another story.

Last edited by V-Strom Ry; 07-11-2012 at 09:58 PM.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-11-2012, 09:24 PM
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Location: SW Ontario, Canada
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Originally Posted by V-Strom Ry View Post
I've never had my license, registration or insurance checked when entering the US, or re-entering Canada. They seem to be only concerned with whether or not your are permitted to enter the country legally, and with what you might have brought with you. Now, if you run into the Mounties, that's another story.
Yes, that's my experience also. As VStrom Ry points out, you may get across the border just fine but if you if get stopped by the police for some traffic violation or happen to be involved in an accident while in Canada, you'll be in Deep Do-Do without a valid motorcycle license. THAT would REALLY spoil your awful big risk to take.

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post #7 of 10 Old 07-11-2012, 09:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: GJ, CO
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If you still have the card proving you passed the MSF course, that may substitute the DMV testing part. Here in CO, after passing the MSF you can go down to the DMV and get your license that day. You might look into that, assuming you still have the card. If not, you might be out of luck as I understand MSF does not keep track of the graduates.


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post #8 of 10 Old 07-11-2012, 09:47 PM
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Location: South Carolina
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The Kentucky DMV says that if your licence has not been expired for a year you can re-up without taking any kind of driving test.

"If you let your license expire, you have one year to go in and renew it after its expiration date with no penalties, just the same $20 fee. Once a year passes, you’ll have to retake the vision and written tests."

Kentucky Drivers License Renewal Guide at The DMV Made Simple

I had taken motorcycle off mine in TN three years prior then decided to get a bike after 30 years. I went in prepared to test and they just added it for $6 as I was within their window.

When I got lasik I got one eye for reading and one for distance. The women at the DMV would not take the restriction off since that makes me 20/40 and not 20/20. I got a special form from my eye doctor and came back with that. They still refused and I had to threaten to go over their head. They grumbled and removed the restriction. I see no reason for you to have to retest, the law doesn't specify that unless you accept it.

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post #9 of 10 Old 07-12-2012, 02:08 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Seattle
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Check the area for beginner motorcycle courses. Even if they're showing as full, show up the day of (with money in hand and appropriate gear) and plead your case to the instructor. Here they are two days in length, most of the time. Pass that and you can get your license from dmv, in Washington and, as mentioned in this thread, Colorado at least. Beats waiting for once a week testing. I wonder if you could even take the course in NYC and then submit to KY dmv?

Alternatively, you could check other KY dmvs and see about retesting. Otherwise it's a calculated risk to ride on a permit, though I don't think the border agents care, rather that you just have a passport.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-12-2012, 03:22 AM
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I hope I never have to do a riding test!

When I got mine in the Sixties, I arrived at the Motor Registry with a borrowed Bridgestone 90 bike. The examiner told me to ride to the end of the street, turn around and come back. I got to the end of the street, stalled the bike (the Bridgestone had a 4-speed rotary gearbox so one could go past 4th gear into neutral - then another press gave you 1st gear!), nearly fell off, and looked back. He'd gone back into the office to write up the paperwork.

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