HomeNewsArticle Display

Maintaining motorcycle mastery in Montana


With warmer weather, more and more people are trading in their four-wheeled rides for a two-wheeled version. A motorcycle is a fun alternative to taking a drive in a sedan or station wagon. However, before you jump on your bike and tour the countryside, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, Airmen must meet the requirements of both the state in which you are driving and the U.S. Air Force.

Montana requires a motorcycle endorsement on a Montana driver’s license or a motorcycle license from another state to operate a motorcycle on Montana’s roads. If you cannot obtain a motorcycle license from your state of residence, then you will need to surrender your current license and get a Montana driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. 

To get a Montana motorcycle endorsement you must be 15 years of age if you have taken a driver education course, or 16 years of age without the course. The endorsement costs 50 cents per year.

A written test and a riding skill test must be successfully completed to receive the endorsement. The riding skill test may be waived if you have taken a motorcycle rider safety course. A motorcycle-only license is available by passing the written driving test, the written motorcycle test, the riding skill test, and paying a fee. 

When applying for a Montana driver’s license, you may be asked to register to vote. However, you should be aware that obtaining a Montana driver’s license and registering to vote in Montana may affect your state of residence for tax purposes.

For example, service members who register to vote in Montana will lose the military exclusion benefit and have to pay the full registration fee for each vehicle they register in Montana. You are not required to register to vote to obtain a Montana license, but you do have to have a Montana address.

The U.S. Air Force also has its own requirements.

In addition to following local and state laws, Air Force Instruction 91-207 requires “all military personnel at any time and all civilian personnel on an Air Force installation or off an Air Force installation in a duty status who operate a motorcycle on a roadway are required to attend and complete an approved motorcycle rider education course.”

Once you complete this training, you can take your certificate to the Department of Motor Vehicles and apply for your motorcycle endorsement. It also requires refresher training for motorcycle riders every three years.

It should be noted that if you fall under Air Force Global Strike Command, as Malmstrom does, you are required to complete an intermediate approved motorcycle course within 120 days after completion of initial training.

It is also required that within 30 days of applying for your endorsement or taking a rider’s education course, you consult your immediate commander and have a face-to-face interview with them to let them know you intend on riding a motorcycle. This can be scheduled through your unit.

You must also ride safely. The U.S. Air Force requires all riders and passengers, regardless of age or experience, to wear adequate personal protective equipment defined as head protection, eye protection, protective clothing, and foot protection at a minimum, both on and off base.

Finally, you need to be covered by insurance. In the state of Montana, you must have liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $25,000/$50,000/$20,000.

An installation commander can require all drivers to have liability insurance if they wish to drive on base, even if state law doesn’t require it.

Driving a motorcycle can be fun and enjoyable. All you need to do is remember to be legal, to be safe, and to be covered. This is done by making sure you take your motorcycle safety course, obtain the requisite drivers license endorsement, wear all of your PPE, inform your command of your intent, and have adequate insurance coverage. With this done, you can enjoy all of the beauty that Montana has to offer through a one-of-a-kind experience.

For any other questions regarding laws or state licensing requirements, please contact the base legal office at (406) 731-2878.

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.