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Houghtaling, Downey, Andrzejczak & DeAngelo Bill to Facilitate Motorcycle Endorsement Process for Service Members Advances

Legislation Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling, Joann Downey, Sgt. Bob Andrzejczak and Wayne DeAngelo sponsored to make it easier for those serving in the military to receive authorization to operate a motorcycle was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.

The bill (A-3829) would allow military personnel serving outside of the state to receive a motorcycle endorsement for a valid New Jersey driver’s license without having to return to New Jersey to retake a written exam or road test or complete another motorcycle safety course, provided they present proof of completion of a basic motorcycle rider course similar to the one required by state law and approved by the armed services.

“Men and women who serve in the military learn certain skills that they may be able to employ during their time in the service as well as upon their return to civilian life. For some, that includes knowing how to ride a motorcycle,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “If service members can prove that they already know how to operate a motorcycle, there’s no need for the Motor Vehicle Commission to require them to take additional steps before providing them with an endorsement.”

All residents operating a motorcycle in New Jersey must have a motorcycle endorsement on their existing driver’s license or a separate motorcycle license. Service members are required by the military to perform accident avoidance and motorcycle safety training that exceeds MVC standards, the sponsors noted.

“The military offers active-duty personnel motorcycle training so that men and women in uniform can stay safe while riding,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “By facilitating the process for those who serve, allowing a military-approved course to meet the requirement for a motorcycle endorsement will eliminate some of the bureaucracy at the Motor Vehicle Commission.”

“The U.S. military takes motorcycle safety very seriously,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland), an Army veteran who served in Iraq. “Anyone who has successfully completed military motorcycle training certainly is qualified enough to meet state standards.”

“Active-duty military personnel are required to take a safety course before riding a motorcycle, so they know everything from the appropriate attire to wear to what they can do to reduce the chances of an accident,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “There’s no need for them to invest additional time and effort to receive an endorsement when they’ve already proven their proficiency in operating a motorcycle.”

The measure was advanced by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, of which DeAngelo is vice-chair.