In an effort to simplify the process for those serving in the military to receive authorization to operate a motorcycle, legislation introduced by Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling, Joann Downey, Wayne DeAngelo and Raj Mukherji cleared the Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs’ Committee Thursday.
The bill (A-1041) allows out-of-state members of the military, spouses of those members and their dependents to receive a motorcycle endorsement for their valid New Jersey driver’s license while serving in another state without returning to New Jersey to retake a written or road test, or to complete another motorcycle safety course.
The bill requires the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission to issue the endorsement by mail if the person pays the fee and provides documentation of the completion of an approved Motorcycle Safety Foundation Rider Education Course. The person is also required to provide documentation of the person’s assignment outside of the state.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Motorcycle safety is of the utmost importance, but active duty service members who have already undergone motorcycle training shouldn’t be required to face duplicative hurdles when they are stationed in New Jersey,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson), a former Sergeant in the U.S. Marines. “Simplifying the endorsement process for qualified members of the Armed Forces and eliminating red tape makes this a common sense measure.”
The bill was introduced on January 9, 2018. It now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for further consideration.