Seth Grove
Seth Grove

People who perpetually renew their motorcyclist permits to avoid having to take the state's motorcycle safety course could soon have their strategy derailed.

A bill to limit the number of times people can renew their permits has passed both chambers of the legislature and is heading for Gov. Tom Corbett's desk, where it is expected to be signed into law. House Bill 892, introduced by Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, passed the House and Senate with little dissent and with the support of all York County lawmakers.

Under current law, riders are charged a $10 fee for a permit and must pass vision screenings and knowledge tests. They're only permitted to ride in daylight and can't carry passengers.

The permit is valid for one year, but some motorcyclists apply for it year after year so they are never required to take the safety course that's required to receive the full four-year license, said Charles Umbenhauer, spokesman for the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education.

He said the group supports the bill, under which the number of permits issued to a person would be limited to three in a five-year period.

"Right now it's unlimited," he said. "They could do it forever."

Matter of safety: The class, which is free, gives new motorcyclists important safety information and training that increases their safety on the road, Umbenhauer said. They learn how to properly brake and steer and avoid dangerous situations, he said.

Class M licenses are renewed every four years, but motorcyclists must only take and pass the course one time, he said.

Umbenhauer said the legislation is a continuation of other safety measures for which the organization has pushed.

Grove also introduced legislation that, when signed into law last year, required minors who hold motorcycle permits to successfully complete a free 15-hour riding course.

"We have been dealing with individuals who continually violate the restrictions of motorcycle permits because they treat permits like actual licenses," Grove said. "Permits are temporary and their purpose is to get riders to obtain full driver's licenses.

This legislation will enable riders to learn properly while pushing them to actually get their motorcycle licenses."

- Reach Christina Kauffman at