Motorcycle Safety Training Program
Starting in 2017, all IDOT Cycle Rider Safety Training Courses for Cook County and Northern Illinois are administered through Harper College and held at sites across the region. There is no charge for any of the courses, however, a refundable $20 deposit is collected at registration.
Registration is now open for motorcycle courses taking place in March, April, and early May 2017. These courses will remain available until filled. Return here for updates on the next round of courses, due to open for registration in April.
Locations now open for registration: Bridgeview, Freeport, Grayslake, Palatine, Chicago North, Chicago South, Crestwood, Crystal Lake, North Chicago, Cicero, Oak Forest, Rockford North (Rock Valley College), Rockford South (Jefferson High School), and Chicago Heights.
CLICK THE MAP to find the best training location for you. Then follow the instructions to register online, by phone, or in person.
Important! Please Note
- Be on time! All classes will start on time. If you are late, your place may be given to a walk-in or standby student.
- Illinois residency required. You must be an Illinois resident with a permanent address in Illinois to register for these courses.
- Waiver or Release of Liability must be submitted by all students at their first class session. Students under 18 should obtain a Waiver Form, have it signed by a parent or guardian, and bring it with them to the first class. Download the Waiver Form.
- Refund requests: When you complete your class, you may request a refund of the $20 fee, or you may choose to waive the refund and help make it possible for others to take the course. You must submit a refund request within 30 days of the end of class or forfeit the fee.
More Information About the RiderCourse Levels
Interested in becoming a RiderCoach? Take the RiderCoach Preparation Course.
The RiderCourse program is sponsored as a public service by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Harper College, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), and community agencies .
There are three levels of Motorcycle RiderCourses offered for beginning through advanced riders. Curriculum developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation helps riders manage risks and increase skills through classroom instruction and live exercises on motorcycles provided by the program. The overall purpose of the IDOT Cycle Rider Safety Training Program is to reduce the severity and frequency of motorcycle accidents.
The Motorcycle Safety Program offers classes at locations throughout Cook County. All locations are administered through Harper College, so if you have any questions or need to speak to someone about the Motorcycle Safety Program, please contact Harper College at 847-925-6803 and NOT any of the individual training sites. See a map.
All of the courses are free of charge but do require a $20 refundable deposit to hold your seat in a class. You may request a refund of the $20 deposit within 30 days of the completion of the class, though many students contribute their deposit so that we can continually improve the program.
The best way to make sure you get the course you want is to register ahead of time. If you try to register and and see that the course you want is full, check back prior to the scheduled date to see if a space has opened up. If you are unsuccessful in finding an open seat you may wish to try the walk-in option. Just show up at the course location at least 15 minutes prior to the listed start time of the first class meeting. Notify the instructor that you would like to attend as a walk-in. At the course starting time, a lottery will determine which walk-in students will be assigned to any unclaimed seats.
First, identify your objectives. If you want a license waiver or have limited or no riding experience, then you should consider only the Basic Rider Course (BRC) or Intermediate Rider Course (IRC) as those are the only classes that provide a waiver and are also the most basic. If you own your own motorcycle and simply want to get some practice with it, then the Advanced Rider Course (ARC) is probably the best fit for you.
You must be at least 16 years of age, be either a temporary or permanent resident of Illinois, and possess a valid learner’s permit or license for some form of motor vehicle. For riders with at least a year of riding experience that have their own motorcycle and hold a valid motorcycle license, we also offer an Advanced Rider Course.
All classes require you to wear protective clothing. Helmets will be provided, but students are welcome to bring their own DOT-approved three-quarter or full-face helmets. The following items are required without exception:
- sturdy, over-the-ankle footwear (not cloth or canvas, boots suggested)
- long pants
- long-sleeve shirt or jacket
- gloves that cover the entire hands
- protective eyewear (any type of glasses that can be worn while operating a motorcycle)
A standby or walk-in student will be admitted to the class in your place, and you will lose your deposit. This is very important. Demand for the classes is very high; so being on time is required. If you are late for any reason, including traffic delays, you will forfeit your seat in the class and your deposit.
No. Those who are 18 and over and who successfully complete the Basic or Intermediate RiderCourse will be issued a Completion Card that will let you waive both the written and riding tests at the Secretary of State's office. Those who are 16 and 17 years of age and successfully complete a course will be issued a Completion Card that will allow them to apply for an M Class license at the Secretary of State's office. You still must go to the Secretary of State's office to get your license.
Basic riding skills like starting, stopping, turning, and shifting. Strategies for street riding. Advanced techniques in turning, braking, and swerving. The curriculum was developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. More information about it can be found on their website.
Non-motorcyclists can benefit from these courses by learning on a first-hand basis what a motorcyclist experiences and the necessity for developing respect for all vehicles on the highway. This is also a great way to find out if you will like riding motorcycles without having to purchase one.
The Basic RiderCourse comprises 20 hours of instruction with different schedules that vary by location. Check the specific information for your course to plan your schedule. The Intermediate RiderCourse comprises approximately nine hours of instruction, usually 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday or Sunday. The Advanced RiderCourse comprises approximately eight hours of instruction, usually 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Saturday or Sunday.
Our classes meet rain or shine; so if it rains, bring rain gear. If lightning nearby or other weather represents a safety risk, the instructor may cancel class or modify its schedule somewhat. If class is cancelled, students will have the option of transferring to the next available class or getting a refund of their deposit.
No, you do not have to take a RiderCourse to get your license if you are 18 or older. However, if you are 16 or 17 years old and wish to obtain an "M" class motorcycle license, you are required by the state to successfully complete a RiderCourse to be eligible to test at the DMV.
COMMUNICATIONS ARE DONE THROUGH EMAIL for students who registered online or by phone. Please make sure your e-mail address is correct, current and checked on a regular basis. You should receive an immediate e-mail confirmation upon registration and payment of the $20 refundable fee.
Check online for current information. When a student cancels, our website will reflect availability. Please check http://www.harpercollege.edu/motorcycle often to find out if a seat becomes available.
You have one year from the completion of your RiderCourse to obtain your motorcycle license. If you are 18 or older and have completed a RiderCourse, the Secretary of State's Driver Services Facility will waive the written and riding portions of your exams. If you are 16 or 17 years old, the Completion Card will entitle you to test for an M Class license, which you otherwise could not do. In addition to the testing waivers, many insurance companies offer discounted rates for successfully completing one of our courses. Check with your insurance agent.
Send an email to email@example.com or call 847.925.6803 for general information. NOTE: As call volumes can be high, email is usually the quickest way to get your question answered.