Motorcycle Safety Training Program


Motorcycle Safety Training Program Logo

Motorcycle Safety Training in Northern Illinois Is Administered by Harper College

All Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Motorcycle Safety Training Courses for Cook County and Northern Illinois are administered by Harper College. Classes are held at sites across the region. There is no charge for any of the courses, however, a refundable $20 deposit is collected at registration.

Motorcycle Training Locations

Registration for Summer 2018 courses is open now. 

Registration for Fall 2018 motorcycle courses will open July 30 at our new website. Check back on July 30 for the new site at NOTE: Beginning July 30, ALL motorcycle registration will be ONLINE ONLY, with the registration fee payable ONLY by credit/debit card.

CLICK THE MAP to find the best training locations for you. Then follow the instructions to register online, by phone, or in person. 

Note: Not all training sites are available year-around. 


  • Illinois residency is 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
  • Be on time! All classes start on time. If you are late, your place may be given to a walk-in or standby student. Don't be left out. 
  • 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

Instructors Wanted 

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are three levels of motorcycle courses offered for beginning through advanced riders. Curriculum for these courses has been developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to help 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 Northern Illinois. 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 Motorcycle Safety Training program office at 847-925-6803. DO NOT try to contact any of the individual training sites.

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 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 take the Basic Rider Course (BRC) or Intermediate Rider Course (IRC) as those are the only classes that provide a waiver and offer the most basic instruction. If you own your own motorcycle and simply want to get some practice with it and learn more about safety, 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 learners permit or license for some form of motor vehicle. For riders with at least a year of riding experience, and who have their own motorcycle and hold a valid motorcycle license, we offer an Advanced Rider Course.

For the Basic Rider Course (BRC) and Intermediate Rider Course (IRC), our program provides motorcycles, helmets, insurance, and professional instruction. For the Advanced Rider Course (ARC), you must provide your own motorcycle.

All classes require that you 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. If you are 18 or over and successfully complete the Basic or Intermediate RiderCourse, you will receive a Completion Card that will let you waive both the written and riding tests at the Secretary of State's office. If you are 16 or 17 years of age and successfully complete a course, you will receive a Completion Card that will allow you 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 such as starting, stopping, turning, and shifting. Strategies for street riding. Advanced techniques in turning, braking, and swerving. Our curriculum was developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. See for more information.

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 Rider Course includes 20 hours of instruction with different schedules that vary by location. Check the specific information for your course to plan your schedule. The Intermediate Rider Course includes approximately nine hours of instruction, usually 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday or Sunday. The Advanced Rider Course includes 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 there is lightning or other weather nearby that presents a safety risk, the instructor may cancel class or modify its schedule somewhat. If class is canceled, students will have the option of transferring to the next available class or getting a refund of their deposit.

If you have a disability, please contact our office at 847.925.6803 prior to making your course selections to discuss available accommodations.

No, you do not have to take a Rider Course 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 Rider Course to be eligible to test at the DMV.

No. Any valid driver's license or permit will meet the requirements for taking the Basic course. To attend the Advanced Rider Course, you must hold a valid motorcycle license.

Only if you're attending the Advanced Rider Course. We provide helmets for the Basic and Intermediate courses. However, you are welcome and encouraged to bring your own DOT-approved helmet if it is of the three-quarter or full-face variety.

Small. The smallest course motorcycles are 200 – 250 cc.

Communication about the courses are through email for students who registered online or by phone. Please make sure your e-mail address is correct and current. You should receive an immediate e-mail confirmation upon registration and payment of the $20 refundable fee.

No, and you shouldn't attend the course if you cannot attend the entire course. Our lessons and exercises build on what was covered previously, so if you miss something you will not have the skills and knowledge to safely continue in the course.

No. Please contact our office about canceling so that you may re-register online.

You may have to forfeit your seat and registration fee to a walk-in student.

Check online for current information. When a student cancels, our website will reflect availability. Please check often to find out if a seat becomes available.

The Completion Card will be processed within 2-4 weeks after the course end date.

You have one year from the completion of your Rider Course to obtain your motorcycle license. If you are 18 or older and have completed a Rider Course, 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 is required to take the test for an M Class license. In addition to the testing waivers, many insurance companies offer discounted rates for successfully completing one of our courses. Check with your insurance agent.