Getting your Motorcycle licence | Roadsafe

Getting your Motorcycle licence

Licensing Overview

Getting Your Learner Licence

Competency Based Training and Assessment (CBTA)

Motorcycle Licensing Overview

To ride a motorcycle on the road, you need a Class 6 Motorcycle licence. The graduated driver licensing system has three stages: learner, restricted and full.

You are tested or assessed at each stage to a required competency standard, in order to progress through each stage of your licence. You will be issued with a new licence at each stage, which has different requirements and more responsibilities. Normal road rules apply at all times.

This process allows you to demonstrate that you have gained competency in riding a motorcycle or scooter, and that you understand and can apply the New Zealand road rules in road and traffic situations.

The process and requirements for getting your motorcycle licence is here:

Roadsafe is here to assist you at every stage through this process.

The process:

Getting your learner motorcycle licence

  • You must be at least 16 years old and must pass a basic handling skills test, conducted by an approved motorcycle riding instructor
  • You'll need to present your basic handling skills certificate at a driver licence agency when applying for your learner motorcycle licence
  • You have to pass a road rules theory test (from the Motorcycle Road Code) before your new learner licence can be issued
  • Test questions can be found here:

While on a learner licence:

The basic handling skills test consists of four stages:

  • Basic turn and stop
  • Figure of eight and park
  • Linking figures of eight
  • Increased speed and emergency stop

Each stage is broken down into varying combinations of the following tasks:

  • Move off
  • Straight ride
  • Corner
  • Stop
  • Park

In completing the tasks above you will be assessed against the assessment items below:

  • Looking in the correct direction
  • Signalling correctly
  • Making head checks before changing position
  • Lateral position of motorcycle
  • Control of motorcycle
  • Using appropriate speed
  • Parking observation
  • Parking movement

The basic handling skills test animation:

Watch this short video from NZTA to see what you need to be able to demonstrate in your test.

The basic handling skills test written criteria:

Competency Based Training and Assessment (CBTA)

CBTA offers motorcyclists another option, other than driver licence testing when choosing how to get their motorcycle licence. The CBTA option can reduce the amount of time it takes you to get your restricted or full motorcycle licence, while ensuring you have the skills and knowledge you need to ride safely on New Zealand roads.

There are two separate CBTA levels:

  • Learner stage (Class 6R CBTA) - occurs during the learner licence stage of the licensing system and upon successful completion, you’ll be able to apply for your restricted motorcycle (Class 6) licence
  • Restricted stage (Class 6F CBTA) - occurs during the restricted licence stage of the licensing system and upon successful completion you’ll be able to apply for your full motorcycle (Class 6) licence

Instead of taking a practical test at each stage of your licence, you can choose to have your riding skills assessed by an approved CBTA assessor.When you successfully complete a CBTA assessment in either stage, you’ll get a certificate to use to apply at a driver licence agency for the related licence. This means you won’t need to sit a practical test to get that licence. It can also reduce the time it takes you to gain your restricted or full motorcycle licence.

The assessments are designed to ensure you're competent in a prescribed range of riding skills, which are important to keep you safe when riding on the road.

If you choose the CBTA option, there are a number of benefits:

  • It can reduce the time it takes you to gain your restricted and/or full motorcycle licence
  • It improves your riding skill levels by targeting riding behaviours that can contribute to crashes, which allows for safer roads for you as a motorcyclist and other road users
  • These improvements will help prepare you for the CBTA assessment, and help you make smarter choices on the road.

Time Reduction:

  • CBTA is the only way you can reduce the required minimum time during the learner and restricted licence stages. The learner stage has no minimum time period you need to hold your learner licence, but you must be at least 16.5 years old to apply for your restricted licence.
  • The restricted stage reduces the time you need to hold your restricted licence, from 18 months (practical testing time requirement) to 12 months.
  • You can complete your CBTA full assessment when you have held your restricted license for at least 9 months. When you have successfully completed your assessment, you can apply for your full license once you have held your restricted license for at least 12 months.

Training is recommended:

To assist you in your preparation to successfully pass your assessment, Roadsafe highly recommend you complete training before attempting the assessment ride. Training is not compulsory, however it will provide you with knowledge, and feedback on your riding compared to the assessment standard.

Roadsafe have subsidised training courses available.

Ride Forever courses provide extensive on-road training. The core competencies covered in the Bronze and Silver level courses are based on the skills required for the CBTA assessments.

You can start training for either stage at any time after getting your learner or restricted licence, (as long as you can competently ride on the road) so you're fully prepared to undertake the assessment.

Once you have completed your training and you have practised your new skills and are satisfied that you're competent in the skills required for the assessment, you can then book your assessment ride with Roadsafe.

Training courses and CBTA assessments are undertaken at separate times, not on the same day.

Pre-assessment Practise - one on one

Roadsafe offer riders a Pre-assessment Practise which is run one on one for 60 minutes immediately prior to your CBTA assessment, and offers specific feedback regarding the CBTA assessment criteria. This allows you to start your CBTA assessment already warmed up, and with reduced anxiety, as you are aware of any areas for improvement. Explanations and any questions regarding the assessment can be answered, and any concerns can be addressed, to give you the best possible outcome.

The cost of this Pre-assessment Practise is $150.

Just want to book an assessment without taking the training?

If you feel you have already mastered the skills required to pass the restricted or full CBTA assessment, please contact Roadsafe to arrange a suitable time for your assessment ride.

Assessment structure:

Each assessment consists of the following components:

  • Pre-ride checks - your licence, LAMS motorcycle pre-ride safety check, protective riding gear
  • Set you up with communications equipment to receive instructions during the assessment
  • Pre-ride instructions
  • Ride the assessment
  • Debrief and feedback
  • Issue certificate if successful

Assessment Cost:

Assessments cost $195.00

Use of a motorcycle may be available. Please contact us.

Assessment Ride

During a CBTA assessment, you’ll need to ride around a predefined assessment route. Your riding skills will be assessed through the entire duration of the assessment ride (including mounting and dismounting).

The CBTA Restricted (learner stage Class 6R CBTA) assessment will take between 50-60 minutes riding time, allowing for a comprehensive assessment of your riding skills in both urban and higher speed zone areas. The CBTA Full (restricted stage Class 6F CBTA) assessment will take between 25-30 minutes riding time, mostly in higher speed zone areas.

The assessment is conducted as one continuous ride, although you might need to pull over to the side of the road to stop briefly during the assessment. You will be given directional instructions via a radio earpiece. During the assessment, you won’t receive any feedback, coaching or training from the assessor. Once the assessment ride is complete, you will receive feedback, and will be advised if you’ve passed or failed the assessment.

At any given time during the assessment, your performance in one of the following seven riding tasks will be assessed:

  • Moving in
  • Riding straight
  • Riding a curve
  • Riding through an intersection
  • Overtaking
  • Turning back
  • Moving out

Where applicable, the following competencies will be assessed during each riding task:

  • Looking
  • Scanning/mirrors
  • Head check
  • Communication
  • Consideration/courtesy
  • Positioning
  • Speed management
  • Progression
  • Stability/smoothness
  • Following distance
  • Other illegal

To ensure safety, where your riding action creates immediate or potential danger to you or other road users, the assessment will be terminated immediately.

More information

Further information regarding the CBTA programme is available on the NZTA website:

Please ensure you are familiar with the information in the following documents. They include detailed explanation of the assessment requirements, riding tasks and competencies.

About Roadsafe and CBTA

Lynne & Andrew Templeton at Roadsafe are certified by the New Zealand Transport Agency to train and assess motorcyclists riding skills under the CBTA programme, using their knowledge and experience of the rider training industry. They were involved in the development and delivery of the initial CBTA trial programme a number of years ago, and have been involved with the development of the current CBTA programme. They are approved by NZTA to assess the riding skills of qualified riding instructors who wish to deliver the CBTA programme.