STUTTGART, Germany — All U.S. military personnel in Europe, including civilians and family members, will need to take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course starting Dec. 1 to qualify for a U.S. forces motorcycle license.

The change is being implemented to provide “hands-on training” to motorcyclists, U.S. Army Installation Management Agency-Europe officials stated in a recent release.

U.S. forces in some countries such as Italy, for example, already have to take the course to get a motorcycle license.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is a not-for-profit, U.S.-based organization that trains instructors and has created a series of courses to teach beginners and experienced riders how to become safer motorcyclists.

Dozens of U.S. Army personnel have been trained as instructors over the past several months.

The foundation’s courses are common in the United States, and most states allow a course graduate to get a motorcycle license without taking a state’s practical riding exam.

There will be no charge for the course, and instruction will be offered within each area support group. Community driver testing stations will provide information on the times and course locations.

Current license holders don’t need to take the course, but the class is mandatory if the license must be renewed.

“This is a good course in the States, and it’s going to make riders here better,” said Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Hines, 34, a motorcyclist from Würzburg.

In addition to taking the MSF course, the other requirements for a U.S. forces motorcycle license are:

• A license issued in the United States, the U.S. territories or another country;• Attendance at a four-hour motorcycle orientation course;• Successful completion of a 30-question motorcycle test;• Successful completion of a U.S. Army Europe proficiency course conducted at a driver testing station.

If a person fails either the written or proficiency course, he or she must attend a German driving school and obtain a certificate of proficiency.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now