There are three levels of M class license available to scooter riders in Toronto, and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website is pretty vague. Here we will list these licenses, as well as their requirements, restrictions, and duration. There is also an “L” variant which we will discuss at the end.
M1 Motorcycle License
Acquired by: Written test, no appointment needed.
Restrictions: No alcohol, no passengers, no roads over 80 km/hr, no riding after dark (half hour after sunset to half hour before sun rise).
Duration: Up to 90 days. You are eligible to take the M1 exit test to get your M2 license after the first 60 days.
Good to Know: The Ministry of Transportation offers a book that you can purchase to study before writing this test. You can also practice the test online here.
From the Ministry:
By law, if you have an M1 licence, you must:
maintain a zero blood alcohol level (no alcohol in your blood)
ride only during daylight hours (½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset)
wear an approved helmet
not drive on roads with speed limits over 80 km/hour — except highways 11, 17, 61, 69, 71, 101, 102, 144 and 655
always drive alone – you may not carry passengers
You need to wait at least 60 days before you can take your first road test. Your M1 licence is valid for 90 days. If the licence expires, you will need to start over.
M2 Motorcycle License
Acquired by: Riding test, appointment needed OR M1 Exit Course.
Restrictions: No alcohol.
Duration: Up to 5 years. You can take the M2 exit test to get your M license after the first 22 months.
Good to Know: A riding course is recommended, and the cost of the course includes your licensing test. You can find out more here.
From the Ministry:
After you pass the M1 road test, you get an M2 licence. You can now ride at night and on any road. You must still wear a helmet and maintain a zero blood alcohol level.
After 22 months, you can take the second road test. If you pass, you get a full M licence.
If you take a recognized Motorcycle Safety Course, you can take the test after just 18 months.
M Motorcycle License
Acquired by: Riding test, appointment needed, or M2 Exit Course.
Good to Know: We recommend that you get your full M license as soon as possible, if not a sip of beer is all it takes to have you in violation of the M2 alcohol limit. This page contains a wealth of information on M2 exit courses to get your full M class license.
M* Motorcycle License with L-Condition
The Government has introduced an L-Condition for motorcycle licenses. Some scooters and motorcycles available on the market are made for the inner city, rather than for riding across Toronto on the 400 series highways. The Government classifies these vehicles as “limited speed motorcycles”.
In Our Opinion: Your scooter may qualify as a limited speed motorcycle if it is unable to travel at 70 km/hr. Nearly all 50cc scooters are limited speed motorcycles.
Here is some official information from the Government on how to tell if your scooter is a limited speed vehicle, based on production year. We suggest you ignore it, but have included it for posterity:
Manufactured after 1988
All limited-speed motorcycles – also known as mopeds or motorized scooters — have a label on the steering column or under the seat.
Beside the “type of vehicle” – you should see the letters “LSM/MVL”. This confirms it is a limited-speed vehicle.
Without a label, you can identify a limited-speed vehicle, if it is electric or gas powered and has:
a maximum speed of 70 km/hour
an automatic transmission
an engine size of 50 cubic centimetres or less
a “step through” design between the seat and the handlebars