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What Is Motorcycle Code?


Zoom on the motorcycle code, its specificities, its reform, its theoretical test and registration for the exam.

The reform to which the motorcycle license was subject on March 1, 2020, ruled out the questions of the oral test asked during the plateau tests in favour of a specific theoretical examination. This is the motorcycle theory test (ETM), otherwise known as the Motorcycle Code. Aspiring motorcyclists must obtain it to be able to take the practical exam for the A1 or A2 licence. Is the ETM different from the Auto Code? Why did the government set it up? How is it going? Is it easy or hard to get? How to register? Why pass the motorcycle license?


What is the difference between the Motorcycle Code and the Auto Code?

First of all, the two theoretical tests have one thing in common. This is due to the fact that their validation allows the candidate to pass the practical examination of the targeted license and that their validity is 5 years from the date of their obtaining (within the limit of 5 passages to the practical test). However, the global practical test (ETG) or Auto Code is more general while the ETG is oriented towards the world of motorcycles, therefore more targeted. During the ETG, aspiring drivers are assessed on their mastery of the Highway Code and their knowledge of the vehicle as well as the behaviour to adopt on the road. The ETM, for its part,  addresses 9 themes, namely:

  • the legal provisions in terms of safety,
  • the biker,
  • the road,
  • other road users,
  • general regulations,
  • first aid,
  • mechanical elements related to safety,
  • the safety devices of motorcycles and equipment for motorcyclists,
  • rules for the use of motorcycles with regard to the environment.

All those who have chosen to take an interest in the Motorcycle Code must master them perfectly in order to obtain the A1 or A2 license on the first attempt.

biker riding a motorcycle

Why has the motorcycle license been reformed?

As mentioned above, the reform of the motorcycle license came into force on March 1, 2020. Since then, all those who claim the A1 or A2 license must obtain their Motorcycle Code in order to be able to take the practical exam for the motorcycle license. If the public authorities have said “yes” to this reform, it is because motorcyclists represent 20% of fatal road accidents in France and are 20 times more exposed to road accidents than motorists. The themes of the ETM have been chosen with a view to raising awareness and training future motorcyclists, but above all to guarantee the safety of all on the road.

How does the theoretical motorcycle test take place?

The ETM is made up of 40 questions based on the 9 themes mentioned above, the majority of which are specific to motorcycling. Each of them is multiple choice (A, B, C and D) and allows candidates to identify with a real motorcyclist since it reproduces a real situation on the road, taken from the handlebars of a two-wheeler. The candidates then use a tablet equipped with an audio headset to visualize the staged questions and answer them. Note in particular that the Motorcycle Code test lasts 30 minutes, which means that the response time granted to each question is 20 seconds.

To win the Motorcycle Code, candidates must validate at least 35 questions out of 40. That said, they are entitled to a maximum of 5 faults. After obtaining it, they will be entitled to 5 passages to the practical examination of the motorcycle license over a maximum period of 5 years. Candidates who fail can retake the ETM as many times as they wish. Of course, the reform of the motorcycle license does not impose any minimum period between two sessions.

Is the Motorcycle Code easy to obtain?

According to most aspiring bikers who have already embarked on the adventure, the ETM is far from being a piece of the cake. This is indeed the case knowing that this exam lasts only 30 minutes, while we are dealing with 40 questions. Panic and stress are therefore at the rendezvous.

However, by training seriously and regularly for the Motorcycle Code, it is possible to gain serenity even before D-Day and to be more confident throughout the event. By doing so, you can optimize your chances of winning your Motorcycle Code the first time. There are also today a multitude of online training modules allowing those who claim a motorcycle license to tame the Motorcycle Code and its themes in the best conditions. It is then necessary to admit that the ETM is neither easy nor difficult. Its difficulty depends on the candidate, knowing that only those who have neglected the preparation struggle to keep their cool during the exam and therefore fail.

Elsewhere on the web: Fabio Quartararo, a world champion who does not have a motorcycle license

How do I register for the Motorcycle Code exam?

Whether you are a self-employed candidate or come from the training provided by a motorcycle school, you must first apply for a harmonized prefectural registration number (NEPH) on the ANTS website. This is indeed one of the supporting documents that you must send to the approved examination centre of your choice as part of the registration. If you are a school candidate, your motorcycle school will take care of it. A free candidate must, for his part,  make the request himself.

Once the unique NEPH identifier has been obtained, all they have to do is register online for the session that suits them best. An aspiring biker as a free candidate must himself reserve a place in the nearest approved examination centre. A school candidate is assisted by his motorcycle school. In all cases, the registration fees are set at €30 including tax by the Ministry of the Interior. We receive his invitation once the reservation has been made.

biker riding a motorcycle

Why pass the motorcycle license?

When you want to pass the license, you instinctively aim for the category B license. Indeed, the car or heavy quadricycle license is essential, but according to the various bikers, the A license entitles you to many significant advantages. This precious sesame allows in particular those who have won it to move more quickly and more efficiently.

Motorcycles are indeed a particularly practical means of transport at different levels. Among other things, they save motorcyclists from traffic jams and allow them to move smoothly and park easily in the city. They take advantage of this to easily slip through small alleys and narrow passages. The motorcycle license is also relatively complete. It is only obtained after validation of the ETM, the plateau examination and the circulation test. This sesame is intended to be more complete and more demanding given that motorcycle driving is considered dangerous. The A license is also an opportunity for the holder to share this passion with other motorcycle enthusiasts and to indulge in the pleasures of driving two-wheelers.

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