Justification for Administrative Rule Adoption

Motorcycle and ATV Operator Safety Program
16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 98
§§98.10, 98.20, 98.21, 98.22, 98.23, 98.26, 98.70, 98.100, 98.104, 98.106, 98.108, 98.110, 98.112, 98.114; and new rule at §98.116

The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) adopts amendments to existing rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 98, §§98.20, 98.21, 98.22, 98.26, 98.100, 98.106, 98.110, 98.112, 98.114; and adopts a new rule at §98.116, regarding the Motorcycle and ATV Operator Safety Program, without changes to the proposed text as published in the May 28, 2021, issue of the Texas Register (46 TexReg 3348). These rules will not be republished.

The Commission also adopts amendments to existing rules at 16 TAC Chapter 98, §§98.10, 98.23, 98.70, 98.104, 98.108, regarding the Motorcycle and ATV Operator Safety Program, with changes to the proposed text as published in the May 28, 2021, issue of the Texas Register (46 TexReg 3348). These rules will be republished.

EXPLANATION OF AND JUSTIFICATION FOR THE RULES

The rules under 16 TAC Chapter 98 implement Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 662, Motorcycle Operator Training and Safety.

The adopted rules update requirements related to eligibility for motorcycle school and instructor licenses; protective gear worn by instructors; approval of training sites; documentation for student admission to courses; issuance of course completion certificates; student-to-instructor ratios; personnel and activities allowed on the range; and approval of course curricula, including new standards for instructor preparation courses. The adopted rules are necessary to implement changes recommended by Department staff and the Licensing and Renewal Workgroup, the Education and Examination Workgroup, and the Operations and Logistics Workgroup of the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Board to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the program.

SECTION-BY-SECTION SUMMARY

The adopted rules amend the definition of “entry-level course” in §98.10(6) to clarify its applicability to courses designed for experienced motorcycle riders to meet the training requirement to obtain a Class M driver’s license. In response to public comments, a change has been made to the adopted language to remove references to a Class M endorsement because that term does not appear in the Transportation Code. Also, in response to public comments noting possible confusion, reference to an “intermediate course” has been removed and the phrase “for novice or experienced motorcycle riders” has been added. Additionally, in response to the discussion of the Advisory Board, the adopted language has been changed to reference “entry-level courses” in plural form to avoid the possible interpretation that one course must be designed for both novice and experienced motorcycle riders.

The adopted rules amend §98.10, Definitions, to add definitions for “instructor preparation course” and “TEEX” and renumber the remaining definitions accordingly.

The adopted rules amend §98.20, Instructor--License Required, by placing the current rule language into new subsection (a) and adding language to provide the requirements for an individual teaching an instructor preparation course. The adopted rules create new subsection (b) to clarify that an individual performing instructor activities as part of an instructor preparation course administered by TEEX is not in violation of the requirement to hold an instructor license.

The adopted rules amend §98.21, Instructor--License Eligibility, by placing the current rule language into new subsection (a); adding new subsection (a)(9) to require an applicant for an instructor license to undergo and successfully pass a criminal history background check; adding new subsection (a)(10) to require an applicant for an instructor license to not have been convicted within the preceding seven years of certain crimes involving driving while intoxicated; and adding new subsection (b) to provide alternative eligibility requirements for instructor license applicants who meet certain training and experience requirements.

The adopted rules amend §98.22, Instructor--Preparation Course, by updating cross-references; adding new subsection (b)(2) to clarify that an individual may not enroll in an instructor preparation course if the individual’s criminal history will make the individual ineligible for an instructor license; and adding new subsection (c) to inform individuals of their ability to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the department to determine if their criminal history will affect their eligibility for an instructor license.

The adopted rules amend §98.23, Instructor--License Term; Renewal, by updating cross-references in subsection (c). In response to public comments, a change has been made to the adopted rules to remove subsection (d), which was intended to protect current instructors from being disqualified for license renewal by adopted new §98.21(a)(10) for convictions involving driving while intoxicated. The public comments stated that such protection was inappropriate, and the Department has determined that removing the language would not harm any current licensees.

The adopted rules amend §98.26, Motorcycle School--License Eligibility, by requiring each controlling person of an applicant for a motorcycle school license to undergo and successfully pass a criminal history background check.

The adopted rules amend §98.70, Instructor--Responsibilities, by updating cross-references in subsections (a)(3) and (a)(4); amending subsection (a)(14) to require instructors to wear protective gear whenever riding a motorcycle to, from, or during rider training activities; moving to subsection (a)(15) the requirement for instructors to ensure all students wear protective gear whenever riding a motorcycle on the range; and renumbering the remaining paragraph accordingly. In response to public comments, subsections (a)(14) and (a)(15) have also been changed to reference §98.108(e) instead of §98.108(f) to reflect the adopted changes to §98.108, and subsection (a)(15) has been changed by replacing the phrase “whenever riding a motorcycle on the range” with the phrase “when participating in the on-cycle activities of the course” to clarify that the rule applies when the student is seated on the motorcycle whether or not the motorcycle is in turned on or in motion.

The adopted rules amend §98.100, Training Site Requirements, by placing the current rule language into new subsection (a); creating new subsection (a)(1)(F) to require each range to be surrounded by a paved run-off area of at least 20 feet; and adding new subsection (b) to clarify that a classroom is not required to be a physical building and that a virtual classroom conducted online is allowed.

The adopted rules amend the student admission requirements in §98.104(c) to require written consent of a parent or legal guardian for an individual younger than 18 years of age to participate as a student in a course.

The adopted rules add student admission requirements in adopted new §98.104(d) to require motorcycle schools to inform potential students of entry-level courses of the school’s policy regarding multiple attempts to pass the knowledge examination and the riding skills test and the requirement for a student to be removed from the course if the student’s riding performance creates an unmanageable danger. In response to public comments and Advisory Board discussion, the language of subsection (d) has been changed to clarify that the information must be provided in writing to the student prior to the school accepting payment for admission to the course, that the information must include any fees associated with multiple testing attempts, and that the school is not required to allow multiple testing attempts.

The adopted rules add student admission requirements in adopted new §98.104(e) to require motorcycle schools to inform students of any course in writing of the Department’s contact information for reporting complaints. In response to public comments, the adopted rules have been changed to remove the phrase “prior to admitting an individual to any course” to allow schools to provide the information at any point during their interactions with the students.

In response to public comments and discussion by the Advisory Board, the adopted rules have been changed to add adopted new §98.104(f) to require that if course registration is performed by telephone, the information required by adopted new §98.104(d) must be provided before payment for the course becomes non-refundable.

The adopted rules amend §98.106, Verification of Course Completion, by adding new subsection (d) to require course completion certificates for entry-level courses to be issued only to students who have successfully completed all elements of the course; to clarify that a motorcycle school may allow multiple attempts at passing the knowledge examination and the riding skills test; and to require that a student must be removed from the course if the student’s riding performance creates an unmanageable danger.

The adopted rules amend §98.108, Course Requirements. The adopted rules amend subsection (c) to increase the maximum allowable student-to-instructor ratio for range instruction to eight students per instructor. The adopted rules repeal subsection (d) and relabel the remaining subsections accordingly. The adopted rules amend subsection (e) to become new subsection (d) and to allow two students to share a three-wheeled motorcycle. The adopted rules amend subsection (f) to become new subsection (e). In response to public comments and Advisory Board discussion, adopted new subsection (e) has been changed by replacing “on-cycle portion” with “on-cycle activities” to clarify that protective gear must be worn when the student is on a motorcycle, rather than anytime the student is present during the range portion of the course. The adopted rules add new subsection (f) to limit the persons allowed on the range during range instruction to instructors, students, interpreters or other assistants for persons with disabilities, and range assistants who meet certain age, employment, and training requirements. The adopted rules add new subsection (g) to specify the activities that range assistants are allowed to do.

The adopted rules amend §98.110, Approval of Course Curriculum, to clarify that notification of approval or denial of a course curriculum will be sent to the applicant.

The adopted rules amend §98.112, Curriculum Standards--Entry-Level Course, to clarify that the Department will determine if a curriculum meets the Model National Standards for Entry-Level Motorcycle Rider Training and to add the requirements that the curriculum must include a knowledge examination and a riding skills test, must be consistent with the program statutes and rules, and must be submitted along with an instructor preparation course that prepares individuals to teach the curriculum.

The adopted rules amend §98.114, Curriculum Standards--Non-Entry-Level Course, to add the requirement that the curriculum must be consistent with the program statutes and rules.

The adopted rules create new §98.116, Curriculum Standards--Instructor Preparation Course, to provide standards for Department approval of an instructor preparation course, including requirements that the curriculum must prepare an individual to competently teach an entry-level course and must be consistent with the program statutes and rules.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

The Department drafted and distributed the proposed rules to persons internal and external to the agency. The proposed rules were published in the May 28, 2021, issue of the Texas Register (46 TexReg 3348). The deadline for public comments was June 28, 2021. The Department received comments from 10 interested parties on the proposed rules during the 30-day public comment period. The public comments are summarized below.

Comment: Two comments recommend changing the proposed definition of “entry-level course” in §98.10(6) to remove references to “endorsement” and “intermediate course” because these terms may create confusion. One comment also recommends adding the phrase “for novice or experienced motorcycle riders” to clarify the types of courses included in the definition.

Department Response: The Department agrees with these comments and has changed the proposed language of §98.10(6) to read: “Entry-level courses--Courses of instruction in motorcycle operation for novice or experienced motorcycle riders designed to meet the training requirement to obtain a Class M driver’s license issued under Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 521.”

Comment: Three comments recommend changing the definition of “incident” in §98.10(7) to match the definition used by a particular course provider.

Department Response: These comments are outside the scope of the proposed rules. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to these comments.

Comment: One comment recommends repealing the requirement in §98.21(4) for an instructor license applicant to have held a motorcycle license for two years because the requirement discourages potential instructors who recently completed an entry-level course.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with this comment because the requirement stated in §98.21(4) is imposed by statute in Transportation Code §662.0062(a)(2). Therefore, the Department does not have the authority to repeal the requirement. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment requests clarification on the meaning of the instructor license eligibility requirement in current §98.21(5) regarding the number of moving violations that would make an individual ineligible for an instructor license.

Department Response: This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rules. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding the requirement for instructor license applicants to pass a criminal history background check in proposed new §98.21(a)(9) questions whether the Department has a list of offenses that may cause an individual to fail a criminal history background check.

Department Response: The Criminal Conviction Guidelines adopted by the Commission at its May 6, 2021, meeting describe the process by which the Department determines whether a criminal conviction renders an applicant an unsuitable candidate for a license. The guidelines present the general factors that are considered in all cases and a list of particular crimes that are considered to relate to each type of license. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding the requirement in proposed new §98.21(a)(10) for instructor license applicants not to have been convicted in the previous seven years of an offense involving driving while intoxicated (DWI) asks whether the Department would also consider adding administrative license revocation (ALR) actions to the eligibility requirement.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with the comment’s suggestion that an ALR action should affect eligibility for an instructor license. The Advisory Board has determined that the appropriate standard relates to conviction for a DWI offense, not an ALR action. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.21(b) asks whether an instructor that is certified to teach a course in another state (or on a military base) and then moves to Texas prior to holding the authorization for one year could be eligible for an instructor license if they wait to apply until after they have maintained certification for one year.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with the comment’s implication that the time period of certification is the only relevant requirement under proposed new §98.21(b). An applicant under that provision would also need to have taught both the classroom and range portions of the course at least six times to be eligible for an instructor license. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.21(b) asks whether an individual who completed a certification course not regulated by TDLR in another state would be eligible under the new rule.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with this comment. Under proposed new §98.21(b), the individual could be eligible if the certification course completed in another state is determined by the Department to be equivalent to a course approved by the Department. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.21(b) states that an applicant my not have had an opportunity to teach six classes prior to moving to Texas and that most states do not track training to the level of detail that would allow the states to confirm the instructor taught the course at least six times. The comment asks how this would affect the applicant’s eligibility if the state or jurisdiction cannot confirm the number of times the course is taught.

Department Response: The Department agrees that it is possible that an individual may not have had the opportunity to teach the course six times prior to moving to Texas, and that it is possible that an individual may have taught the course six times but cannot get confirmation from the other state or jurisdiction. If that is the case, the applicant would not be eligible for an instructor license. The Department does not agree, as the comment seems to imply, that this would be an inappropriate outcome because the Advisory Board has determined that teaching the course at least six times is an appropriate alternative requirement to taking the instructor preparation course administered by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). The Department maintains that the burden must fall on the applicant to obtain proof that the applicant meets the alternative eligibility requirement. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment questions the general quality of the instructor preparation course currently being conducted under §98.22.

Department Response: This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rules. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding the eligibility requirements in §98.22(b) for enrolling in an instructor preparation course notes that there is not a requirement for the individual to be at least 18 years of age and asks whether that means someone can attend the course while they are under 18 years of age.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with the conclusion implied by the comment. The language of §98.22(b) allows an individual under 18 years of age to enroll in the course, but TEEX requires the individual to be 18 years of age by the time the individual attends the course. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.23(d) states that it is inappropriate to include a grandfather clause for the eligibility requirement in proposed new §98.21(a)(10) that an instructor license applicant must not have been convicted of a DWI offense in the past seven years.

Department Response: The Department agrees with the comment and has changed the proposed rules by removing the language that was published for new §98.23(d). The Department has determined that removing this language will not affect any current instructor licenses.

Comment: One comment requests clarification on the substance of incident reports required under §98.50(a).

Department Response: This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rules. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment states that instructors are not complying with the requirement in §98.70(a)(1) to notify the Department of a change in their contact information within 15 days.

Department Response: This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rules. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment recommends changing the instructor responsibility to inspect each motorcycle under §98.70(a)(8) to instead impose that requirement on the motorcycle school.

Department Response: This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rules. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding the instructor responsibilities in §98.70(a)(14) recommends that the reference to §98.108(f) be corrected to instead reference §98.108(e).

Department Response: The Department agrees with the comment and has changed the proposed rule in §98.70(a)(14) to reference §98.108(e) instead of §98.108(f).

Comment: One comment regarding the instructor responsibilities in proposed new §98.70(a)(15) recommends that the reference to §98.108(f) be corrected to instead reference §98.108(e), and that the language in proposed new §98.70(a)(15) be changed to match the language in §98.108(e), to make clear that the requirement also applies when students are seated on motorcycles with engines turned off.

Department Response: The Department agrees with the comment and has changed the proposed rule in §98.70(a)(15) to state: “(15) ensure all students wear the protective gear required by §98.108(e) when participating in the on-cycle activities of the course”.

Comment: One comment questions whether the requirement in proposed §98.100(a)(1)(F) for a range to have a paved run-off area free of hazards would apply to ranges located in mall parking lots, which the comment implies are inherently unsafe.

Department Response: The proposed new requirement in §98.100(a)(1)(F) would apply to all ranges used by motorcycle schools, whether located in a mall parking lot or anywhere else. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.100(b), which clarifies that a classroom does not have to be a physical building, questions whether there will be a requirement for the motorcycle schools to provide protection from the elements if classroom instruction is conducted on the range.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with this comment’s suggestion that a regulation is necessary to ensure schools provide protection from the elements. If range instruction can be provided outside without protection from the elements, there is no reason to preclude classroom instruction from taking place outside without protection from the elements. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment in reference to the allowance of virtual classrooms conducted online under proposed new §98.100(b) states that the Department should require the course provider’s website to include a function to print or re-print the e-course completion certificate because students often arrive at the training site without proof of completing the e-course.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with this comment because the issue described does not justify additional regulation by the Department. It is a business decision of the motorcycle school whether or not to offer a course that allows an online component. If such a course creates an excessive burden on the motorcycle school, the school can simply choose not to offer that course. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding the student admission requirements in proposed new §98.104(d) questions whether “prior to admitting” refers to registration, payment, or physically attending the class.

Department Response: The Department agrees with the comment’s suggestion that the proposed language is unclear. The Department has changed the relevant language in proposed new §98.104(d) to read: “Prior to accepting payment from an individual for admission to an entry-level course”.

Comment: One comment regarding the student admission requirements in proposed new §98.104(d) and §98.104(e) questions whether the student needs to acknowledge verbally or in writing that they understand and accept the school’s policy.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with the comment’s implied conclusion that the student needs to acknowledge verbally or in writing that they understand and accept the school’s policy. Once the student has been informed of the policy, the student’s payment for the course will acknowledge their understanding and acceptance of the policy. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding the student admission requirements in proposed new §98.104(d) and §98.104(e) questions whether “in writing” could be satisfied by a statement on the school’s website for individual who register online.

Department Response: The Department agrees that “in writing” could be satisfied by a statement on the school’s website if the statement is appropriately placed to ensure it is seen by individuals who enroll for the course through the website. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.104(d)(1) questions whether the rule should also reference whether a fee is charged for a retest.

Department Response: The Department agrees with the comment’s suggestion and has changed proposed new §98.104(d)(1) to include the phrase “and any associated fees”.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.104(d)(2) states that clarification may be needed because a student who is dismissed during the course would not be eligible for multiple attempts to pass the skills test if the student was dismissed prior to the student’s first attempt at the skills test.

Department Response: The Department agrees with the comment and has changed proposed new §98.104(d)(2) by removing the phrase “and is not entitled to additional attempts to pass the riding skills test”.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.104(e) questions the meaning of the phrase “prior to admitting.”

Department Response: The Department agrees with the conclusion suggested by this comment that the phrase needs more clarity. The Department has changed proposed new §98.104(e) by removing the phrase “prior to admitting an individual to any course,” so that a motorcycle school can inform the student of the Department’s contact information at any time.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.104(e) inquires as to the proper contact information of the Department that must be provided to students.

Department Response: The Department agrees that the motorcycle schools should be informed of the proper contact information of the Department. The Department will provide all motorcycle schools with the required contact information before the requirement takes effect. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment questions whether it is appropriate for a motorcycle school to be able to issue a duplicate course completion certificate for up to three years under §98.106(c).

Department Response: This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rules. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.106(d) questions whether alternate versions of the knowledge examinations should be required for students who make multiple attempts of the examinations.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with the comment’s suggested conclusion that such a requirement should be imposed at this time. The Department has not received information indicating that additional regulation is necessary to prevent abuse of the knowledge examination process. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding the course requirements in §98.108 recommends removing subsections (b), (c), and (d) and keeping only subsection (a), which requires all courses to be conducted in accordance with a department-approved curriculum.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with this comment because subsections (b), (c), and (d) contain requirements that must be met by future curriculums considered for approval by the Department. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment recommends changing §98.108(a) to include a reference to a list of approved curriculums.

Department Response: This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rules. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment suggests that the limitation in proposed new §98.108(f) as to who can be on the range during range instruction should also apply to instructor preparation courses.

Department Response: The Department agrees with the comment but disagrees that additional changes to the rule text are necessary. Instructor preparation courses involve range instruction, so the standards in proposed new §98.108(f) will already apply to that range instruction. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.108(f) questions whether everyone allowed on the range should be required to meet the same driving and criminal history background checks as instructors.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with the comment’s suggested conclusion that the Department should conduct driving and criminal history background checks on everyone allowed on the range. The Department does not have the statutory authority to require driving and criminal history background checks on every person allowed on the range. Motorcycle schools have the discretion to conduct background checks on their own if they deem such action necessary. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.108(f)(4)(B)(i) questions whether a motorcycle school that utilizes a range assistant of minority age would need the parent or legal guardian of the minor to sign a waiver or a contract on behalf of the minor.

Department Response: The Department agrees with the conclusion suggested by the comment that a motorcycle school should follow all labor laws applicable to employees of minority age, but the Department disagrees that all of the applicable laws need to be restated in the rules. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.108(f)(4)(B)(ii) states that the phrase “employed by or contracted with the motorcycle school” necessarily involves financial compensation. The comment recommends instead using the phrase “enter into an agreement with”.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with the comment’s suggestion that a contract must involve financial compensation and that the phrase “enter into an agreement with” has a different meaning than “contracted with”. The Department made no changes to the proposed rule in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.108(g)(5) questions whether a range assistant would need to hold a driver license or would have to successfully complete the course to be eligible to provide riding demonstrations for a course.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with the comment’s suggested conclusion that such requirements should be explicitly stated in rule. Proposed new §98.108(g)(5) allows a range assistant to conduct demonstrations of riding exercises only if allowed by the approved curriculum, which may contain such requirements. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Comment: One comment regarding proposed new §98.112(2) questions whether there is a requirement for the knowledge examination to be conducted in person or whether the examination can be provided virtually online.

Department Response: The Department disagrees with the comment’s suggested conclusion that such a requirement should be imposed at this time because the Department does not want to preclude the ability to take the examination online. The Department made no changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

ADVISORY BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS AND COMMISSION ACTION

The Motorcycle Safety Advisory Board met on July 19, 2021, to discuss the proposed rules and the public comments received. The Advisory Board recommended that the Commission adopt the proposed rules as published in the Texas Register with changes to §§98.10, 98.23, 98.70, 98.104, and 98.108 made in response to public comments and Advisory Board discussions. At its meeting on August 10, 2021, the Commission adopted the proposed rules with changes as recommended by the Board. These changes are detailed in the Section-by-Section Summary.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

 

The rules are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, and Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 662, which authorize the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, the Department’s governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department. The adopted rules are also adopted under Texas Government Code, Chapter 411, Subchapter F, and Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 53, which establish the Department’s statutory authority to conduct criminal history background checks on an applicant for or a holder of a license, certificate, registration, title, or permit issued by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the adopted rules are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51; Texas Transportation Code, Chapters 521 and 662; and Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 45.0511. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the adopted rules.

§98.10. Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) Advisory board--The Motorcycle Safety Advisory Board.

(2) Change of ownership--A change in the control of a motorcycle school. The control of a school is considered to have changed:

(A) in the case of ownership by an individual, when more than 50% of the school has been sold or transferred;

(B) in the case of ownership by a partnership or corporation, when more than 50% of the school, or of the owning partnership or corporation, has been sold or transferred; or

(C) when the board of directors, officers, shareholders, or similar governing body has been changed to such an extent as to significantly alter the management and control of the school.

(3) Commission--Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation.

(4) Controlling person--An individual who:

(A) is a sole proprietor;

(B) is a general partner of a partnership;

(C) is a controlling person of a business entity that is a general partner of a partnership;

(D) possesses direct or indirect control of at least 25 percent of the voting securities of a corporation;

(E) is the president, the secretary, or a director of a corporation; or

(F) possesses the authority to set policy or direct the management of a business entity.

(5) Department--Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

(6) Entry-level courses--Courses of instruction in motorcycle operation for novice or experienced motorcycle riders designed to meet the training requirement to obtain a Class M driver’s license issued under Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 521.

(7) Incident-- Any instance where any part of a motorcycle, other than the tires or side stand, touches the ground or another object.

(8) Instructor--An individual licensed by the department to teach motorcycle operator training courses in Texas.

(9) Instructor preparation course--A course designed to prepare an individual to provide instruction in motorcycle operation.

(10) Motorcycle school--An entity licensed by the department to provide motorcycle operator training courses in Texas.

(11) Offer--To do any of the following:

(A) make a written or oral proposal to perform;

(B) contract in writing or orally to perform; or

(C) advertise or imply, in any form through any medium, that a person is available to perform or contract to perform.

(12) Person--An individual or entity.

(13) Range--The area of a training site where on-cycle training is conducted.

(14) TEEX--The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.

(15) Training site--A physical location, consisting of a classroom and range, where motorcycle operator training is conducted.

§98.20. Instructor--License Required.

(a) An individual may not offer or provide instruction in motorcycle operation to the public for consideration or teach an instructor preparation course unless the individual:

(1) holds an instructor license issued by the department;

(2) provides the instruction in accordance with a curriculum approved by the department; and

(3) provides the instruction as an employee of, or under contract with, a motorcycle school or TEEX.

(b) An individual enrolled as a student in an instructor preparation course administered by TEEX does not violate this section by participating in activities conducted as part of the instructor preparation course.

§98.21. Instructor--License Eligibility.

(a) To be eligible for an instructor license, an applicant must:

(1) be at least 18 years old;

(2) submit a completed application on a form prescribed by the department;

(3) have successfully completed an instructor preparation course in accordance with §98.22;

(4) have held, continuously for the two years preceding the date of submitting the application, a valid driver's license that entitles the applicant to operate a motorcycle on a public road;

(5) not have been convicted during the preceding three years of:

(A) three or more moving violations described by Texas Transportation Code §542.304, including violations that resulted in an accident; or

(B) two or more moving violations described by Texas Transportation Code §542.304, that resulted in an accident;

(6) be a high school graduate or have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, certificate of high school equivalency, or other credentials equivalent to a public high school degree;

(7) possess current first aid and adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification from a nationally recognized provider with training courses that require in-person attendance, provide hands-on skills practice, and meet or exceed the standards of the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration;

(8) submit the fee required by §98.80;

(9) undergo and successfully pass a criminal history background check; and

(10) not have been convicted during the preceding seven years of:

(A) Texas Penal Code §49.04, Driving While Intoxicated;

(B) Texas Penal Code §49.045, Driving While Intoxicated with Child Passenger;

(C) Texas Penal Code §49.07, Intoxication Assault; or

(D) Texas Penal Code §49.08, Intoxication Manslaughter.

(b) Out-of-state applicants. The eligibility requirements in subsection (a)(3) and Texas Transportation Code §662.0062(a)(1) can alternatively be met by an applicant who has held, continuously for the previous year, authorization to provide instruction for a department-approved entry-level course, or its equivalent as determined by the department, by submitting to the department any information about the course requested by the department and:

(1) if the applicant is from a state or other jurisdiction that offers a motorcycle instructor license:

(A) an active motorcycle instructor license issued to the applicant by the state or other jurisdiction; and

(B) a document on official letterhead issued by the state or other jurisdiction stating that:

(i) the motorcycle instructor license has been active and in good standing continuously for the previous year; and

(ii) the applicant has taught both the classroom and range portions of the course at least six times; or

(2) if the applicant is from a state or other jurisdiction that does not offer a motorcycle instructor license:

(A) a certificate of completion of the instructor training required to teach the course issued by the administrator of the course; and

(B) a document on official letterhead issued by the administrator of the course stating that:

(i) the applicant’s authorization to teach the course has been active and in good standing continuously for the previous year; and

(ii) the applicant has taught both the classroom and range portions of the course at least six times.

§98.22. Instructor--Preparation Course.

(a) The instructor preparation course required by §98.21(a)(3) must be a training program on motorcycle operator training and safety instruction approved by the executive director of the department and administered by TEEX.

(b) To be eligible to enroll in an instructor preparation course under this section, an individual must:

(1) meet the requirements of §98.21(a)(4), (5), (6), and (10); and

(2) not have a criminal history that will make the individual ineligible for an instructor license under §98.21(a)(9).

(c) To determine whether an individual meets the requirement of subsection (b)(2), an individual may request a criminal history evaluation letter from the department, as provided by 16 T.A.C. §60.42, Criminal History Evaluation Letters.

§98.23. Instructor--License Term; Renewal.

(a) An instructor license is valid for two years after the date of issuance.

(b) Each licensee is responsible for renewing the license before the expiration date. Lack of receipt of a license renewal notice from the department will not excuse failure to file for renewal or late renewal.

(c) To renew a license, an instructor must:

(1) submit a completed renewal application on a department-approved form;

(2) meet the requirements of §98.21(a)(4), (5), (7), (9), and (10); and

(3) submit the fee required under §98.80.

§98.26. Motorcycle School--License Eligibility.

To be eligible for a motorcycle school license, an applicant must:

(1) submit a completed application on a form prescribed by the department;

(2) provide a list of all controlling persons of the applicant, each of whom must undergo and successfully pass a criminal history background check;

(3) obtain an insurance policy that meets the requirements of §98.40;

(4) provide a list of all real property that will be used to meet the training site requirements of §98.100 and proof that the applicant owns, or possesses written authorization by the owner to use, each property;

(5) provide a list of motorcycles, if any, that will be available for use by students, including for each motorcycle the year, make, model, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN);

(6) provide a list of the department-approved courses the applicant intends to offer and proof of ownership of, or authority to offer, each course;

(7) provide a list of instructors employed by, or contracted with, the applicant; and

(8) submit the fee required by §98.80.

§98.70. Instructor--Responsibilities.

(a) An instructor must:

(1) notify the department of any change in the instructor’s address, phone number, or email address within 15 days from the date of the change;

(2) maintain a valid driver's license that entitles the license holder to operate a motorcycle on a public road;

(3) maintain a driving record that meets the requirements of §98.21(a)(5);

(4) maintain first aid and CPR certification that meets the requirements of §98.21(a)(7);

(5) act immediately to appropriately address the medical needs of any person injured at the training site and summon emergency medical services if necessary;

(6) report each incident to the motorcycle school in a timely manner;

(7) cooperate with all department audits and investigations and provide all requested documents;

(8) before each course, inspect each motorcycle to be used on the range to ensure the motorcycle meets the requirements of §98.102;

(9) ensure that each motorcycle provided by a student meets the insurance requirements of §98.40 before the motorcycle is used on the range;

(10) provide instruction only in compliance with a curriculum approved by the department;

(11) be capable of instructing the entire course and providing technically correct riding demonstrations;

(12) comply with the student-to-instructor ratio requirements in §98.108;

(13) supervise all students and personnel on the range;

(14) wear the protective gear required by §98.108(e) whenever riding a motorcycle to, from, or during rider training activities;

(15) ensure all students wear the protective gear required by §98.108(e) when participating in the on-cycle activities of the course; and

(16) deal honestly with members of the public and the department.

(b) An instructor must not:

(1) instruct a student if either the instructor or student exhibits signs of impairment from the use of an alcoholic beverage, controlled substance, drug, or dangerous drug, as defined in Texas Penal Code §1.07; or

(2) complete, issue, or validate a certificate of course completion to a person who has not successfully completed the course.

§98.100. Training Site Requirements.

(a) A motorcycle school must have a training site that includes:

(1) a range that is:

(A) a paved surface, including asphalt, concrete, or another all-weather surface of suitable traction;

(B) large enough to safely accommodate all courses conducted by the motorcycle school;

(C) reasonably free of incline;

(D) secure from vehicular and pedestrian traffic;

(E) free of surface hazards and obstacles; and

(F) surrounded by a paved run-off area, free of surface hazards and obstacles, of at least 20 feet from the perimeter of the range;

(2) an appropriate first aid kit and at least one five-pound Class ABC fire extinguisher, or its equivalent, for the range;

(3) a classroom that:

(A) is not located in a private residence;

(B) is large enough to adequately seat all students and instructors;

(C) has an adequate seat and writing surface for each student; and

(D) has adequate audiovisual presentation equipment.

(b) Subsection (a)(3) does not require a classroom to be a physical building and does not prohibit a virtual classroom conducted online.

§98.104. Student Admission Requirements.

(a) Entry-level courses are open to any individual who is at least 15 years old on the day the course begins and:

(1) has an unrestricted Class C, or higher, driver license;

(2) has a Class C learner license; or

(3) can present the proper driver education form verifying successful completion of the classroom portion phase of driver education.

(b) Non-entry-level courses are open to any individual who holds a Class M driver’s license or an equivalent out-of-state license.

(c) To be eligible for student admission to any course, an individual younger than 18 years of age must provide the motorcycle school with written consent, signed by the individual’s parent or legal guardian, for the individual to participate as a student in the course and to receive medical treatment for any injury that may occur at the motorcycle school. The signature of the parent or legal guardian on the written consent must be notarized or provided in person at the training site.

(d) Prior to accepting payment from an individual for admission to an entry-level course, a motorcycle school must inform the individual in writing of:

(1) the school’s policy regarding any attempts the school allows students to make to pass the knowledge examination, the riding skills test required for the course, and any associated fees; and

(2) the requirement that a student whose riding performance creates an unmanageable danger on the range, as determined by the instructor, must be removed from the course.

(e) A motorcycle school must inform each student in writing of the department’s name, mailing address, telephone number, and website address for the purpose of directing complaints to the department.

(f) If registration is performed by telephone, the information required by subsection (d) must be provided to the individual before the payment becomes non-refundable.

§98.106. Verification of Course Completion.

(a) A motorcycle school must issue a department-approved course completion certificate to a student who has successfully completed an entry-level course. The certificate must be signed by an instructor who taught the course or an appointed representative of the school.

(b) A motorcycle school must issue a department-approved course completion certificate that is restricted to the operation of a three-wheeled motorcycle if the entry-level course successfully completed by a student is specific to the operation of a three-wheeled motorcycle.

(c) A motorcycle school may issue a duplicate course completion certificate to a student for a lost certificate for up to three calendar years from the date the course was completed. The duplicate certificate must bear the same certificate number and course completion date as the original certificate.

(d) A course completion certificate for an entry-level course may only be issued to a student who has successfully completed the knowledge examination and the riding skills test required by the approved curriculum for the course. A motorcycle school may allow a student to make multiple attempts to pass the knowledge examination or the riding skills test, but any student whose riding performance creates an unmanageable danger on the range, as determined by the instructor, must be removed from the course and is not entitled to additional attempts to pass the riding skills test.

§98.108. Course Requirements.

(a) All courses must be conducted in accordance with a department-approved curriculum.

(b) The student-to-instructor ratio for classroom instruction of a course may not exceed 36 students per instructor.

(c) The student-to-instructor ratio for range instruction may not exceed eight students per instructor, or a more restrictive ratio imposed by the approved curriculum.

(d) For two-wheeled motorcycle courses, a separate motorcycle must be available for each student. For three-wheeled motorcycle courses, no more than two students may share a motorcycle.

(e) All students and instructors must wear protective gear when participating in the on-cycle activities of the course. The minimum protective gear includes:

(1) a motorcycle helmet that meets the standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation;

(2) eye protection;

(3) over-the-ankle, sturdy footwear;

(4) a long-sleeved shirt or jacket;

(5) non-flare pants that cover the entire leg and are made from a material that is at least as sturdy as denim; and

(6) full-fingered gloves.

(f) No person shall be on the range during any phase of range instruction except:

(1) instructors who are providing instruction, assistance, or evaluation;

(2) students who are enrolled in the course being conducted;

(3) interpreters or other assistants providing services to accommodate a disability or other condition required by law to be accommodated; or

(4) range assistants who are:

(A) enrolled in an instructor preparation course described in §98.22; or

(B) all of the following:

(i) at least 16 years old;

(ii) employed by or contracted with the motorcycle school; and

(iii) trained by the motorcycle school to provide non-instructional support.

(g) A range assistant may not provide any form of instruction or evaluation of students, but may provide non-instructional support, limited to:

(1) moving motorcycles;

(2) setting up, removing, or operating classroom equipment and materials;

(3) setting or removing cones or other objects for range exercises;

(4) performing on-site motorcycle maintenance; and

(5) conducting demonstrations of riding exercises under the supervision of an instructor, if allowed by the approved curriculum.

§98.110. Approval of Course Curriculum.

(a) To obtain department approval of a course curriculum, a person must submit to the department:

(1) a completed application on a form prescribed by the department; and

(2) the curriculum for the course and, if requested by the department, course materials to be used by students and instructors in the classroom and on the range.

(b) If the curriculum meets the minimum standards established by this chapter, the department will approve the course. Notification of approval or denial will be sent to the applicant.

§98.112. Curriculum Standards--Entry-Level Course.

The curriculum for an entry-level course must:

(1) be determined by the department to meet the Model National Standards for Entry-Level Motorcycle Rider Training (August 2011) distributed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which the department adopts by reference;

(2) include a knowledge examination that is designed to ensure students comprehend important concepts covered in the curriculum;

(3) include a riding skills test that is designed to ensure students can perform the riding skills covered in the curriculum;

(4) be consistent with this chapter and Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 662; and

(5) be submitted in conjunction with an instructor preparation course that meets the requirements of §98.116.

§98.114. Curriculum Standards--Non-Entry-Level Course.

The curriculum for a course of instruction in motorcycle operation that is not an entry-level course must:

(1) provide a benefit to public safety;

(2) be designed to provide training in a safe and prudent manner; and

(3) be consistent with this chapter and Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 662.

§98.116. Curriculum Standards--Instructor Preparation Course.

The curriculum for an instructor preparation course must:

(1) prepare an individual to competently teach all components of an entry-level course approved by the department; and

(2) be consistent with this chapter and Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 662.

REVIEW BY AGENCY COUNSEL

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency’s legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State, on August 12, 2021.


Brad Bowman
General Counsel
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation