Each state is different when it comes becoming a legal rider. I first obtained my motorcycle license in Virginia. In Virginia, the first step is to obtain a riders permit. The permit restricts the rider from riding alone, at night and with a passenger. To obtain a motorcycle permit in the state of Virginia, one must pass a simple exam at their local DMV, I believe the passing score is a 70% pass rate. I was also able to go online and take a few practice exams before my actual one at the DMV. The questions were pretty much the same but worded differently. I was made to keep my permit in good standing for six months before I was eligible to get my actual motorcycle license. With the motorcycle license I am legally able to ride alone, with a passenger and at anytime of day or night. To get the license I was made to perform certain tasks on my own motorcycle for a DMV worker in their parking lot. There were three tasks that I was made to perform and I only had to pass two of them to get my license. The tasks were, starting and stopping in a short distance, a figure eight in a small area and sudden stop when she waved her hand.
As mentioned before each state may be different and what I had to do to get my own license might have also changed. Check with your local DMV to get a current guideline on how to obtain your license.