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How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in CA

California is renowned for being one of the best states in the country for riding a motorcycle. Between the Sonora Pass and the Pacific Coast Cruise, bikers are hard-pressed to find more beautiful routes and spectacular views. It comes as no surprise then that the state has more than 800,000 registered motorcycles, and is home to many recreational riders who love the freedom of the open road.

If you’re contemplating getting a motorcycle license in California, the process is fairly straightforward, but will also depend on your particular situation.

Steps to get a motorcycle license in California

All residents – regardless of age – must first obtain a California driving permit before they can apply for a motorcycle license. If you are under the age of 21, this entails taking and passing a state-mandated motorcycle safety course. Those who are under 18 must have a certificate of Completion of Motorcycle Training Course (DL389) and maintain their learner’s permit for a minimum of 6 months before applying for a permanent motorcycle license.

California offers two classes of motorcycle licenses — the M1 and M2. An M1 license applies to any kind of two-wheeled motorcycle or motorized scooter that has an attached motor. An M2 license is more limiting, and only allows bikers to operate mopeds, motorized bikes and scooters.

For residents over the age of 21, you’ll need to stop by the nearest Calfornia DMV branch and:

  1. Complete the DL 44 Form for Driver’s License or Identification Card
  2. Provide proof of identity with an original birth certificate or passport
  3. Pass the California written motorcycle test
  4. Pass the motorcycle driving test*
  5. Pay $33 application fee

For those who don’t possess a current driver’s license, you’ll also need to furnish your full, legal name, birth date, documentation that shows legal presence and social security number.

*If you are older than 21 and want to avoid taking the motorcycle road skills test, you can arrange to take a Basic Rider Course program, offered by the California Highway Patrol. This program can be completed ahead of time at your convenience. By completing this step, you may also qualify for lower insurance rates.

California motorcycle accident law firm

Even when following road rules and safety protocols, accidents can happen. Injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are sometimes catastrophic in nature, leaving victims unable to work for long stretches and saddled with astronomical medical bills. At Ellis Law Corporation, our legal team represents motorcyclists who have faced serious harm and financial burdens due to negligent drivers. We have more than 25 years of experience getting favorable results for our clients.

If you’ve been hurt in a crash and need an advocate you can count on, put your trust in a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney at Ellis Law. Call 1-800-INJURED to arrange a free, confidential case review today.

Additional “CA Motorcycle Driver’s License” Resources:

  1. California DMV, HOW TO APPLY FOR A MOTORCYCLE LICENSE IN CALIFORNIA https://www.dmv.com/ca/california/apply-motorcycle-license
  2. State of California DMV, Motorcycle License Check List https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/dl/checklists/mc
  3. org, Motorcycle License in California http://www.dmv.org/ca-california/motorcycle-license.php