Do I need a motorcycle license in California?
Motorcyclists in California need to have a special license in order to drive their motorcycles. At your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), this license costs $35 and requires you to provide proof of identity, pass a motorcycle training program or skills test and pass a written test. You also need to have had a California motorcycle learner’s permit for a specific period of time and be at least 16 years of age.
When applying for your motorcycle license, you’ll also need to decide which type of motorcycle license you’ll need. The M1 motorcycle license allows you to ride all motorcycles and scooters. The M2 motorcycle license allows you to drive motorized bicycles, bicycles with retrofitted motors, motorized scooters and mopeds.
To qualify for a motorcycle license, regardless of your age, you’ll need to have held a California motorcycle learner’s permit. For motorcyclists under the age of 21, you must have your learner’s permit for at least six months prior to taking your motorcycle license driving test. While driving a motorcycle with a learner’s permit, riders will not be permitted to drive their motorcycles at night, on the freeway or with a passenger.
Motorcyclists who move to California can transfer their out-of-state licenses into the California system after passing a written exam, providing their passports or birth certificates and their out-of-state motorcycle licenses. A $35 fee will also apply to out-of-state transfer licenses.
The process of getting a motorcycle license is not only required by the law, but it also ensures that all motorcyclists receive proper training and have the requisite skills to successfully and safely navigate traffic. Such requirements help prevent motorcycle accidents as well by keeping motorcyclists as safe as possible on the road.