Riding a motorcycle takes skill, but legally riding a motorcycle in California requires that as well as a valid motorcycle instruction permit or driver’s license. It should come as no surprise that there are procedures to obtaining a motorcycle license, and the requirements are a bit more intricate if you are under the age of 21. On this page, we review some of these requirements and restrictions.
There are two classes of motorcycle licenses, as of the date of writing this article: Class M2 and Class M1 licenses.
The Class M2 license authorizes you to operate any bicycle with an attached motor, such as a motorized scooter, moped, or motorized bicycle.
The Class M1 license is more all-inclusive, authorizing you to operate any two-wheeled motorcycle as well as all vehicles authorized by a Class M2 license.
If you are not yet 21 years old, then you must hold a motorcycle instruction permit for at least six months before you can apply for a motorcycle driver’s license.
To apply for a California motorcycle instruction permit, you must be at least 15 ½ years old. Those under 17 ½ years old must have a Driver Education and Driver Training Certificate of Completion.
Further, those between the ages of 15 ½ and 21 must complete a California Motorcyclist Safety Program, Or CMPSP, approved by the California Highway Patrol. You will need the Certificate of Completion (DL 389).
Next, the applicant will have to complete the California Driver’s License or ID Card Application. Those under 18 will need to have the application signed by a parent or guardian.
Now, you can schedule an appointment with the DMV office. You will have to bring your California Identification Card or proof of identity and residency, pay the application fee, pass a vision exam, take a photo, and take the knowledge test. The knowledge test is a multiple-choice exam based on the California Motorcycle Handbook, and a passing score is 80%.
To quickly sum up what we’ve gone over so far: Individuals under 21 years old must hold an instruction permit for at least six months before applying for a motorcycle driver’s license. We also reviewed the process for getting that instruction permit.
So, what does the instruction permit allow – and disallow? With a Class M1/M2 instruction permit, you can ride solo on public roads during daylight hours.
To emphasize, this means that individuals with an instruction permit are:
These restrictions are meant to protect you as well as the public. The instruction permit is meant to allow new riders to practice while keeping themselves and others safe!
If you have suffered a personal injury due to the negligence or misconduct of someone else, then hire a personal injury attorney to seek justice. For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer, you can call the Law Offices of Andrew Zeytuntsyan.