2024 California Motorcycle License Requirements – Important Rules of the Road for Bike Riders

March 10, 2023

2024 California Motorcycle License Requirements – Important Rules of the Road for Bike Riders

California Motorcycle License - driver on the road

A California motorcycle license is required for those wishing to ride.  Below is more information about obtaining a license.

California has over 100,000 more registered motorcyclists than the next biggest state.  Beautiful weather and sunny days bring Los Angeles motorcycle riders out for trips on the 101, Pacific Coast Highway or Sunset Boulevard. 

It’s important to remember that if you plan to ride a motorcycle, you must obtain a California motorcycle licenseCalifornia issues two different classes for two-wheel motor vehicles: Class M1 and Class M2

With a Class M1 license, you may operate any two-wheel motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized scooter and all vehicles listed under Class M2.

With a Class M2 license, you may operate any motorized bicycle, moped, or motorized scooter.

The process of obtaining your California motorcycle license is dependent on your age.  Anyone under 21 must have a permit for six months before applying for a California motorcycle license. 

In order to get this permit, you must complete the California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) training course.  You will present the completed certificate at the DMV along with:

  • a driver’s license or identification card application
  • your name
  • Social Security number

You will also have to:

  • pass a vision exam
  • pay the application fee
  • pass a test

You can fail the aforementioned test three times before needing to restart the process.

If you are 21 or older, you can apply for a California motorcycle license without holding an instruction permit.

However, you will be required to take the CMSP training course mentioned earlier, or pass a motorcycle driving test.

At the DMV:

  • You’ll provide your social security number
  • You’ll provide identification
  • You have to pass a vision exam
  • You have to pass the knowledge test
  • You have a fingerprint made
  • You have a photograph taken
  • You pay the application fee
  • You’ll present the CMSP certificate OR take the motorcycle driving test

According to the California DMV website, items on the California motorcycle license driving test may include:

A pre-trip inspection to identify:

  • Starter
  • Kill switch
  • Clutch (if equipped)
  • Throttle
  • Gear selector
  • Headlight dimmer switch
  • Brakes
  • Turn signals
  • Horn

Other skills on the test to obtain a California motorcycle license may include:

  • Riding in the tracking paths.
  • Serpentine Ride
  • Slow Ride
  • Gear Shift Ride

California Motorcycle License - driver goes through motorcycle test

An observation test is required for applicants of a California motorcycle license who have never been licensed for any class of motor vehicle and apply for a motorcycle only license.

The driving test examiner will observe you operating the motorcycle from a “preselected vantage point”.

Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous at times. The risks for motorcyclists are greater than those of typical passenger cars.

In fact, a recent study from the National Safety Council reported that fatalities among motorcycle riders and passengers increased 11 percent.

Injuries often include:

  • Neck and Back Pain 
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Broken bones 
  • Cuts and lacerations 
  • Internal bleeding and organ damage 
  • Scarring and disfigurement 
  • Wrongful death

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, our Los Angeles attorneys are here to represent you.  Our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at C&B Law Group have the insight and wherewithal to help our clients. 

The team will look to repair damages you may face, including:

  • Current and future medical expenses from injuries related to your accident.
  • Loss of wages that may have been suffered because of your inability to work while recovering from the accident.
  • Pain and suffering, which can be both physical, current and chronic as a result of your accident, and mental, such as fear or PTSD caused by the accident.

Our legal services for your motorcycle accident case are 100% free until we win.

Contact a Los Angeles motorcycle attorney at C&B Law Group today for a free consultation.

Get Started Now

Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers today by filling out the form below, or call us at (866) 747-7333

    or call us at

    (866) 747-7333

    Hablamos Español

    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img
    • img

    Recent Blog Posts

    view all blog posts