So you want to get on your bike and command California roads? Well, in order to do so, you will be required to first follow the steps for California motorcycle drivers, which includes:
- Utilizing resources like handbooks, publications, and sample testing
- Obtaining your M1 or M2 motorcycle license
- Registering your motorcycle with California DMV
- Obtaining a motorcycle vehicle history report in California
- Understanding and following California motorcycle and traffic safety laws
Understanding what to do once you decide to get licensed to drive your motorcycle or scooter is going to mean the difference between remaining a legit rider and encountering penalties that you could have and should have avoided.
Resources Exist-Use Them!
4dmv.com can be the best method of finding resources and publications that pertain to California motorcycle drivers, ensuring that you know what to expect as you let your bike or scooter loose on the roadways. You will find various resources in the form of e-publications as well as handbooks that can be downloaded online, mailed to you, or picked up at the DMV.
- What are these resources? Well, the California motorcycle handbook is one publication that you just can’t do without. You can download the entire handbook online for free at California Motorcycle Handbook or simply view and review online at California Motorcycle Handbook Table of Contents.
- Another great resource to consider as you consider your motorcycle license is the DMV site’s sample testing, which gives you great preparation for the license written exams provided by the California DMV. You should be fully prepared for this exam, although you are given multiple chances, as you want to be on the road with your license sooner than later. Sample testing can be found online at Samples of Driver Tests. These tests are available 24/7 for the sole purpose of providing you with free preparation that is easy to access and congruent with the tests provided by the California DMV.
- Other publications also exist that are especially for California motorcycle drivers, which you can obtain at CA Department of Motor Vehicles Publications.
Getting Your License
As you get ready for your motorcycle license, you will encounter steps quite like that of getting your standard Class C license. You will complete the same forms and testing, while following the same process and providing the same information—however, you will have the choice between two different classes of licensing: M1 and M2.
- M1: all motorcycles, as well as motorized scooters that operate by attached motors.
- M2: state-specified mopeds and bicycles with motorized operation
Choosing the right license can be done easily by reviewing the motorcycle handbook and determining the type of rider you are within California.
Completing the process for your license is easy, and will contain the same DL 44 form utilized for obtaining your standard license. This form cannot be a copy or any printed form that isn’t a direct issue from the California DMV as there is a barcode on each application used for tracking and filing purposes. Bring the same forms you brought for your driver’s license and pay the appropriate license fee of $18, after which you will receive your interim license as you await your original issue motorcycle license.
California Motorcycle Registration
Remember when you registered your car or truck with the California DMV? Well, the process is repeated with your motorcycle, from forms to fees and all that falls in between. In fact, the same application form REG 343 is used for applying for registration—which can be downloaded off the DMV site at Application for Title or Registration.
- Finding out what fees you will incur during registration of your California motorcycle can be a bit difficult, as there are several different fees that could be involved, all depending on the type, year, model, and value of the motorcycle you are registering, as well as where it was last registered, if at all. To determine which fees may be applied, you can visit Registration Related Fees or utilize the registration calculator at Vehicle Registration Fee Calculator.
- Once you have registered the motorcycle, you will be required to order your plates, which will be another $18 added to your registration costs, unless you choose that you would rather specialized or need special plates for your motorcycle, which could cost more. Plates on a motorcycle are only required to be shown in the rear, which could save you money in purchase.
California Motorcycle Vehicle History Reports
Getting a motor vehicle history report in California is even important when it comes to your motorcycle. If you are purchasing a used motorcycle, whether from a dealer or private seller, you should always ask for a vehicle history report from them or the California DMV, or even a 3rd party service that specializes in such reports. This is a safeguard for you to use against unwise purchases that could end up costing much more than you thought.
Finding an Office
When you are ready to get your California first-time motorcycle driver services, you will need to report to the office nearest you, which can be determined through the directory at DMV Public Offices by Location. You can also call the local DMV office at the toll free number provided - 1-800-777-0133 for live help and 1-800-921-1117 for automated help.
Getting your motorcycle on the road can be much easier than you think, with great information provided by 4dmv.com to ensure that you are able to obtain services in an efficient manner that guarantees time saved.