Depending on your age when seeking a motorcycle license, you may need to get a permit license. Permit licenses come with certain restrictions aimed at keeping new riders and others safe.
Types of California Motorcycle Licenses
In California, there are two types of motorcycle licenses: M1 and M2.
An M2 license allows you to operate any motorized bicycle, moped, or scooter. With an M1 license, you can operate two-wheel motorcycles, motorized scooters, motor-drive cycles, and any of the motorbikes listed under the M2 license.
The primary difference between the two is the type of bikes a rider is allowed to operate. However, because M1 licenses allow for a greater variety of bikes, most riders apply for this type of license.
Do You Need a Permit Before Getting a Motorcycle License in California?
Whether you need a permit depends on the age you are when seeking a motorcycle license.
Riders under the age of 21 must get a motorcycle instruction permit before they can apply to get a motorcycle license. Only after you’ve met this requirement can you apply for a permanent license.
Riders over the age of 21 do not need to get a motorcycle instruction permit.
How To Get a Motorcycle Permit in California
To qualify to apply for a motorcycle instruction permit in California, you must:
- Be at least 15 ½ years old
- Have completed a Driver Education and Driver Training course if you are between 15 ½ and 17 ½
- Complete a California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) course if you are between 15 ½ and 21
- Complete an application for a California driver’s license
- Have a parent or guardian signature if under 18
Once all of the above requirements are done, you can visit your local DMV and complete the following:
- Provide proof of identity or residency
- Pass a vision exam
- Pay an application fee
- Take a photo
- Take the knowledge test and pass with at least an 80%
After receiving your permit, you must have it for at least six months to practice your riding skills before applying for a formal motorcycle license.
What Are the Restrictions Associated With a California Motorcycle Permit?
A learning permit is also referred to as a “restricted” license, as it gives you the right to ride with some restrictions attached.
Three primary restrictions come with a motorcycle instruction permit. As a new rider, you cannot ride between dusk and dawn, as riding during daylight hours is safer for everyone.
Riding a motorcycle on the freeway requires much faster speeds than those on regular roads. For this reason, riders who are practicing their riding skills must avoid freeways, as freeway riding can be dangerous at the beginning.
Finally, new riders cannot ride with a passenger because it is more challenging. Therefore, new riders should feel confident enough to ride alone before adding a passenger to their bike.
Restrictions Exist for Everyone’s Safety
While restrictions may seem unfair to new riders, there’s a reason they exist. Riding a motorcycle is no easy task and requires plenty of skill development and refinement. California law imposes these restrictions to allow new riders to practice while also keeping them and others safe.
Still, no matter your level of experience, there is always a risk with riding a motorcycle. Unfortunately, your safety is also in the hands of others on the road.
If you’re involved in a motorcycle collision caused by another’s negligence, you’re not alone. A motorcycle accident attorney has the skills and resources to handle your claim and pursue justice on your behalf.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.