There are two classes of motorcycle distinction in California law. A class M2 license allows individuals to drive a moped or any kind of motorized bicycle. Class M allows individuals to ride both the M2 class vehicles and operate any two-wheel motorcycles. To qualify for a motorcycle license, you must be at least 16-years-old, have parental permission (if a minor), and have a motorcycle permit that you’ve held for at least six months. Below are additional requirements for obtaining motorcycle licenses.
Motorcycle License Requirements
- Parental permission (if under 18 years old)
- Written exam
- Motorcycle laws and traffic signals exam
- Proof of driver education
- Motorcycle rider training course given by California Highway Patrol (if under 21 years old)
Motorcycle insurance requirements in California are strict. At a minimum, the motorcycle insurance policy must cover liability. A motorcyclist must have at least $15,000 coverage for injury or death to one person and $30,000 coverage for the injury or death of more than one person. Motorcyclists must also have $5,000 coverage for property damages. Proof of insurance must be kept with the vehicle at all times. To choose the policy that works for you, shop around motorcycle insurance companies. Some may have lower premiums than others. Drivers also have the option of self-insuring, which is when they forgo using a company and instead deposit a large sum of money with the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV will then give the self-insured individuals a certificate as proof of coverage for motorcycle insurance in California.
Motorcycle insurance premiums vary based on a variety of factors. Driving history is a large factor. A history of multiple accidents and traffic tickets will lead to a higher motorcycle insurance cost. Younger drivers and single drivers have been shown to have more accidents, so their premiums are higher. Companies also look at the type of vehicle and the amount driven. The better the vehicle model, the higher the cost. The more an individual drives, the more expensive the rate will be. Gender also plays a part, as men have been shown to be more reckless drivers in studies. They therefore pay higher motorcycle insurance California rates, on average, than women do.
Though it is important for drivers of all vehicles to follow traffic laws, it is especially important for motorcyclists to do so. Motorcyclists often find themselves in the blind spots of drivers and can wind up in dangerous situations and accidents. Knowing the rules of the road and the laws affecting motorcycles will not only keep you out of trouble, but it will also help keep you safe while on the road.
- Safety helmets are required.
- Daytime use of headlights is required on vehicles made during or after 1978.
- When carrying a passenger, a passenger seat is required.
- When carrying a passenger, a passenger footrest is required.
- Helmet speakers much have no more than a single earphone.
- Left and right mirrors are required by law.
- Turn signals are required.
- Mufflers are required.
- Handlebars must allow the driver to hold their hands six inches or lower above his or her shoulder height.