Search
Search & Choose State
  • Location:

  • Motorcycle License in California

    California offers two classes of motorcycle license: M1 and M2. With an M1 license, you may ride any type of motorcycle with an attached motor, or any motorized scooter. With an M2 classification, you will be permitted to drive a motorized bicycle, a moped, a bicycle with an attached motor, or a motorized scooter only.

    Learner's Permit

    Everyone, regardless of age, first gets a learner's permit to practice driving your motorcycle before the driving test. If you're under 18 years old, you must have your permit for 6 months before the driving test.

    To pass the exam, study the California Motorcycle Handbook before your appointment. The handbook contains all of the information, rules, and laws that apply to motorcycles. It's also full of helpful hints and tips.

    NOTE: All applicants under 21 years old must complete a state-approved motorcycle safety course.

    How to Apply for a Motorcycle Permit

    Start by calling your local DMV office to make an appointment to apply for your license and take the written motorcycle licensing exam.

    Permit Restrictions

    With your motorcycle learner's permit, you may practice driving a motorcycle. However, you are not allowed to:

    • Drive your motorcycle at night.
    • Drive your motorcycle on the freeway.
    • Carry any passengers on your motorcycle.

    Your $33learner's permit application fee will be good for 12 months. You may take the written and skills tests 3 times. If your application expires before you pass the tests and are issued a license, you must start the application process all over.

    Form DL 44

    If you'd like to do your paperwork prior to your appointment, call (800) 777-0133 to request DMV Form DL 44. The form must contain an original signature and isn't available from the Internet. You may also pick up a copy at your local DMV office, or complete it on the day of your appointment.

    At Your Appointment

    You will need to:

    • Submit form DL 44.
    • Pass the vision test.
    • Give a thumbprint.
    • Pass the written traffic laws and signs test for the license you now have, unless you took it within the last year.
    • Provide proof of successfully completing a motorcycle safety course.
    • Also pass the motorcycle laws test.

    No Driver License

    If you don't have a regular driver license, you must also:

    Additionally, you must:

    Getting Your Motorcycle License: Under 21

    You may apply for your motorcycle license after:

    Bring the motorcycle class completion certificate to the California DMV, and they'll issue you an interim license valid for 90 days, until you receive your new photo license in the mail. The fee is $33

    Getting Your Motorcycle License: Over 21

    • Complete the motorcycle rider training course's completion certificate and drop off at any DMV location.

    Or

    Transferring an Out-of-State License

    Visit any DMV location, or save time by calling ahead for an appointment. You will be required to take a written exam, so studying California's Motorcycle Handbook is strongly encouraged.

    When you arrive to apply and take the exam, you must:

    • Provide either your original birth certificate or a passport.
    • Provide your license.
    • Complete Form DL 44.
    • Pay a $33 application fee.

    Driving Skills Tests

    If you're older than 21 years old, you may enroll in the Basic RiderCourse training program, which will waive your skills test. It might also lower your insurance rates, so it's a good bet.

    Otherwise, make an appointment at your local DMV office to take a motorcycle driving test.

    Compare Motorcycle Insurance Rates in 3 Steps

    1. Enter Your Zip: