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Motorcycle License Requirements

What Requirements Do You Need to Ride a Motorcycle in California? Insight From the Best Motorcycle Injury Lawyers

With over 14.5 million automobiles registered in California, it is no wonder that the regulations here tend to be stricter than in most states. Obtaining a motorcycle license in California can rely on several factors. Due to the high level of traffic accidents that occur in California, and more specifically, in Los Angeles, these regulations have been set in place for the protection of drivers and pedestrians alike. West Coast Trial Lawyers practice personal injury law and can help in case you’ve gotten into a motorcycle accident.

California Requirements For A Motorcycle License

California has a different set of rules depending on the age of the rider.

Under 18. Riders who are 16 and older are able to get a motorbike license by:

  • Showing that they have had a learner’s permit for at least 6 months. 
  • Taking and completing a driver education and training course. Driver’s education is taught in a classroom setting while driver’s training is directed behind the wheel. 
  • Completion of a motorcycle rider training course. You must also obtain a valid CA driver’s license or learner’s permit. 

Over 18. Riders who are 18 years of age and older are required to:

  • Obtain a California driver’s license 
  • Pass the written test
  • Pass the motorcycle driver skills test

M1 and M2 Licenses

Class M1. With a Class M1 license you can legally drive a:

    • Motorcycle. A vehicle with a saddle for the rider and not more than 3 wheels.
    • Motor-Driven Cycle. Motor-driven cycles are motorcycles that have a 149 cc motor or less.   
    • Motorized Scooter. Motorized scooters are classified as two-wheeled vehicles that are attached to a floorboard and have handlebars. Some versions do have attachable seats, but the seat can not refrain the rider from adding propulsion. 

Class M2.  With a Class M2 license, you can legally drive:

Motorized Bicycles or Mopeds. These vehicles can have two-three wheels and can not travel faster than 30 miles per hour

Motorcycle Skills Test

The DMV requires new riders to take and pass an annual pass/ fail motorcycle test. This test allows the instructor to rank the driver’s skills. The following are a few skills a driving teacher will ask you to demonstrate:

  • Riding Within The Tracking Path. Traveling through a designed obstacle course
  • A Serpentine Ride. Traveling through a twisted obstacle course
    • Circle Ride. Traveling in a circle both clockwise and counterclockwise
  • Slow Ride.  A slower straight ride between two parallel lines
  • Gear Shift Ride. A ride in a straight while shifting gears



Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. 

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss  of Enjoyment of Life
  • Other Non-Economic Damanges

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact are only incorporated in 5% of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

West Coast Trial Lawyers WIll Help You Earn Maximum Compensation For Your Motorcycle Accident

If you have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a motorcycle accident, an attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call West Coast Trial Lawyers today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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