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Oakland Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Motorcycle Accident / Steps To Getting Your Motorcycle License In California

Steps To Getting Your Motorcycle License In California


When you consider the great weather, state population, and excellent riding conditions, you can easily understand why California ranks #1 when it comes to registered motorcycles in the US. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), there are almost 772,000 two- and three-wheeled vehicles in the state, as measured by license plates issued. To ride one legally, you must have the California Department of Motor Vehicles M1 motorcycle license.

In some ways, getting your motorcycle license is much like the process you went through when you got your license to drive a car. However, there are additional steps, and they are required for good reason: Motorcycles handle differently, so officials want to make sure you and the other road users around you are safe. The steps for getting your M1 license are important for avoiding Oakland motorcycle accidents, and there are some additional ways to protect yourself.

  1. Complete Skills and Training Requirements: There are different ways you can meet the requirements depending on your situation. 

California Motorcyclist Safety Program Training Course (CMSP): Before applying for your license, you can take this class to satisfy the skills requirements. Note that those under 21 years old must participate in and pass the CMSP to complete the skills requirements.

Motorcycle Skills Test: If you are 21 or older, you have the option of bypassing the CMSP and taking the examination at a CA DMV office. This test is pass/fail, and the official will assess your abilities to handle different traffic situations.

Learner Permit: Drivers under 21 must hold an M1 instruction permit for at least 6 months before upgrading to a full motorcycle license. 

  1. Pass the Written Motorcycle Test: All applicants must complete the motorcycle knowledge test, which is similar to a written driver’s exam. Questions revolve around right of way rules, the meaning of traffic signs and signals, and safe operation of a motorcycle around other road users. 
  1. Complete Basic Forms and Submit Paperwork: The form for obtaining an M1 license is DL 44, in which you will include contact information and related details. You will need to present your California driver’s license or other ID, along with paying the application fee. 

Other Ways to Stay Safe: Once you have your motorcycle license in hand, one of the best ways to protect yourself is to use it as much as possible. It is probably not difficult to get you to practice your favorite activity, and you gain experience every time you ride your motorcycle. If it has been a while since you have ridden, consider taking a motorcycle safety course to brush up on the basics.

Contact an Oakland Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Details

Having a valid motorcycle license and applying additional safety steps are important ways to protect against crashes, but not all drivers take proper precautions. If you were hurt in a collision, please contact Venardi Zurada, LLP to schedule a no-cost case evaluation. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can meet with you at our offices in Oakland or Walnut Creek, CA.



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