Are There Different Types of Motorcycle Licenses in California?

Are There Different Types of Motorcycle Licenses in California?

California is the state that has the highest number of registered motorcycles. You may think that just having your driver’s license is enough to get on a motorcycle and ride off into the California sunset, but that’s not the case. To ride a motorcycle in this state, you need either an M1 or M2 license. 

But which license is the right one for you? Learn what they each offer and how to apply for them. 

M1 vs. M2: Choosing the Right Motorcycle License in CA

An M1 license in California allows you to ride any two-wheel or three-wheel motor vehicle that has no pedals. These include:

  • Motorcycles
  • Motorized scooters
  • Motor-driven cycles

With an M1 license, you can also operate any vehicle that fits under the M2 license. An M2 license lets you operate motorized bicycles, bicycles with an attached motor, and mopeds. None of these can go faster than 30 mph, and they have to be equipped with pedals. With an M2 license, you can’t operate a standard motorcycle.

When comparing M1 vs. M2, which is the right option for you? The answer depends on what you want to ride. For the majority of people, an M1 license in California is the best choice because it covers all of the options. If you only want to ride a motorized bicycle, however, you’ll just need an M2 license. 

Getting a Motorcycle License in California

If you’re over 18, you will need to take a knowledge, vision, and driving test. If you attended a motorcycle rider course, even a basic one, you might not need to take the driving test. For those under 18, you’ll have to pass a knowledge and vision test and then take a basic motorcycle rider course that has approval from the California Highway Patrol. 

You’ll have to:

  • Fill out an ID card or driver’s license application
  • Pay the application fee
  • Pass a knowledge and vision test
  • Provide a thumbprint
  • Get your picture taken

If you don’t have a California driver’s license or state ID, you’ll have to present a document that proves your identity, as well as your Social Security number and full name. 

Once you have your license, you’ll need to get insurance to be able to ride your motorcycle. You need to carry liability insurance in case you’re involved in a crash. Remember that any automobile insurance policy you have won’t automatically cover your motorcycle. The kind of insurance you’ll need depends on the kind of motorcycle you want to drive. 

The type of motorcycle insurance most people need in California is known as “15/30/5 coverage.” You need to have $15,000 worth of coverage for injuries another person may suffer, $30,000 worth of total coverage for injuries to all others involved in the accident, and $5,000 worth of coverage for property damage. 

Motorcycle Safety in California

Because California is the state with the highest number of motorcycles, accidents can happen. Poor road conditions, distracted driving, road rage, and so many other issues can arise when there are so many people on the road. 

If you do get into a motorcycle accident, it’s crucial that you reach out to personal injury lawyers who are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve for injuries or property damage you have suffered. With the right people guiding you, it can be easier to deal with the aftermath of a motorcycle crash. 

Contact the Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at The Simon Law Group Today

For more information, please contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at The Simon Law Group to schedule a free initial consultation today. We have three convenient locations in California, including Torrance, Hermosa Beach, and Santa Ana, CA. We also have offices in Phoenix, AZ, and Austin, TX.

We proudly serve Los Angeles County and Orange County, CA, and its surrounding areas:

The Simon Law Group – Torrance, CA Office
2916 W 164th St Second Floor, Torrance, CA 90504
(424) 622-0812 

The Simon Law Group – Hermosa Beach, CA Office
34 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(424) 722-3209

The Simon Law Group – Santa Ana, CA Office
1327 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92706
(714) 581-8546