LICENSE REQUIREMENT: What special permit or license is required to ride a motorcycle in California?

Under California law, you must have a special license to operate a motorcycle or scooter on any California roadway. First, you must pass a written examination and earn a permit. Then you must take a road test to get a California license to ride.

With a permit, you may only operate your motorized vehicle during daylight hours and you may not ride on freeways per California Law, Vehicle Code Section 12509(e). You cannot carry passengers either.

Violating these above restrictions does not automatically place you at fault for any particular accident, rather it is your conduct in operating your motorbike and not your license status that should determine fault or legal liability. Being unlicensed also does not preclude you from a monetary recovery from an at-fault party, but it might be evidence of competency, which may invoke comparative fault arguments by the defense claims adjuster or lawyer.

More Legal Questions About Car & Motorcycle Accidents?

Do you have more legal questions about car & motorcycle accident cases?  Return to the Auto & Motorcycle accidents in California Frequently Asked Legal Questions page.