California License Requirement as of today 6-21-2013?

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by sactownie, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. sactownie

    sactownie Member

    Hi all, this is my 1st post here.
    I have been researching getting a 2 stroke kit for my mountain bike I just purchased a couple weeks ago but I run into a roadblock about the law in california.
    I was about to purchase a kit off craigslist from local sellers claiming you do NOT need a drivers license to ride a gas engine assist bike but the chp and dmv websites say that only an electric assist bicycle that goes no faster then 20mph is exempt from a drivers license.
    Has there been a change of law and they just have not updated there websites?
    I emailed a couple of the sellers this afternoon asking for them to send me a link where it states what they claim but of course I have not received any reply back.
    Does anyone know about this california law?

  2. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    YEP, License required,(M-2 at least,) and registration required. A ONE TIME ONLY payment, life of the bike.
    This being said, Not many people I know, And I know A LOT of riders ever get a M-2 or a plate. I don't know what town you're in, but in San Jose all the cops really care about is a helmet and riding safe. In fact, MOST cops don't even know the law on MB's, So as long as ya ain't getting crazy they mostly just leave ya alone.
    Big Red.
    I see by your sign in name you're probably in Sacramento. I think you'll be OK.
    And if I may suggest you go to the INTRODUCE YOURSELF section and say Hi to everyone. Just the polite thing to do.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
    sactownie likes this.
  3. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    No changes in the laws that go back to the 70's or earlier.

    Sellers lie or don't want to know the laws so they misquote them
    because they don't want to lose a sale.

    You need a DOT helmet and a M2 or M1 endorsement and the $20
    one time fee license plate.

    There is no under 50 cc law too and any size gas powered motorized
    bike is governed by the same laws.
  4. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Yer right about there's no 50cc law in California MBR, But, there is a law limiting a bicycle engine to 2 gross brake horsepower. That equates to about a 49cc engine, In general. You can "de-tune" a V-8 chevy engine to only put out 2 GBH and it would be legal under the law. But all this is a moot point considering the cops have NO WAY of measuring an engines output. If you put a car engine on a bike the cops might get a little suspicius, But even a 99cc Predator engine LOOKS close enough to get by the cops.
    WHY, YES OFFICER, IT IS A 49cc engine.
    Big Red.
  5. sactownie

    sactownie Member

    Yea I live in sacramento area north near roseville. So it looks like you take your chances with these but stay below there radar and probably not get hassled.
    I will look into liability insurance on a MB, its all I need anyway for dmv to reinstate my driving privileges, I have no job presently so no $ to insure my car let alone pay $4.00 a gallon for the 10mpg my car gets so the MB option looks really good right now especially if I can get liability insurance on the cheap to satisfy dmv.
  6. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    Really hard to get insurance on a home built motorized bike in CA
    Maybe if it can be included in an existing insurance policy package
    on your house, etc.

    You can get insurance on a Whizzer because it's in their system.

    I have a friend who rides a 4 stroke shifter motorized bike in your area
    and he did get stopped in a small town near Roseville who knew the laws
    but most of that area doesn't clamp down or know the laws about motorized bikes.

    eBikes need no license and insurance or maybe a small motorbike or scooter would
    be better for you.

    What is your budget for a MB?

    If you are going to ride one and stay below the radar, wear a DOT
    helmet, get the license plate, have all the lights and don't do
    stupid stuff like blowing red lights, stop signs and riding on the sidewalk.
  7. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Every time I've ever been stopped all the cop asked for was an I.D., Never a M-1 or M-2. And trust me, I've been stopped more than a couple times. Most of the time they just wanted to check out the bike. Helmet, lights and safe riding go a long way with the cops I've talked to. And no insurance is required to ride a Motorized Bike in California.
    Big Red.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  8. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    Don't go over thirty.

    21.130 Motorized Bicycle (Moped) Identification Plates (CVC Sec.406 and 5030-5039)

    Motorized bicycles (mopeds) as defined in CVC Sec.406 must be licensed before being operated or moved upon a highway.

    A moped license plate and identification card (ID) are issued which are not subject to annual registration.
    A title is not issued.
    A moped capable of attaining speeds in excess of 30 m.p.h. is subject to registration as a motor-driven cycle (motorcycle).
    A registration application and the required fees must be submitted if a moped operator is cited for speeds in excess of 30 m.p.h.
    Fees become due upon first operation after modification of the moped to increase its speed to more than 30 m.p.h.
    Original Moped ID

    The requirements are:

    A Motorized Bicycle Instructions/Application (REG 230).
    The moped ID fee.
    A late penalty is not assessed and use tax is not collected.
    Exempt agencies are exempt from fees other than for duplicates.
    The REG 230 and fee must be mailed to the department at the address on the form.
    Moped Transfers

    Sections C and D of the REG 230 must be properly completed and mailed with the ID Card and the moped transfer fee to the department at the address on the form.
    A late transfer penalty is not assessed and use tax is not collected.
    The Moped plate remains on the moped.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2015
  9. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    Motorcycles, Mopeds and Scooters Defined

    Cycles Defined, Registration and Driver Licensing Requirements

    A "motorized bicycle" or "moped" is:

    A two or three-wheeled device, capable of no more than 30 mph on level ground, and equipped with:

    – Fully operative pedals for human propulsion.
    – A motor producing less than two gross brake horsepower and an automatic transmission.
    – An electric motor, with or without pedals for human propulsion. (CVC Sec.406(a))
    Driver must have a motorcycle license (M1 or M2).

    A “motorized bicycle” is also defined as a vehicle with pedals and an electric motor (not more than 1,000 watts) which cannot be driven at speeds of more than 20 mph on level ground even if assisted by human power. (CVC Sec.406(b)).
    If you operate a motorized bicycle which meets the definition of CVC Sec.406(b), you:

    – Must be 16 years of age or older.
    – Must wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet.
    – Are exempt from the motor vehicle financial responsibility, driver license, and moped plate requirements (CVC Sec.12804.9).
    A motorized bicycle is issued special license plates and identification cards, which requires a one-time $18 fee. No renewal is required.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2015
  10. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member


    V C Section 21201 Equipment Requirements

    Equipment Requirements

    21201. (a) No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway unless it is equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make one braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

    (b) No person shall operate on the highway a bicycle equipped with handlebars so raised that the operator must elevate his hands above the level of his shoulders in order to grasp the normal steering grip area.

    (c) No person shall operate upon a highway a bicycle that is of a size that prevents the operator from safely stopping the bicycle, supporting it in an upright position with at least one foot on the ground, and restarting it in a safe manner.

    (d) A bicycle operated during darkness upon a highway, a sidewalk where bicycle operation is not prohibited by the local jurisdiction, or a bikeway, as defined in Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, shall be equipped with all of the following:

    (1) A lamp emitting a white light that, while the bicycle is in motion, illuminates the highway, sidewalk, or bikeway in front of the bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle.

    (2) A red reflector on the rear that shall be visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle.

    (3) A white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or ankle visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet.

    (4) A white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the center of the bicycle, and a white or red reflector on each side to the rear of the center of the bicycle, except that bicycles that are equipped with reflectorized tires on the front and the rear need not be equipped with these side reflectors.

    (e) A lamp or lamp combination, emitting a white light, attached to the operator and visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle, may be used in lieu of the lamp required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (d).

    Amended Ch. 723, Stats. 1979. Effective January 1, 1980.
    Amended Sec. 1, Ch. 232, Stats. 2007. Effective January 1, 2008.
  11. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    All you are doing is confusing the issue by quoting mixed stuff from the DMV.

    What you quoted above ONLY refers to 406 (b) which is Electric bikes with pedals.

    It has NOTHING to do with gas powered motorized bikes which are 406 (a)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2015
  12. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    You tell 'em MBR. The laws can be confusing though. It took me a while to even begin to understand 406(a), 406(b). License, No license, Plate, No plate, ect.
    And instead of making three VERY LONG POSTS, all ya gotta do is this.

    Or whichever link you want to show.
    People that are intrested and want or need to check it out will click on the link. If you want to try to explain it further, fine. But these have already been posted "IN FULL" like that several times on a few different threads. But hey, It's your post and I guess you can waste all the space you want.
    Big Red.
  13. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    Sorry your confused. Those are the laws for a motor assisted bicycle (Moped). Motor assisted bicycles do not have their own codes, and they fall under moped. MB riders have been quite lucky so far.

    Of course I don't point these facts out to Johnny Law.

    Quoting a judge; "All motor vehicle laws fall in a grey area." Law is confusing!

    "But I don't want it to be like "That" I want it to be like "This" Sorry about your luck.
  14. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member


    Here's the one I like to show the cops.This one actually comes from 406(b) that refers to 4020, But it don't say this it the section, So I show this one to the cops and they get REALLY confused and say, Have a nice day, And walk away.
    Big Red.
    Either that or it's an old law that never got changed.
    But come to think of it, DMV does not consider a "special Plate" as registration. Since there's not a pink slip involved.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  15. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Who's Confused?

    Never said I was confused bro, Just said it CAN be confusing. I've been checking out the MB laws for YEARS. Obviously you just started and seem to be confused about the difference between 406(a) and 406(b). And I only point out the laws I WANT Johnny law to see, And only to confuse them, as most people seem to be easily confused by the MB laws.
    And I have GREAT luck. NEVER had a ticket on a MB.
  16. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    Oh was that you Big Red (lol). That was to much to post, and I ca't figure out how to delete it.

    No Law person wants to spend 3 hours looking this stuff up. I am going to print that and carry it with me too.
  17. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

  18. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Off topic but my 2 cents. I stay off the major streets and only ride secondary or residential streets and I hardly ever see a cop. If I do I ghost pedal and have yet to get pulled over or given the evil eye. Heck of a lot safer too.
  19. sactownie

    sactownie Member

    Yea that was placer county. I live in Sac county but right near the border of placer county. I actually got a ticket from a placer county sheriff deputy 7 years ago when I used to be a tow truck driver, I ran a stop sign on a deserted country road to get to a call to unlock a car that had a baby in it and it was in june so it was hot weather. I even told the deputy this and he said he would be as quick as possible to get my ticket wrote out so I could go do my job.
    Darwin, I like your idea of side streets. GPS phones make this a pretty doable option nowadays.

    on the very front of this site, halfway down , for Orange County, Ca. are not only the CHP laws about motorized bikes, but also a traffic ticket cost menu (FYI) and an application form to get a killer license plate for your bike (1 time $19 fee)

    Your welcome.