California Motorized Bicycle Law

License Required & Registration Required

  1. alec

    alec Member

    I'm sure this has been brought up numerous Times but almost all of the posts I read are wrong. This is straight off the CA dmv website.
    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.

    This is the code that defines a mb.

    V C Section 406 Motorized Bicycle

    Motorized Bicycle

    406.**(a) A "motorized bicycle" or "moped" is any two-wheeled or three-wheeled device having fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power, or having no pedals if powered solely by electrical energy, and an automatic transmission and a motor which produces less than 2 gross brake horsepower and is capable of propelling the device at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on level ground.(b) A "motorized bicycle" is also a device that has fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power and has an electric motor that meets all of the following requirements:(1) Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts.(2) Is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on ground level.(3) Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to propel the motorized bicycle faster than 20 miles per hour.(4) Every manufacturer of motorized bicycles, as defined in this subdivision, shall provide a disclosure to buyers that advises buyers that their existing insurance policies may not provide coverage for these bicycles and that they should contact their insurance company or insurance agent to determine if coverage is provided.(c) The disclosure required under paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) shall meet both of the following requirements:(1) The disclosure shall be printed in not less than 14-point boldface type on a single sheet of paper that contains no information other than the disclosure.(2) The disclosure shall include the following language in capital letters:"YOUR INSURANCE POLICIES MAY NOT PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR ACCIDENTS INVOLVING THE USE OF THIS BICYCLE. TO DETERMINE IF COVERAGE IS PROVIDED YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY OR AGENT."Amended Sec. 1, Ch. 804, Stats. 1995. Effective January 1, 1996. Supersedes Sec. 2, Ch. 342.****
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2015
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  2. alec

    alec Member

    Again I just wanted to post the correct law to help our fellow Californians.
     
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  3. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Running through old threads trying to look something up. You're right about everything except the license. At least an M-2 is required. The section you listed (12804.9) is for ELECTRIC bikes.
    OOPS, only 406 (b) is for electric bikes and is exempt from license as stated in 12804.9. My mistake.
    http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d06/vc12500.htm
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
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  4. Bill555

    Bill555 Member

    Are you sure you are using your bicycle as a 'motorized bicycle' ? What definition of 'vehicle' are you using? and from what source?
     
  5. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    What? How else would I be using it?
    Yeah Bill, My bicycle has a motor on it, therefore it is a MOTORIZED BICYCLE according to the California Vehicle Code, Section 406. And that is my source, The CVC. It is not a "motor assist" as some may try to claim. The ONLY motor assist vehicle mentioned in the entire CVC is in section 313, and this applies only to scooters for the disabled. (A certain size, 12mph speed limit, ect.)
    The CVC also states that a motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle and is exempt from registration (cvc 4020). THEN, in section 5030 and 5037, goes on to say that a "SPECIAL PLATE" is required. They don't consider a special plate as regular registration. And it's not, really. It's a one time fee, no yearly tags, life of the bike plate. So it's not a regular vehicle registration, IT'S "SPECIAL". ( It takes the short bus?:jester:)
    You need to do a lot more researching on Motorized Bicycles in the CVC. Just search MOTORIZED BICYCLE in the DMV search box. Start with 406,as you're doing, which defines what a Motorized Bicycle is and just keep searching and reading. I've been doing just that for a couple of years and, once in a while, I still find things I didn't know. If you have any more questions feel free to ask. We have been discussing this subject on this forum and the other major one for some time now, and both forums agree about the laws on MB's. So basicly, the discussion is over. All thats left now is to educate the new guy's. So just keep searching and asking questions. No problemo bro.
    Big Red.
    I fixed post #3. 12804.9 includes both 406 (a) and (b). And (b), being electric, is excluded from license requirments. But this section DOES NOT exclude it from "moped" registration.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  6. Bill555

    Bill555 Member

    You are looking in the 'vehicle code' section. My only point is, if you're in a 'vehicle' the stuff in that section applies. If your not, nothing in the section applies. ('vehicle' being a legal term)
     
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  7. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Motorized Bicycle as described in section 406 being the legal term. A motor assist disability scooter is also described in the CVC.(cvc 313). Thats not really a "vehicle" either, but it's described in the code, and has rules and regulations concerning the requirements and use of them. Not everything described in the CVC is what you might think of as a "vehicle", but as you know, theres almost always a law.
    And I don't know why you would think CVC sec 406 does not apply to motorized bicycles when it explicitly describes what a motorized bicycle is. I think you should try this argument with the police and a judge. I won't hold my breath.
    Big Red.
     
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  8. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Found it. CVC section 24016 (b). (3).

    24016. (a) A motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 shall meet the following criteria:.......................................................................
    ..............................................................................................

    3) A person operating a motorized bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility, driver's licenses, registration, and license plate requirements, and a motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle.
    .........................................................................................................................

    This only applies to electric bicycles as described in 406 (b). BUT, it looks like I was wrong about electric bikes needing a plate. An old dog CAN still learn. But then again, DMV does not consider a MB "SPECIAL" plate as a regular registration, so this might be argued either way. But now at least you have something to argue about in court, If you ride an electric bike.
    Big Red.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
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  9. Bill555

    Bill555 Member

    Let me try to make my point more clear. I believe you guys are making an assumption that your bicycle is a 'vehicle' by looking in the 'vehicle code' . I believe you are using the webster definition of vehicle. But in law, the common usage of a word is the last place to look for a definition. Also, you can't just dive into the statutes either. For example. Say there was a 'police driver' section. And a statute in that section said drivers could exceed the posted speed limit by 25 miles per hour. This wouldn't mean any driver could exceed the posted speed limit.
     
  10. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    Your point is pointless, unwanted, wrong and is only going to confuse new people.
    You have never read the CA CVC codes.
    You live in WI and know nothing about motorized bicycles in CA

    California law about motorized bicycles is quite clear and even mentions bicycles with attached motors.
    CA laws also cover stand up scooters = GoPeds which need a drivers license too and a bicycle helmet.

    Other types of vehicles like pocket bikes, mini bikes, motorized skate boards are illegal on the steet.

    All the CA laws are also confirmed in the real world on the street and in the courts by those of us that
    live and ride here.

    I like that CA law makes our bicycles legal registered vehicles and doesn't allow those with no license to ride them.
    It's a good thing!

    The big requirements are:
    DOT helmet
    $19 one time license plate.
    M2 or M1 endorsement on your license.


     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  11. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    California Law

    I bet the people that wrote the laws used Webster a lot.:idea:
    So Bill, Why do you care so much about California Vehicle Codes? California is the PERFECT State for Motorized Bikes. Yeah, yer supossed to have a license and registration, But the cops don't care enough to even check most of the time. It's riding weather here about 300 days a year, and unless yer in the mountains, NO SNOW. Or not much anyway. How about where YOU are, Get much snow and rain?
    Or does it just rain cheese?:jester:(Just kidding bro.)
    You should check out the great riding environment here. The laws being unclear to you or not, This is a GREAT place to ride.
    Big Red.
     
  12. Is the motorbike plate the same size as for a motocyle? anyone?
     
  13. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's the same size but has no place for a year sticker as it never expires..
     
  14. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Yep, So you can get some really bad A frames for them at yer local Motorcycle shop or online. I just pulled one off the junker Yamaha in my backyard.
    Big Red.
     
  15. GinOkami84

    GinOkami84 New Member

    i have a tag on my mb and will post a pic tomorrow to let u guys see the size and i got mine in less then 2 weeks by mail and it was simple and easy only 19 dollar money order to the ca dmv
     
  16. GinOkami84

    GinOkami84 New Member

    they are grainy but here are a couple of pics of my bike with ca plates IMG_0070.jpg IMG_0074.jpg
     
  17. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    California Motorized Bicycle Registration

    Yep, Thats what they look like.
    Big Red.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. GinOkami84

    GinOkami84 New Member

    i like your bike personally not in to the handle bars u have but it does look good and love the ammo can saddle bags lol i am looking for some 50cal ammo cans for min lol either that or supping my motor up with a tuned pipe and boost bottle and reduceing the gears alittle and adding a side car. do u have a how to thread on your light set up? looks interesting and good i built a break light and head light but the head light needs improvement and so does my break switch
     
  19. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Baby ape's ain't for everybody, But I'm old school and like a comfy ride.
    No "How to" on the wiring, I just had the idea in my head and went for it. I can give you some of the sites where I got my switches and stuff. Most of that doesn't come with a diagram either. It's mostly from china carp and you'll need a test light to figure out the wiring. One of the boxes holds the 12V,7.5Ah battery set up for constant loss. I put a charging plug on it so I can just plug it in when I park it. The other box is for tools and rags and such. I went with the 7.62MM boxes instead of the 30 cal. I was gonna use because their a little slimmer. Rear turn lights are from a old set of trailer lights I had. I know turn signals are not required by law, But why do ALL THAT and not install them. Flasher unit is an old style mechanical type, No circut board carp for me. Pretty much everything else is required though. Most cops don't care, but the laws are still there. And of course I have the Howard sprocket adapter. If you're using the rag joint you should check it out. Just find Sgt. Howard on this site or the other one. If his adapter won't fit yer bike, check out some of the other adapters out there, It's the only way to go, TRUST ME.
    Here is some of the stuff I used, mostly ebay.
    Big Red.


    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Electric-Sc...H_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eb98491b9&vxp=mtr (Didn't use this one, just one like it.)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/230814892634?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2648 ( Didn't use this one either, but I'm gonna get it. It's better than the one I'm using.)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Light-Turn-...Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item337676c542

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Virago-XV-2...rcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4154b7902c

    (I'm also thinking about getting this.)
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/230818826665?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2648
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012
  20. GinOkami84

    GinOkami84 New Member

    thx a lot Big Red that helps a lot didn't think to check ebay for levers with switches d'oh moment lol. i will have to get some of that but im going to use 50cal boxes because i like them and had them on one of my other bikes. i am also going to build a dual tanks setup on the bike for 1-1/2 to 2 gallons probably wont put that much in them or i might do what Harley did for awhile and use one for electronics. the bike i have the build was posted on this forum if u look up 1937 shelby china build you should find it i painted it after striping the paint to find any bad spots in the frame and customized it alittle more removed the tank because he didn't use a gas resistant epoxy for the fiberglass tank he built very common mistake to do when making a gas tank out of fiber glass
    GinOkami84.
     
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