help with registration in california. vin number required.

Nathan D Griffin

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Mar 14, 2018
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Uhg. So I just purchased a 2 stroke motorized bicycle and the first day I road it a Newport Beach cop pulled me over. Haggled me for about an hour even tho he knew I was running late for works. The officer said I needed to have brake lights speedometer, turn signals etc. As well as have the bike registered in ca with plates and insurance along with a CA motorcycle license. My bike has no Vin # to register it with.
Is it really worth all the headache to properly get one of these things legal? I would love to ride it because it's fuel efficient and produces a lot less emissions. But f*CK all that extra crap. I'll just move back at Phoenix where stuff like that is perfectly Legal!
 


kgyrobotron

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Dec 27, 2014
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The other site is where you need to go for the 'right' way to legalize your bike. I think its $21 Sent to Sacramento!! Not your local dmv. Your vin# is your frame #....there is even a form to print out And its a one time only lic.
 

greenjon

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Tyler6357

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View attachment 81195 View attachment 81193 View attachment 81193 View attachment 81193 View attachment 81193
Uhg. So I just purchased a 2 stroke motorized bicycle and the first day I road it a Newport Beach cop pulled me over. Haggled me for about an hour even tho he knew I was running late for works. The officer said I needed to have brake lights speedometer, turn signals etc. As well as have the bike registered in ca with plates and insurance along with a CA motorcycle license. My bike has no Vin # to register it with.
Is it really worth all the headache to properly get one of these things legal? I would love to ride it because it's fuel efficient and produces a lot less emissions. But f*CK all that extra crap. I'll just move back at Phoenix where stuff like that is perfectly Legal!
The cop is wrong, you do not need liability insurance and no insurance companies will write a policy on a home made motorized bicycle. Fill out the form Reg 230, don't forget to sign it! Send a check or money order in the amount of $21 for a registration fee. They will send you a license plate and a registration form that is good for the life of the bike, there is no renewal or yearly stickers necessary. On form Reg 230 use the serial number of your bike (usually stamped on the frame under the peddle crank) as the VIN number. If you do not have a serial number on your frame you can make one up and stamp it to your frame. For engine number, again use the serial number of your bike except put an "E" in front of the number, "E" is for engine. This is acceptable so if you ever want to replace the engine you will not need to change the registration information. Send in the form and payment to the address on the form and wait 2-3 weeks for your license plate. CA also requires a M2 moped license to ride a motorized bicycle on public streets. To get the license you will need to go to the DMV office and pass a written (multiple choice) test only, no driving test is required. Also, turn signals and brake lights are NOT required however you are expected to use hand signals and can be stopped and given a citation for failing to do so.
 

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Barnfresh

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You would be hard pressed to find anything in the California laws that says Motorized Bicycle (Mopeds) are not required to have liability insurance. The California DMV even says insurance may be required on their website but of course they don’t write law and as we all know routinely get it wrong. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/pubs/dl655/mcycle_htm/operation#motorized

Other than the disclaimer at the bottom of California Vehicle Code 406 to let you know your insurance company may not cover your MB I have not seen anything else that even makes mention of Motorized Bicycles and Liability Insurance in the same section. http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&sectionNum=406

I wouldn’t say NO insurance company will insure a homemade bicycle but certainly none of the mainstream companies will if they know your MB was built from a kit added to a bicycle. There are however workarounds to getting insured provided you are willing to get creative.

If you know of anything in the California Vehicle Code or California law that says MBs are exempt from liability insurance requirements please post a link here. The only thing I’ve ever seen in writing that is remotely official is a pamphlet from the City of Huntington Beach PD which I carry with me when I ride. https://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/government/departments/pd/traffic/alternative_vehicle.cfm

Also there is no driving skills test required to get a M2 Permit just the written knowledge test(s). You will however have to take a driving skills test to get your M2 license or endorsement unless you take and pass the motorcycle safety training course. An observation road test is also required if you’ve never been licensed for any class of motor vehicle and apply for a M2 only license. Same holds true for an M1.
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/pubs/dl655/mcycle_htm/requirements
 
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Tyler6357

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You would be hard pressed to find anything in the California laws that says Motorized Bicycle (Mopeds) are not required to have liability insurance. The California DMV even says insurance may be required on their website but of course they don’t write law and as we all know routinely get it wrong. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/pubs/dl655/mcycle_htm/operation#motorized

Other than the disclaimer at the bottom of California Vehicle Code 406 to let you know your insurance company may not cover your MB I have not seen anything else that even makes mention of Motorized Bicycles and Liability Insurance in the same section. http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&sectionNum=406

I wouldn’t say NO insurance company will insure a homemade bicycle but certainly none of the mainstream companies will if they know your MB was built from a kit added to a bicycle. There are however workarounds to getting insured provided you are willing to get creative.

If you know of anything in the California Vehicle Code or California law that says MBs are exempt from liability insurance requirements please post a link here. The only thing I’ve ever seen in writing that is remotely official is a pamphlet from the City of Huntington Beach PD which I carry with me when I ride. https://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/government/departments/pd/traffic/alternative_vehicle.cfm

Also there is no driving skills test required to get a M2 Permit just the written knowledge test(s). You will however have to take a driving skills test to get your M2 license or endorsement unless you take and pass the motorcycle safety training course. An observation road test is also required if you’ve never been licensed for any class of motor vehicle and apply for a M2 only license. Same holds true for an M1.
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/pubs/dl655/mcycle_htm/requirements
I did find this, however it seems contradictory------> https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/motorcycles/motorcycles

Mopeds:
If you operate a motorized bicycle which meets the definition of CVC §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 §12804.9).
  • A motorized bicycle is issued special license plates and identification cards, which requires a one-time $18 fee. No renewal is required.
Anyway, if anyone can tell me which insurance company will write me a policy on my 69cc motorized bicycle please let me know!
 
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Barnfresh

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You know where I said the California DMV routinely gets things wrong, well what you quoted there Tyler is a perfect example. That (b) part of the 406 vehicle code is gone, it was replaced with the new ebike code 312.5.

Actually cvc 406 has changed twice in 4 years without the DMV updating the page you linked to. The other change was from 2hp to 4hp.

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&sectionNum=406

SECTION 1. SEC. 2.
Section 406 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
406.
(a) A “motorized bicycle” or “moped” is a two-wheeled or three-wheeled device that has 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 that produces less than 4 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 level ground.
(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)
(b) Every manufacturer of motorized bicycles, a motorized bicycle or moped, as defined in this subdivision, section, 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. The disclosure shall meet both of the following requirements:
(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.”


I may be able help you with the insurance, have you got your bike plated yet and what type of bicycle frame does it have?
 
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Tyler6357

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Well, I have 2 bikes, one is a Peugeot Mountain bike and the other is on a GT2-A sky hawk frame, both have been registered as mopeds and have plates. About 6 years ago I asked my insurance agent if I could get insurance and he laughed at me and told me that there was no way they would write a policy. I rode for years with no license or plate and never got stopped but about 2 years ago I decided to get the plate to make it look more legal and I registered my Peugeot and when I built the GT last year I got a plate for it too. I still have never gotten the M2 license yet, I've been meaning to go over to the DMV and take the test. I follow traffic laws and I have never been stopped by a cop since I built my first motorized bike about 7 years ago.
 
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Barnfresh

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In California Motorized Bicycles and Mopeds are considered one and the same when it comes to the laws. The idea is to use the right terminology when it best serves.

“Yes sir officer I have an identification card for my Motorized Bicycle, no my Motorized Bicycle is not insured, see it says right here in the vehicle code 406 that my insurance policy may not provide coverage for accidents involving the use of this “BICYCLE”. When I asked my insurance agent about coverage he just laughed and told me he doesn’t know of any insurance company that offers insurance for a Bicycle with a helper motor”.

Or

“Hi Mr. insurance broker sir I need a quote to insure my MOPED. It’s a 1977 Peugeot that I just finished restoring. After making sure all of the lights and safety equipment work like new I finally got the registration paperwork squared away and received a new MOPED license plate from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Now I just need to show the DMV proof of liability insurance so I can take the driving skills test to get that M2 endorsement added to my drivers license”.

So yeah it’s not surprising when someone says their insurance guy just laughed after they described how a hopped up 2 stroke engine on their bicycle created a 50mph death machine that takes a city block to stop with a coaster brake, then ask how much will it cost them to insure this “Motorized Bicycle”.

If you go to purchase your Moped insurance online there’s a few things that can slow up or stop the process from going through. If the make and model is not in their data base and there is no provision to write in, and entering a VIN that doesn’t align with the year model, which is usually only a problem with a newer 17 character VIN.

In 1981, the NHTSA standardized the format requiring all on-road vehicles sold to contain a 17 character VIN number. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_identification_number

Remember the DMV will process the Reg 230 form using whatever VIN you provide them regardless of the number of characters. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/

Also the Reg 230 form doesn’t ask for a year model but when you apply for Moped insurance they do.

Since most people just use the serial number from their bicycle frame and add an e for the engine number they end up with a non standardized VIN regardless of the actual year of manufacture. It’s not hard to imagine why the majority of (insured) motorized bicycles (Mopeds) running around out there have a date of manufacture prior to 1981. Nothing wrong with that.






Moped Resources
http://www.myronsmopeds.com

Moped Parts Supplier; 1977 Mopeds
http://m.1977mopeds.com/item/3430333531

Moped Parts Supplier; Treatland
https://www.treatland.tv/puch-tank-badge-sticker-p/puch-tank-badge.htm

Moped Army
https://www.mopedarmy.com/forums/read.php?1,2786923,2930256#msg-2930256

Progressive Insurance
https://www.progressive.com/motorcycle/moped-insurance/
 
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