The Law In San Diego, California?

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by erickster, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. erickster

    erickster Member

    I'm a little concerned. I've read what seems to be countless different opinions on the law in CA. I've even got to the DMV website, and read what seems to be a law stating you need a M2 license to drive a motorized bicycle. I'm a little bummed out if that's the case. I ordered a kit, and am receiving it today. The last thing I want is a ticket. I have a friend who has been riding a moped for years with no license or insurance and has had zero problems. I bought the kit with the mentality that if he doesn't have problems on a moped, why in the world should I have problems on a bicycle? I'm guessing A LOT of police don't know the difference between a 40 cc and an 80 cc-- I would think their only reason to pull you over would be traffic violations, no helmet, or going too fast.

    Anyone have any information on this? This looks like such a FUN FUN project, but if I'm not going to be able to ride anywhere, then I don't want to spend all the time and money on it. :(

  2. Abeagle

    Abeagle Guest

    It is customery for your first post to be the Introduce Yourself forum.
  3. erickster

    erickster Member

    Ok, I did!
  4. Abeagle

    Abeagle Guest

  5. E - Z

    Getting a plate is too easy. Download the form REG 230 off the DMV site. Fill it out using the serial # off the bike frame. It is located under your Crankset bottom bracket. Send it to them with 17.00 & they send you a plate & a title. A D license endorsement is pretty simple too. That is if you can ride your bike. Go to DMV & take the written test. Then an easy parking lot ride around some cones & your done. You might want to just go ahead & get an MC license. You just have to get one once & they renew with your DL. Borrow your buddies bike to take the driving test. By the way I don't display plates on three of my bikes & have never had a problem. I have the plates but just don't have them mounted.

  6. Sdpd

    Haven't you heard that there is a shortage of police officers here? The ones that they have are too busy & to tell the truth - I don't think really know or care about the Motorized bike laws. I showed a Pacific Beach Motorcycle cop one of my motored beach crusers & he said " It's just a bicycle. " I do not display a plate on that bike & he could care less. Just don't motor on the boardwalk.

    If your not causing a problem you won't have one. Every cop that has seen my bikes just smile & give me the head nod of approval. I regularly ride the Del Dios highway in the bike lanes. The only frowns I get are when I blow past the spandex-ers. Ha Ha I love it.
  7. quay1962

    quay1962 Guest


    a simple suggestion, here on the long beach peninsula of washington state, there are at least 8 of us that i know of, we wear helmets, use hand turn signals and stay to the right in the bike lane except to pass other bikes...i have made left turns in front of cops and they wave...on my comute to work the speed changes to 50 i go 28 to 34 mph a cop passed me put he was going faster and i slowed to 25...if you use the rules of biking so far i have had no husband beach cruzin however was pulled over becuz he did not have a tail light ticket was given and off he motored it away from the traffic stop...locality is everything...until they tell me i can't ride it...i am ridin! i guess its all good where i live...good luck to you all..count me in for a ride to washington someday, i'll put my HT in the back of a truck to DC park around the corner and ride my HT with everyone else lol:rolleyes:
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2008
  8. Jmnmaui

    Jmnmaui Guest

    San Diego Laws

    If you have an M1 license, a plated/registered bike, wearing a DOT helmet and are operating your bike safely I cannot possibly see you having a problem with the authorities. That's how I operate here in North County and I've had no problems. I also get the sneaking suspicion that there aren't nearly enough police in this region to even care about bicycle/moped style infractions.

    just my 2 cents.
  9. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    erickster -- just wondering how your luck has been with the law ?? I don't live very far from you and -- my little gas wonder is on it's way in the mail.. I have no license and don't need trouble !! Have a great day, Mountainman
  10. mojoruss

    mojoruss Guest

    I know there are people from all sides of the issue, but the "60's type" that i am, let me approach the legality of the motoredbike like this: I hear many folks that advocate doing everything humanly possible to remain within the gendarmes good graces. From wearing the right clothing, to hand signals, etc etc... On the other side of the fence, are the folks that yearn for 50-60mph on a contraption that tips the scales fully fueled under 50lbs.... My own concern is that my anachistic nature demands that I ride something without being subjected to registration, insurance, or licensing of any kind whatsoever... To me, the essence of motored biking is the inherent freedom, the shaking off of " 'da Mans rules and regulations ".... Yeah sure, I could just ride around with a loaner plate on my chopped Harley, sans license and insurance (and used to do just that), but there is so much to be said about the purity of a tiny, frugal steed that is so appealing!!! I urge everyone to contact whoever you can think of.. Spread the "Moto-Gospel!!"" From people you meet at the gas station, to county cops, to "green groups", to state and local reps.... With the current fiasco of $4.10 a gallon gas, as well as being the start of another election season, it's my guess "we 'da peeps " could really make some headway in applying enough pressure to get a no license - no registration - no insurance - 20MPH limit motorbike bill to become a reality nationwide.... Am I just dreaming or do others feel the same????????
  11. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    mojoruss --- YES - I agree with what you are saying here !!! Never thought that I would want to contact Al Gore -- but, went to his site a while ago.. Timing -- like you say with the gas prices -- should be right.. Mountainman
  12. akyramoto

    akyramoto Member

    I agree with you also, but on another site - my local town's website - there was an article about bicycling in this area. Some people that commented pretty much said 'you dont pay any registration fee's blah blah blah ( money money money) so you have no right to the road - so get off it & outta the way.'

    no license - no registration - no insurance - 20MPH limit motorbike bill to become a reality nationwide.........that would be awesome. but I feel like our society is too greedy to let anyone travel for 'free'.
  13. turkeyssr

    turkeyssr Guest

    I don't mean to digress too much, but I think it's important to understand the history of vehicle registration. From what I understand, vehicle registration was instituted to thwart theft. I don't believe it has delivered. Vehicles are still stolen. Also, the whole idea of submitting to a 'license' is problematic from a freedom point of view. Yes, I do believe you should prove you are capable of operating different types of vehicles. However, displaying a plate and providing a thumbprint?!? It's far too Orwelian and simply wrong to me - and I'm no '60s type. It's really about the money. :) -- John
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2008
  14. mojoruss

    mojoruss Guest

    Yep, I was also thinking about the "no pay / no play" mentality that alot of people might have, but then again, just take a close look at the all the bicycle greenway paths and dedicated bicycle corridors that are springing up across the nation... As far as us "payin our dues"... I'd argue that our reduction in pollution, as opposed to a car, our smaller envioronmental footprint, make us a completely reasonable and viable alternative, especially in todays climate of OPEC etc.... The pedal bike crowd is fairly organized, holds races, meet-ups and the like nationwide. They seem to be accpted by "the mighty tax-paying masses... I don't truly think any loudmouthed "tax to play" opponent could really come up with a coherent set of objective reasons why numerous bicycle clubs should have it one way, but just because we use tiny engines, should somehow not be allowed or treated differently..... Granted, it will be a protracted and uphill battle, but then, what bunch of halfway reasonable freedoms and rights arrive as a gift wrapped reality these days.........
  15. sjackson

    sjackson Member

    If the streets were only paid for with vehicle registration and title fees, then we'd all be in trouble. The federal and state DOT's get a majority of their money from taxes. That no-pay/no-play argument is pure BS. Reg&Title fees are just a drop in the bucket.
  16. California Law

    Hello Prople.
    Every time we get new Cali's here we get the same long discussions, and all the denial of what is threlaw. I want to preface all that I will copy and paste here with the statement that California does NOT clean up the vehicle code, leaving all the old carp to sort thru BUT, when given the chance, WILL use the most current statutes.

    Here is a previous post of mine.

    Hello, I have done all these things. I mailed and recieved and mounted 2 moped plates, one for Wifey's Whizzer and one for mine. If you-all like I will post pics. The State of Kalifornika form is named REG230 and is a downloadable pdf form. I reccomend to all my Whizzer (street legal DOT, EPA, and CARB legal bikes), and owner/buyers of any other of the bicycle engines that I've been selling for about 7 years now, to do this form. I give them the form.
    1) Put bicycle serial number in the vin slot (Whiz has VIN)
    2) Put engine serial number in the engine slot (if not numbered like the Whizzer is, then stamp one, illegal technically, but who is to know?)
    3) put bicycle and engine name in the Make slot ie Roadmaster/Skyhawk
    4) answer all four questions correctly
    5) sign and date
    6) in envelope with check to DMV for 17.00 *(now 18)*
    7) put the cotton-pickin thing in the mail, do NOT confuse the local DMV by going there with your bike, or even asking them any questions!!!

    Getting your license.
    This time show up at DMV, and ask to take motorcycle exam I think mine was 25.00 (you DID study, didn't you???) The motorcycle handbook is online and easily found.
    IF a certain number of months have passed since your last C (auto) exam has passed you will also have to take the front page of the C.
    Miss less than 5 questions (each test), and they will issue a computer print-out to carry along with your license. You have up to one year to do the agility course and get full license endorsement.

    No night riding, no freeway riding, no carring passenger.

    Agility test
    This I have not yet done, but I questiond the DMV lady who administers it, and she says if you show up with a motorcycle with transmission, they saftey check the bike ALL lights and horn MUST work, and they have you go thru the gears a couple time, ride the course, ahd you get M1 license. If you show up on anything else with no transmission, all saftey checks apply and you drive the course, and if sucessful you get m2. I would NOT reccomend showing up with Motor-Bicycle unless it is Whizzer, or fully functioning MB with Brake lights for front and rear brakes, head and tailiites, and a horn.

    If you-all have any questions I'm sure I can answer them, or if not I can get you the answer in terms of CA, not elsewhere.

    *** for those of you who do not know, they have a little course like a bicycle lane, that you MUST stay in the lines, some are wider than others, check this out on your own first***

    Ol Pete Wrote this:

    New member MotorbikeMike was kind enough to answer my PM about CA registration of powered bikes. He is the owner operator of in Sac, CA and was sure to know.

    DO NOT go to the DMV, do it all by mail...

    Scroll down the page to moped

    The $17 one time fee

    Thanks Mike! *tips hat*


    Jerryt wrote this:
    John you're not the only one who is confused so I've copied items out of the CVC trying to help all of us to understand. Hope I got it all!!!


    California Vehicle Code Division 3 - Registration of Vehicles and Certificates of Title


    Chapter 1. Original and Renewal Registration; Issuance of Certificates of Title
    Article 1. Vehicles Subject to Registration

    Motorized Bicycles 4020.
    A motorized bicycle operated upon a highway is exempt from registration. Added Ch. 987, Stats. 1975. Effective January 1, 1976.


    Chapter 1. Original and Renewal Registration; Issuance of Certificates of Title
    Article 8.1. Motorized Bicycles

    License Plate Required 5037.
    (a) No motorized bicycle first sold on or after July 1, 1981, shall be moved or operated upon a highway unless the owner first makes application for a license plate and, when received, attaches it to the motorized bicycle as provided in this article.
    (b) Motorized bicycles first sold prior to July 1, 1981, shall not be moved or operated upon a highway after January 1, 1982, unless the owner makes application for a license plate and, when received, attaches it to the motorized bicycle as provided in this article.
    (c) Any motorized bicycle currently licensed pursuant to Division 16.7 (commencing with Section 39000) on July 1, 1981, may be operated upon a highway until July 1, 1982.
    Added Ch. 1070, Stats. 1980. Effective January 1, 1981


    Chapter 1. Original and Renewal Registration; Issuance of Certificates of Title
    Article 8.1. Motorized Bicycles

    Service Fee 5036.
    A service fee of fifteen dollars ($15) shall be paid for the issuance or transfer of a special license plate for motorized bicycles, as defined in Section 406. Publicly-owned motorized bicycles are exempt from the fee.
    Amended Sec. 7, Ch. 719, Stats. 2003. Effective January 1, 2004.



    Publisher's Note - Fees described in this section are subject to change pursuant to Section 1678 Fee Adjustment: Consumer Price Index
    (a) Between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2004, inclusive, the fee amounts set forth in Section 488.385 of the Code of Civil Procedure, Section 10902 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and Sections 4604, 5014, 5036, 6700.25, 9102.5, 9250.8, 9250.13, 9252, 9254, 9258, 9261, 9265, 9702, 11515, 11515.2, 12814.5, 14900, 14900.1, 14901, 14902, 38121, 38225.4, 38225.5, 38232, 38255, 38260, and 38265 shall be the base fee amounts charged by the department.
    (b) On January 1, 2005, and every January 1 thereafter, the department shall adjust the fees imposed under the sections listed in subdivision (a) by increasing each fee in an amount equal the increase in the California Consumer Price Index for the prior year, as calculated by the Department of Finance, with amounts equal to or greater than fifty cents ($0.50) rounded to the next highest whole dollar.
    Added Sec. 3, Ch. 719, Stats. 2003. Effective January 1, 2004.

    EDIT: 2007 amount = $17



    The little plate pic won't print

    This permanent plate is mandatory on motorized bicycles. For an application click here.
    Statutory Authority: VC Sec.406, 5030


    California Vehicle Code Division 1- Words and Phrases Defined

    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:
    Amended Sec. 1, Ch. 804, Stats. 1995. Effective January 1, 1996. Supersedes Sec. 2, Ch. 342.

    EDIT: To add drivers license requirements

    How to apply for a motorcycle or moped driver license if you are over 18

    There are two classes of motorcycle licenses, Class M1 and Class M2.
    - With a Class M1, you can operate any 2-wheel motorcycle and any motorized vehicle in Class M2. (Also good for motorized scooter - stand on or seated)
    - With a Class M2, you can only operate any motorized bicycle or moped or any bicycle with an attached motor. (Also good for motorized scooter - stand on or seated)

    To apply for a motorcycle PERMIT for Class M1 or M2, you will need to:
    - Complete application form DL 44 (An original DL 44 form must be submitted)
    - Give a thumb print
    - Have your picture taken
    - Pay the application fee
    - Pass a vision exam
    - Pass a traffic laws and signs test. You have three chances to pass the test.
    After completing the requirements, you will be issued an instruction permit to allow you to practice driving a motorcycle. You may not drive at night, on the freeway, or have any passengers with you.

    To apply for your motorcycle LICENSE for Class M1 or M2, you must do the following:
    - If you are under 21, you must complete a motorcycle rider training course given by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and provide a certificate of Completion of Motorcycle Training (DL 389) to DMV to be issued your license. You will not be required to take the motorcycle driving test at DMV if you currently have a California Drivers License.
    - If you are over 21, you may either choose to complete the course by CHP and provide the certificate OR take the driving test. You have three chances to pass the test.

    If you've read this far I hope it clears it up

    Edited to add drivers license requirements


    ****Honestly, fellow riders, newbies, and all who can read or have this read to them, this "dead horse" subject has been beaten, and pounded mercilessly.

    The reason I am so late getting to this, besides being busy, is that I am a poor typist, and am very tired of this subject, as I have been doing motorbicycles, and helping others with thiers for over 8 years now.

    I have chosen only a couple posts that contian truth, there are many here about CA law that contain no truth, or refer to out dated laws, or are strictly opinion (which will NOT hold up on your day in court).

    IF after reading all this, and any posts whic agree with the three I have posted, there are still questions, I will be happy to try and get the answers for you.

    At one time I had asked for CA FACTS to be a stickey, as today alone I found my old post, and 3 more, apparently no-one had searched the CA law post?

    Mike in Sacramento
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2015
  17. akyramoto

    akyramoto Member

    i caught myself wanting to ask more questions last week - then I remembered 'what did mike say...........dont ask questions!!'

  18. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Hi erickster -- in your original posting you mention -- wondering if a police officer would know the difference between a 40cc or 80cc... We need to understand that many of these guys have been around for a while -- some ride off road when off time comes - dirt bikes, dune buggies, three wheelers - ect.. -- and I have found in the past -- if a motor cycle cop pulls us over -- they are usually traffic experts -- nothing will slid by with those guys !!! Happy Riding from - Mountainman
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  19. Mr moe

    Mr moe New Member

    Hi everyone...I live in California and the following is something I reprinted from the California vehicle code and carry with me when ever I'm out ridding because the majority of police officers don't know exactly how to interpret the law pertaining to we bikers.

    Motorized Bicycle :
    4016. (a) A motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 shall meet the following criteria:
    (1) Comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.) or the requirements adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (49 C.F.R. 571.1, et seq.) in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1381, et seq.) for motor driven cycles.

    (2) Operate in a manner so that the motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the brakes are applied, or operate in a manner such that the motor is engaged through a switch or mechanism that, when released, will cause the motor to disengage or cease to function.

    (b) All of the following apply to a motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406:

    (1) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle unless the person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in Section 21212.

    (2) A person operating a motorized bicycle is subject to Sections 21200 and 21200.5.

    (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.

    (4) A motorized bicycle shall only be operated by a person 16 years of age or older.
    231. A bicycle is a device upon which any person may ride, propelled exclusively by human power through a belt, chain, or gears, and having one or more wheels. Persons riding bicycles are subject to the provisions of this code specified in Sections 21200 and 21200.5.

    . VC Section 21200.5 - Riding Bicycle Under Influence of Alcohol or ...
    ... Riding Bicycle Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs. 21200.5. Notwithstanding Section 21200, it is unlawful for any person to ride ...

    In conclusion... I think this section of the Ca. Vehicle Code proves that there is enough "Gray Area" in the law to mount a successful defense to any police officer that happens to be having such a bad day that he wants to bully a peaceful, tax paying citizen on a Bicycle. Ya I know it dose happen sometimes your just on the wrong path at the wrong time.
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  20. Mr moe

    Mr moe New Member

    Right On Bro!