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California State Motorcycle Laws

Road

Accept Motorcycle Endorsement From Other States
Yes
Accept RiderEd Completion Card From Other States
No
Daytime Use of Headlight
Required for vehicles manufactured during or after 1978. California Vehicle Code Section 25650.5 Modulating headlight permitted per Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, 571.108
Earplugs

Allowed, however a person wearing personal hearing protectors in the form on earplugs or molds that are specifically designed to attenuate injurious noise levels must be able the hear a siren or horn from an emergency vehicle or a horn from another motor vehicle.

Eye Protection
Not Required
Handlebar Height
A person shall not drive a two-wheel motorcycle that is equipped with handlebars so positioned that the hands of the driver, when upon the grips, are more than six inches above his or her shoulder height when sitting astride the seat.
Helmet Speakers
Single earphone only
Lane Splitting

Authorized per California Highway Patrol.

Lemon Law Coverage
Yes; California Civil Code 1793.22(9)(e)(2) open window and scroll down.
Maximum Sound Level
Maximum allowable A-weighted sound levels based on measurements taken at a distance of 50 ft from center lane of travel:1)Pre-1970..92dba; 2) After 1969, and before 1973...88dba; 3) After 1972, and before 1975...86dba; 4) After 1974, and before 1986...83dba; 5) After 1985...80dba (27201-27202. Motorcycle Limits).
Mirror Left(L) Right(R)
Misc. Equipment Regulation

Motorcycles towing trailers:

  • Must not exceed 55 MPH.
  • Must remain in the right lane except on a 4 lane highway, and then must remain in the right 2 lanes except when passing.
  • Are not allowed in carpool lanes.
Motorcycles operating two abreast in same lane

Not referenced in administrative codes or statutes.

Muffler
Muffler required. No muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass or similar device (27150. Adequate Muffler Required).
Passenger Age Restriction
None
Passenger Footrest
Required if carrying a passenger
Passenger Seat
Required if carrying a passenger
Periodic Safety Inspection
Required by law - random
Radar Detector
No Restriction
Rider Education
Available for all eligible applicants - required under age 21
Rider-Education Waiver
Skill Test
Safety Helmet
State Insurance Requirements
Compulsory Liability (Minimum Limits)(15/30/5) - Financial responsibility requried. A driver involved in an accident who fails to prove existence of financial responsibility at time of accident shall have driver's license suspended for 1 year.
Turn Signals
Required by law

Off Road

Eye Protection
Not Required
Headlight
Required after sunset
Maximum Sound Level
96dB for all motorcycles manufactured on or after January 1, 1986. 98dB allowed for machines manufactured prior to January 1, 1986.
Minimum Operator Age
Operator must be able to reach all controls. Safety Certificate required under age 18 for ATV's only.
Misc. Equipment Regulation
  • Display of red or blue warning light prohibited (a lighted whip is not a warning light).
  • An off-highway motor vehicle, except an authorized emergency vehicle, shall not be equipped with a siren.
Muffler
Required by law
Operator License
Not Required
Registration
Required by law
Rider Education Certification
Required for ATV riders under age 16.
Safety Helmet

Required by law for ATV's only.

Spark Arrestor
Required by law
Taillight
Required after sunset
Trails Program
Available
Vehicle Title

Required

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