California Motorcycle Laws

Motorcycle laws are different and usually more complex than the other motor vehicle laws. These laws are broad, covering everything from motorcycle training to an individual's rights and options following a motorcycle accident. Each state, and even different local jurisdictions, has different laws governing motorcycles and their riders.

Since California motorcycle laws can be so complex, it is vital to consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer if you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident. Experienced attorneys understand these laws and can help you during your motorcycle accident case.

California Rider Safety Equipment

Safety and equipment laws are designed to keep riders and passengers safe. California has some of the most stringent motorcycle laws in the nation. If you plan to ride a motorcycle in California, here are some things to consider when riding:

  • A motorcycle license is needed to ride in California.
  • Regardless of age, a safety helmet must be worn at all times.
  • Daytime headlights are required for all vehicles manufactured after 1978.
  • Only helmet speakers with a single-earphone are allowed.

California Motorcycle License Law

You are not allowed to operate a motorcycle in California without first earning a motorcycle rider's license. The license to operate a motorcycle is called either an M1 or an M2. With an M1 license, you are allowed to operate any motorcycle. With an M2 license, you are allowed to operate any motorized bicycle, moped or scooter.

To get an M1 motorcycle license, you must first pass a written exam about the road's motorcycle laws, regulations and dangers specific to motorcyclists. Upon successful completion, you are issued a learner's permit. This permit allows you to ride a motorcycle during daylight, without passengers, and not on the freeway. Once you pass your road test, you receive your permanent motorcycle license.

CA Lane Splitting Laws

California is the only state where "lane splitting" is legal. This means that motorcycles can "split" lanes with cars moving in the same direction.

Motorcycle Accident Insurance Laws

Just as it is mandatory for your automobile, it is the law to have adequate insurance for your motorcycle. The California state minimum requirements are $15,000 for injury/death to one person, $30,000 for injury/death if multiple people are hurt in the accident, and $5,000 for damage to property. However, we recommend having as much insurance with the highest possible limits you can afford. The same goes for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Have the highest possible limits you can afford. We recommend no less than $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident for both liability and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Also, remember to have collision and comprehensive to cover damage to your motorcycle. The higher the deductible, the lower your premiums, however, the more you will have to pay out of pocket in the event of a loss. Medical payments coverage is necessary as well and get the highest limit you can afford. Finally, umbrella or excess policies can provide significantly larger limits, should you desire those. Feel free to contact our offices for a free review of your insurance coverage for your motorcycle to make sure you are sufficiently protected.

Free Consultation With Our Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our office in Los Angeles to schedule a free initial consultation by calling 866-477-1011. We represent injured motorcyclists in counties throughout the state of California, including San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara.