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When It Comes to a Motorcycle Driver’s License Endorsement, It’s All About the Skills

motorcycles test

Existing law prohibits a person from operating a motorcycle on a highway unless that person holds a valid driver’s license or endorsement for a motorcycle. An applicant for a license or endorsement to operate a motorcycle must submit to an examination that includes demonstrating their ability to exercise “ordinary and reasonable control” in operating a motorcycle. If one California lawmaker gets his way, passing this “skills test” might be all that is needed for a new (adult) rider to get their bike on the road. Learn more below about the recently introduced AB 3102. If you are a rider in the San Francisco Bay Area needing legal assistance, whether you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident or unlawfully profiled by law enforcement, contact William E. Weiss, Attorney at Law, for advice and representation from a dedicated and experienced California motorcycle lawyer.

Motorcycle Driver’s License Overview

To get a Class M1 driver’s license in California, which authorizes you to operate a motorcycle in the state, you must pass a driver knowledge test, motorcycle knowledge test, and a motorcycle skills test (driving test). Instead of taking the motorcycle skills test at the DMV, though, the Department of Motor Vehicles is authorized to accept a certificate of satisfactory completion of the rider motorcycle training course offered by the California Highway Patrol. The CHP offers both a novice rider motorcycle training course and a premier motorcyclist safety training program. The DMV could accept a certificate of completion of either of these courses instead of requiring a driving test under existing law.

The Motorcyclist Training Course (MTC) offered by CHP is a 15-hour course that includes five hours of classroom instruction plus ten hours of riding. The MTC is required for riders under 21 and is recommended for people 21 and over who are looking to get a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license. The Premier Program consists of 7.5 hours of classroom instruction and 13.5 hours of actual riding. Completing either course gives you a skills waiver that lets you skip the riding skills test at the DMV.

So What Would AB 3102 Do?

Assembly Bill (AB) 3102 would authorize the operator of a motorcyclist training program to issue a certificate of satisfactory completion to a person who opted to complete the skills testing portion of the training program and has successfully passed the skills test. In other words, so long as you complete the riding portion of the course, you could skip the hours of classroom instruction and still receive a certificate that you could present to the DMV to get your license or endorsement.

Under the terms of AB 3102, this exception would only apply to riders 21 and older; younger drivers would still need to complete the entire course as a path toward getting their motorcycle license. Drivers who complete only the skills testing portion of the training program will have that fact noted on their certificate as well.

Assembly Bill 3102 (AB 3102) was introduced earlier this month on February 16th by Josh Hoover (R-Folsom). It has received its first reading in the lower chamber and has been printed. It has not yet been assigned to a committee but may be heard in committee as early as March 18.

William E. Weiss – Your San Franciso Motorcycle Rights Lawyer

We are tracking this bill and will let you know its ultimate fate once decided or any interesting twists or turns it might take on its way through the legislative process. If you need help protecting your rights as a motorcycle rider in the San Francisco Bay Area, call William E. Weiss, Attorney at Law, for a free consultation, at 415-362-6765, ext. 157, or via cell phone for a faster response at 415-235-7060. You can also email william.weiss@gmail.com.

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