Posted on Motorcycle Accidents / Motorcycle Training – San Francisco Residents Must Be Aware

Page Updated 12/29/2021

Motorcycle Training For San Francisco Residents


Owning your own motorcycle is a thrilling experience, especially in San Francisco, CA. It’s warm, usually sunny, and there are wide stretches of open highways to enjoy. I am San Francisco personal injury lawyer, Michael Ehline. Below I will cover one of the best methods possible to avoid motorcycle accidents, safety classes!

People over 21 years old don’t have to have riding skills before they start riding. You may want to use your motorcycle safely, but it’s hard to avoid a California motorcycle accident without the proper education.

If you don’t know much about motorcycle safety, it’s crucial to enroll in a California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Students who do end up with more knowledge because they received training on how to ride a bike correctly.

Many classes are taught online, so you need zero experience and can learn from great instructors. Even with the right CMSP course completed, there could come a time where you’re involved in a motorcycle accident. You may have passed properly, but a car hit your bike and threw you. These things happen, and if they do, you can rely on Ehline Law Firm. Our lawyers focus on your needs and can help you create a claim and get the settlement and benefits you deserve.

License Requirements for California

Having your own bike is exciting so that you get an adrenaline rush and enjoy the open road. Those living in San Francisco, CA, are sure to appreciate the pleasant climate and scenic bike routes, such as the Angles Crest Highway, the Redwood Ride, and the Pacific Coast Highway.

Motorcycles are popular throughout the state, but before you put on a helmet and get on one, you must have a valid motorcycle license to comply with the state laws. While the process is simple, the steps you take depend on your needs.

Types of Motorcycle Licenses

Anyone who wants to ride a motorcycle in San Francisco, CA, requires a valid motorcycle license at all times.

The state issues different license classes for operating two-wheel vehicles:

  • Class M1 – This motorcycle endorsement or permit allows for the operation of two-wheeled motorcycles and other vehicles in the Class 2 option.
  • Class M2 – This class allows you to operate a bicycle with a motor, scooters, mopeds, and motorized bicycles.

These licenses are required for those who want to operate two-wheeled vehicles. The DMV in California allows those holding a Class C license (standard motor vehicle) to operate motorcycles with sidecars attached, motorized scooters, and three-wheel motorcycles. (Learn more about motorcycle licenses here.)

Applying for a California Motorcycle License

You must earn your license, and this depends on your age. Those who aren’t 21 years old must get a motorcycle endorsement in San Francisco, CA before they get a driver’s license that allows for motorcycle usage. They must also take part in a California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Let’s learn more about the process for those under 21.

Process for Those Under 21 Years Old

Instruction Permits and an Approved California Motorcyclist Safety Program

If you’re not yet 21 years old, you need to have an instruction permit for six months before applying to get a motorcycle license. To get this, you must complete a California Motorcyclist Safety Program that’s CHP-approved.

When you’ve finished and passed the riding skills test, you may visit your San Francisco, CA, DMV to show them the completion certificate of the CMSP Motorcyclist Training course. At the DMV, you must present your Social Security number, fill out a card application, pay an application fee, pass a vision test, and pass a knowledge test. You’ve got three chances to do that before you must complete the motorcycle training once again.

However, you may choose to take other motorcyclist training programs to learn as much as you can before riding. That way, you’re in more control.

Getting the License

Once you’ve had your permit for six months and have taken the California Motorcyclist Safety Program, you can apply to get a California motorcycle license. San Francisco residents should bring their motorcycle training certificate and instruction permit to the DMV.

Since you’ve completed your CMSP, you don’t need a skills test. However, the DMV might request an observation test.

Process for People Over 21 Years Old

If you’re over 21 years old, you can apply for a license with no experience and without an instruction permit.

However, you must still take the California Motorcyclist Safety Program or pass a riding skills test at your local DMV.

This test includes:

  • Gear shifting
  • Slow riding
  • Riding in different paths and tracks
  • Pre-trip inspection

The DMV test requires you to show financial responsibility proof and make an appointment. If you do receive motorcycle training while living in San Francisco, CA, you should bring along that certificate of completion, as well.

To apply for the motorcycle license, you should bring your Social Security card, verify your identity, have a photograph and fingerprints taken, pass your vision test, and pass the knowledge test. There’s also an application fee.

When you complete the requirements, you get a temporary license, with your permanent one being sent in the mail.

Call on a California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today in South San Francisco

Once you have your license and are riding your motorcycle safely in San Francisco, CA, it’s crucial to remember the motorcycle training and wear protective gear all the time. However, even if you follow the rules, accidents can happen.

In fact, motorcycle accidents occur all the time and are dangerous for riders, even if they have had motorcycle training. Since there’s less protection than a vehicle offers, you could be left with catastrophic injuries, high medical bills, and the inability to work.

If you’ve been injured while riding a motorcycle, it’s time to call a reputable motorcycle accident attorney. Ehline Law Firm is available and can represent you in your case. We have many years of experience and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation on the victim’s behalf.

Please contact us at (213) 596-9642 to set up a no-obligation, no-risk consultation today. Our resources and knowledge can help you get the compensation you need for your injuries.

What’s the Difference Between the M1/M2 Licensure?

People holding a Class M1 license can operate motorized scooters, motor-driven cycles, and motorcycles. Class M2 licensees can operate mopeds or motorized bicycles. The definitions for these vehicles are as follows:

  • A motorcycle is any vehicle with a saddle or seat designed to travel on three or fewer wheels.
  • A motor-driven cycle is a motorcycle with an engine of 149 or fewer CCs.
  • A motorized scooter is a two-wheeled device with a seat and/or floorboard that can be operated by human compulsion or a motor.

Overall, both types of licenses in San Francisco, CA, can have restrictions put on them, especially if you haven’t taken any motorcycle training yet. These include no passengers, no nighttime drives, and no freeway driving.

It’s best to get motorcyclist training as soon as possible to avoid restrictions and ensure that you know what you’re doing!

Advantages of Taking a California Motorcyclist Safety Course

Basic motorcycle training includes accident prevention and safety tips. It helps you learn about gear checks and equipment, become familiar with the bike, and handle basic maneuvers (riding in circles, serpentine turns, braking techniques, and shifting gears.)

Along with being a primer for new riders and a refresher course for older people, motorcycle training can also help you waive the skills test and get discounts on motorcycle insurance.

It’s required for each motorcyclist to take and finish the California Motorcyclist Safety Program, regardless of their age. Once you’ve received training, you’ve got the confidence needed to have fun and enjoy yourself.

Advanced Classes for More Experienced Riders

While you need to learn riding skills and motorcycle safety, you may also want to take advanced classes. After the California motorcyclist safety course is finished, you can go straight to the DMV. However, advanced motorcycle training ensures that you get resources for bike styles, disciplines, and track options.

Consider Total Control Training for a specific curriculum! It helps with brake and throttle overlapping, trail braking, and even cornering techniques.

Importance of Learning to Ride a Motorcycle Safely

Our attorneys have represented hundreds of motorcyclists in California dealing with accident-related claims. Therefore, we always recommend that you take motorcyclist training and practice on surface streets.

It’s crucial to stay in control of your bike and not travel at high speeds. While California negligence laws help with monetary compensation if someone else caused the crash, it’s best to know what you’re doing before you get on a bike.

Overall, a Northern California motorcycle training program does nothing but help you ride comfortably, know what you’re doing, and have more fun because you’re a trained rider.

If you’ve suffered an accident, it’s best to get medical attention immediately and involve law enforcement if necessary. Then, report the incident to your insurance company. From there, you should talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the claims process for motorcycle accidents. For help, please call Ehline Law Firm at (213) 596-9642.

A Note on Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is legal in California as of 2016. After the law was passed, the California Highway Patrol provided guidelines for lane splitting. Overall, the California Highway Patrol guide recommends that you consider the width of the lanes, vehicle sizes sharing the road, lighting conditions, and weather patterns.

Consult with a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Participating in a motorcycle training program can help you understand motorcycle safety more easily. Remember, those in San Francisco, CA, and throughout California are required to finish a CMSP motorcyclist training course and take a riding skills test before they can get a license to ride their own bike.

If you went through all of this, but someone was negligent, now is the time to call Ehline Law Firm at (213) 596-9642. We can help you get restitution for the accident from all parties involved.

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Downtown Los Angeles Office
633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 596-9642
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Downtown Los Angeles Office
633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 596-9642
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