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Motorcycle Safety


Motorcycle Safety

Before you head out on the road for a ride, there are several key safety features that you need to consider. Taking a safety course, wearing protective clothing, helmets and gear are just a few. Here we have gathered some motorcycle safety information for your benefit, which may help to increase your personal safety.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) California Motorcyclist Safety Program

The CHP California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) provides great information for new and existing riders. The CHP is statutorily responsible for California's official motorcycle safety training program. Pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 2930-2935, the CHP administers the program through a primary contractor. The program consists of a 15-hour classroom and on-cycle Basic Rider Course (BRC). The BRC is mandatory for those under the age of 21 but is also recommended to those 21 and older who are seeking to obtain a motorcycle license. The CMSP also offers the Premier Program, which is an extended BRC consisting of 7.5 hours of classroom and 13.5 hours of on-cycle time. Riders can refresh or enhance skills at a Basic RiderCourse2. A website,, serves as the training course referral service.

Motorcycle Safety Course

After completing the requirements of the motorcycle safety course, you will be issued a Certificate of Completion of Motorcycle Training (DL 389) by the motorcycle training facility. The DL 389 may be used to waive the motorcycle skills test at DMV and must be submitted to DMV within 12 months of the date of issuance.

To apply for your motorcycle Class M1 or M2 license, you must do one of the following:

  • If you are under 21, you must complete a motorcycle rider training course approved by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and provide a Certificate of Completion of Motorcycle Training (DL 389) to DMV to be issued your permit. You must hold the class M1 or M2 permit for 6 months prior to the issuance of a motorcycle license. The skills test may be waived by DMV for a person presenting a valid DL 389; however, you may be required to perform an observation test for a motorcycle only license..
  • If you are over 21, you may either choose to complete the motorcycle safety course approved by CHP and provide the Certificate of Completion of Motorcycle Training (DL 389) OR schedule an appointment online with DMV to take the driving test. (You may also call 1-800-777-0133 between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday to make a driving test appointment.) You have three chances to pass the test.

For information about the CHP approved training course, please call 1-877-743-3411 or visit

CHP California Motorcyclist Safety Program

CHP California Motorcyclist Safety Program provides great information for new and existing riders.

Off Highway Information

For areas throughout the state that are designated for OHV use, check the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation or call (916) 324-4442.

Please visit the following California State Parks link for laws and safety information for off-highway vehicles. Off-Highway Laws and Safety Information

What Are the Rules on Sharing the Road with Other Vehicles?

Every vehicle on the Road has its place on the road, but motorcyclists face additional dangers because motorcycles require exceptional handling ability and are harder to see. Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as automobile drivers

How Can I Control My Speed and Balance?

The DMV Motorcycle Handbook has a variety of information on how to control your speed and balance.

What is Expected of Me When I Ride?

Motorcycling is not just recreation it requires you to be familiar with the motorcycle, wear the right clothing and be a responsible rider. You are expected to be visible, communicate your intentions to other drivers, and keep adequate space for passing and lane splitting, and being prepared to act.

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