Motorcycle Handbook

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Section 1 of 7

New Laws 2016

Effective January 1, 2016

Electric Bicycle Classes

Three classes of electric bicycles have been created. All operators of a Class 3 (maximum speed of 28 miles per hour [mph]) electric bicycle must be 16 years old or older and are required to wear a bicycle helmet. There is no financial responsibility, driver license (DL), registration, or license plate requirement for these electric bicycles. More information on electric bicycles can be found in the California Vehicle Code (CVC) §§312.5, 12804.9, 21113, & 24016 and in this handbook.

Effective January 1, 2017

Increased Accident Reportability Threshold

The minimum damage threshold for collision reportability will increase from $750 to $1,000.  A driver of a motor vehicle involved in a collision with property damages greater than $1,000 must submit a Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (SR 1) to DMV. DMV is authorized to impose sanctions following an uninsured reportable collision (CVC §§1656.2, 1808, 1808.1, 12517.1, 13369, 13558, 16000, 16000.1, 16020.1, 16020.2, 16075, 16251, 16430, & 16434).


This handbook is only a summary of laws and regulations. DMV, law enforcement, and courts follow the full and exact language of the law contained in the California Vehicle Code. You may buy a copy of the California Vehicle Code at any DMV field office or visit our website at

Where to Write

If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this publication, please send them to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Customer Communications Section MS H165
PO Box 932345
Sacramento, CA 94232-3450

© Copyright, Department of Motor Vehicles 2016
All rights reserved.

This work is protected by U. S. Copyright Law. DMV owns the copyright of this work. Copyright law prohibits the following: (1) reproduction of the copyrighted work; (2) distribution of copies of the copyrighted work; (3) preparation of derivative works based upon the copyrighted work; (4) displaying the copyrighted work publicly; or (5) performing the copyrighted work publicly. All requests for permission to make copies of all or any part of this publication should be addressed to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Legal Office MS C128
PO Box 932382
Sacramento, CA 94232-3820

DMV Information

Field Office Hours of Operation
Monday8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Some field offices may have extended hours and a few offer only driver license (DL) or vehicle registration services. To find a field office location and service options, go online or call the toll-free number listed below.

Go online at for (to):
•  Field office locations, hours, directions, and phone numbers.
•  Make appointments to visit a field office or take a drive test (except for commercial drive tests).
•  Order personalized plates.
•  DL and identification (ID) card information.
•  Vehicle/vessel registration information.
•  Downloadable forms.
•  Publications—handbooks, brochures, and sample tests.
•  Senior driver information.
•  Teen driver information.
•  Links to other state and federal agencies.
•  Renew your DL/ID or vehicle registration.

Call 1-800-777-0133 during normal business to:
•  Obtain/request DL/ID and vehicle registration information, forms, and publications.
•  Find office locations and hours.
•  Make a drive test appointment.
•  Speak to a DMV representative or request a call back.

Call 1-800-777-0133 for automated service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to:
• Renew your vehicle registration with the renewal identification number (RIN) provided on your billing notice. You can pay with a credit card or e-check.
• Make an office appointment.

Make sure to have your DL/ID card number, vehicle license plate number and/or vehicle identification number (VIN) available.

Persons with speech or hearing impairments can call, toll free, 1-800-368-4327 for assistance with DMV services. Only typed messages from another TTY are received and responded to at this number.

Advertising sponsorship helps defray the printing costs of this publication. The products and services provided by the advertising sponsors are not promoted or endorsed by DMV, but the significant contribution by the advertising sponsors is most appreciated.

If you would like to advertise in this publication, please call the Office of StatePublishing Advertising Department at 1-866-824-0603.