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California Motorcycle Laws 2013

On-Road California Motorcycle Laws

Accept Motorcycle Endorsement From Other States: Yes

Accept RiderEd Completion Card From Other States: No

Daytime Use of Headlight: Required for vehicles manufactured during or after 1978. California Vehicle Code Section 25650.5Modulating headlight permitted per Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, 571.108

Earplugs: No Restriction

Eye Protection: Not Required

Handlebar Height: A person shall not drive a two-wheel motorcycle that is equipped with handlebars so positioned that the hands of the driver, when upon the grips, are more than six inches above his or her shoulder height when sitting astride the seat.

Helmet Speakers: Single earphone only

Lane Splitting: Authorized per California Highway Patrol.

Lemon Law Coverage: Yes; California Civil Code 1793.22(9)(e)(2) open window and scroll down.

Maximum Sound Level: Maximum allowable A-weighted sound levels based on measurements taken at a distance of 50 ft from center lane of travel:1)Pre-1970..92dba; 2) After 1969, and before 1973…88dba; 3) After 1972, and before 1975…86dba; 4) After 1974, and before 1986…83dba; 5) After 1985…80dba (27201-27202. Motorcycle Limits).

Mirror Left(L) Right(R): One required by law; California Vehicle Code Section 26709

Motorcycles operating two abreast in same lane: Not referenced in Administrative Code or Statutes

Muffler: Muffler required. No muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass or similar device (27150. Adequate Muffler Required).

Passenger Age Restriction: None

Passenger Footrest: Required if carrying a passenger

Passenger Seat: Required if carrying a passenger

Periodic Safety Inspection: Required by law – random

Radar Detector: No Restriction

Rider-Education Waiver: Skill Test

Safety Helmet: Required by law; California Vehicle Code Section 27803

State Funded Rider Ed: Available for all eligible applicants – required under age 21

State Insurance Requirements: Compulsory Liability (Minimum Limits)(15/30/5) – Financial responsibility requried. A driver involved in an accident who fails to prove existence of financial responsibility at time of accident shall have driver’s license suspended for 1 year.

Turn SignalsRequired by law

Off-Road California Motorcycle Laws

Eye Protection: Not Required

Headlight: Required after sunset

Maximum Sound Level: 96dB for all motorcycles manufactured on or after January 1, 1986. 98dB allowed for machines manufactured prior to January 1, 1986.

Minimum Operator Age: Operator must be able to reach all controls. Safety Certificate required under age 18 for ATV’s only.

Muffler: Required by law

Operator License: Not Required

Registration: Required by law

Rider Education Certification: Required for ATV riders under age 16.

Safety Helmet: Required by law for ATV’s only – Not enforced for Off-Road motorcycles unless riding on State or Federal Land – (each agency has the flexibility to enforce or not enforce the helmet law on their land.

Spark Arrestor: Required by law

Taillight: Required after sunset

Trails Program: Available

Vehicle Title: Not Required

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