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Hi everyone,



In a few days, my 15.5 year old will be eligible to get his car and motorcycle learners permits here in California.



This is my third kid through the process, but the first one that's getting an M1 license. The process is way more complicated than it was when most of us got our license a hundred years ago, so I thought I'd share the experience for future reference and/or correction.



From what I can tell, here's what it takes in California for a new driver (<16) to get a car and motorcycle license today:



1. Take a 30 hour drivers education class & 6 hours of actual driving school. Get certificate and pay the man ($300)

2. Go to the DMV and complete the permit application (DL44), Show birth cert, SSN and drivers ed certificates.

3. Take the written traffic test (cars)

4. Get issued your CAR learners permit and pay the man ($31)



5. With your car learners permit in hand, you can now enroll in the REQUIRED CA motorcycle safety course - Basic Rider Course. Pay the man ($150) - Effective 1/1/2011

6. When you successfully complete the basic rider course, you will be issued a DL389 Certificate indicating you have completed the training.

7. Back to the DMV with your DL389

8. Take the written motorcycle test

9. Get issued your Motorcycle learners permit. Not sure if we have to pay again?



10. At 16, and 6 months after you get your permit, go back to the DMV and take the Car driven test. Your rider training certificate is on file. After that, you should be issued your provisional car and motorcycle licenses.







I think I got it right here, but if anyone knows of any easier way to do this, I'm all ears, because the CA DMV site is a little out of date I think. Pretty sure the new law in January changed the whole permit process.



Total cost looks like around $500. By international standards, that's CHEAP, but it's way more expensive than it used to be...



When I got my license In 1973, drivers education was part of high school here (free), the DMV fee was probably closer to $10, and there was no motorcycle training requirement at all beyond passing the driving test at the DMV.
 

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Florida in the 60's you could drive a motorcycle that was less than 5 hp at I think it was 15 years old.



Most guys in Jr High had some kinda motorcycle. There was every motorcycle known to man lined up in the parking lot.

Every registration said 4.9 hp. I remember small light weight guys kick starting Triumph 750's and BSA 441's.

Lotza fun.



Also do not remember many accidents.



Of course traffic was a factor or 10 or more less than it is today.



I do remember the afternoon rain showers most days just about time school got out.
 

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Back in the 70's the DMV test area was right across the street from where I worked. I watched people passing their motorcycle test that knew nothing of riding! To fail the riding test you dang near had to wreck in front of the officer.The written test was also a joke. I passed with 100 percent and did not even read the handbook.At that time I thought "If I become king of the world this test will be alot harder" Some years later I became an MSF instructor and was glad my wish came true.
 

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Early 60's when I was 15 1/2 a learner's permit entitled one to ride any motorcycle anytime anywhere or drive a car anytime anywhere if accompanied by a licensed driver 18 or older. No proof of insurance or helmet required. The good old days! I miss them. Through Jr. High and High School there were 2 fatalities, one in a VW Bug and one on a Vespa.
 

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"Take the written motorcycle test" - MrDNA. I believe this is incorrect. If I remember correctly, after completing the MSF (motorcycle safety foundation) motorcycle rider training program in CA, and receiving the certificate from them stating as much, you need only turn that into the DMV to get your license. You take a written test AND a hands-on riding test at the MSF course. So if I'm not mistaken, you're done once you get your certificate from the MSF, and need only take that to the DMV to be issued your M1.
 

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Want to hear a twist on things here in Canada? It's an insurance twist. When my son was 14 he got his car learners licence and could drive our cars when supervised. He could not ride as a learner on a motorcycle until he turned 16. When he turned 16, he immediately became a learner on any motorcycle that I have licenced and insured. Once he passed his car licence, he was no longer considered a "learner" and could not ride any of my motorcycles. The rule was simple, he must be 16 and have a motorcycle licence or be a learner. Because he got his car licence, he is no longer a "learner", so he cannot ride any of my motorcycles. So how is he supposed to train for his motorcycle test? WTF? Goofy eh?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
"Take the written motorcycle test" - MrDNA. I believe this is incorrect. If I remember correctly, after completing the MSF (motorcycle safety foundation) motorcycle rider training program in CA, and receiving the certificate from them stating as much, you need only turn that into the DMV to get your license. You take a written test AND a hands-on riding test at the MSF course. So if I'm not mistaken, you're done once you get your certificate from the MSF, and need only take that to the DMV to be issued your M1.


Having not done the MSF course myself, I'll take your word for that. I should probably take it with the kid just to do it.
 

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"Take the written motorcycle test" - MrDNA. I believe this is incorrect. If I remember correctly, after completing the MSF (motorcycle safety foundation) motorcycle rider training program in CA, and receiving the certificate from them stating as much, you need only turn that into the DMV to get your license. You take a written test AND a hands-on riding test at the MSF course. So if I'm not mistaken, you're done once you get your certificate from the MSF, and need only take that to the DMV to be issued your M1.


Sorry kj, but this is incorrect.



As an MSF instructor for a number of years, here's the deal - at least in California. The Basic Rider Course requires that you finish and pass both a written and riding test. Once you have finished and passed the Basic Rider Course, you will be sent a CA DMV Certificate Form DL389. This form allows you to by-pass only the DMV riding test. You must still take, and pass, the DMV written test for motorcycles if you have not already done so.
 
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