California Motor bicycle Law
Not open for further replies.


Dec 29, 2007
Hi all, in CA. there is no such thing (currently) as a Motor Assisted Bicycle. All Motor-Bicycles are to be registered as a Moped.

The easiest way to understand this is the DMV website, under License plates, Moped.

To make this easier to understand, I have done all these things. I mailed and recieved and mounted 2 moped plates, one for Wifey's Whizzer and one for mine. If you-all like I will post pics.

The State of Kalifornika form is named REG230 and is a downloadable pdf form. I reccomend to all my Whizzer (street legal DOT, EPA, and CARB legal bikes), and owner/buyers of any other of the bicycle engines that I've been selling for about 7 years now, to do this form. I give them the form.

1) Put bicycle serial number in the vin slot (Whiz has VIN)
2) Put engine serial number in the engine slot (if not numbered like the Whizzer is, then stamp one, illegal technically, but who is to know?)
3) put bicycle and engine name in the Make slot ie Roadmaster/Skyhawk
4) answer all four questions correctly
5) sign and date
6) in envelope with check to DMV for 18.00
7) put the cotton-pickin thing in the mail, do NOT confuse the local DMV by going there with your bike, or even asking them any questions!!!

Getting your license.
This time show up at DMV, and ask to take motorcycle exam I think mine was 25.00 (you DID study, didn't you???) The motorcycle handbook is online and easily found.
IF a certain number of months have passed since your last C (auto) exam has passed you will also have to take the front page of the C.
Miss less than 5 questions (each test), and they will issue a computer print-out to carry along with your license. You have up to one year to do the agility course and get full license endorsement.

No night riding, no freeway riding, no carring passenger.

Agility test
This I have not yet done, but I questioned the DMV lady who administers it, and she says if you show up with a motorcycle with transmission, they saftey check the bike ALL lights and horn MUST work, and they have you go thru the gears a couple time, ride the course, ahd you get M1 license. If you show up on anything else with no transmission, all saftey checks apply and you drive the course, and if sucessful you get m2. I would NOT reccomend showing up with Motor-Bicycle unless it is Whizzer, or fully functioning MB with Brake lights for front and rear brakes, head and tailiites, and a horn.

If you-all have any questions I'm sure I can answer them, or if not I can get you the answer in terms of CA, not elsewhere.

I hope this post will make it easy to understand the CA law on the subject of Motorized Bicycle. Do know however, that CA leaves all the old laws on the books, even tho they are superceeded. Always be sure to use the newest laws to stay legal.

Thanks for reading;



New Member
Dec 29, 2007
Wow, thanks for the information.

So Mike, if I am reading this correctly, all that I have to do to get my license for my motor bicycle is to take a test? No driving needed?

Thanks for your help

Spooky Tooth

Dec 28, 2007
I am going to disagree with you about California laws on motor-bicycles. I have been so curious about this for a long time. We have a lot of riders in California nervous about the weird police state breeding fear around motorized bicycles. Another forum member brought this to my attention and please let me clarify. There are gray areas around motorized bicycle code in California, but if you carry a copy of VC406 with you, you should be OK w/out license, insurance, or registration up to 30mph!

(1) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle unless the person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in Section 21212.

(2) A person operating a motorized bicycle is subject to Sections 21200 and 21200.5{bicycling under the influence} .

(3) A person operating a motorized bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility, driver's licenses, registration, and license plate requirements, and a motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle.

(4) A motorized bicycle shall only be operated by a person 16 years of age or older.

Here are links of importance for yall's reading enjoyment.
V.C. Section 406 - Motorized Bicycle
V.C. Section 4020 - Motorized Bicycles
and the best one...
V.C. Section 24016 - Motorized Bicycle Electric Motor: Safety and Equipment Requirements


New Member
Dec 29, 2007
Hey Spooky.

Thanks for the polite tips on the California laws regarding motorized bicycles.

I appreciate your post.

Thanks so much


Dec 29, 2007
Hello, I don't know you personally, tho I'm told your name is Roland. Sorry to meet you this way, I am Mike from

I've been building, and selling Motor Bicycles for a bit over 8 years now, here in the State Capitol, and today again from out of state I get this challenge of the laws that I have to represent daily?

Read California Motorcycle Handbook:

Read California License Plate Law:
CA Department of Motor Vehicles- Special License Plates

Read California Reg. 230 the license plate request document located on the Moped Plate from link above.

Understand, that even tho the Grand and Glorious State of California does NOT remove superceeded language from it's books, it only honors AND enforces current legislation IF they happen to know what it is.

Please in the name of all things holy, all you out of state people stop trying to confuse California riders with whatever ideas you may have, UNLESS you are current with your knowledge of California Law.

Your first quote is ELECTRIC only, are we talking electric?

Your second quote is from 1975, we have had a plethera of laws passed since then, please refer to what I said about NOT removing "dead" legislation, and Laws.

Your Final quote is ELECTRIC only, also.

Please, by all means correct me if I'm wrong, but you sell chinese 2-stroke of the "china-fire" type, in-frame 2-stroke 48 to so-called 80cc's right?

You have used all electric, and outdated laws to support your position, please reconsider.

Do let me know what you are thinking, after you read the current laws I have posted.




Easy Rider

Santa Cruz Scooter Works
Jan 15, 2008
Hi Mike, I couldn't open up the link. I'm very interested to see what you've discovered. Is there a way you can post the link as a jpeg?
I live in the Silicon Valley along with a bunch of us who ride 30-40 miles on Sundays. We've ran into a lot of police and they don't even look our way...granted we all wear full face motorcycle dot approved helmets. I think the worst we've gotten was a "turn the motors off guys when your on the bike path" (Guadalupe path) and that was it.
If you can't post the image. Can you shead some light on the issue.
Thanks a ton Mike.


Feb 22, 2008
16 yes... Many have given up on Calif a long time ago... and we feel for you there. My fear is that the convoluted logic that seems to start in CA soon propagates else where. So.. Like it or not, I am sticking by the Federal Regs and other States which have "Motor Assisted Bicycle" Category and are pro Motor Assisted Bicycle. I was only providing information to you to help you. Not to confuse you or anyone else. And..No ..I do not ride there. But I know 100's of people that do. And you can go to the other Forum and check the legal section there and you can find the many in CA that do ride "motor Assisted Bicycles" in Ca. and they can tell you what they are doing. You can get it straight from those that ride in Ca. Thanks..enjoy the ride..


minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
north carolina
Well it is my humble opinion that there are a lot more laws on the books than ever get enforced. Orip is favorite of mine. Occupying a motel room for immoral purposes. I have seen that enforced one time. So I expect a lot of motorbike laws are just more trouble than they are worth.

thanks mike for the link to the handbook it seems pretty straight forward to me... I am also glad i dont live in ca.


Well-Known Member
Dec 23, 2007
Kalamazoo, MI
this thread is getting counter productive. i know california has stricter laws then any other state for epa on cars. however i do not know on motorized bicycles. the laws have been posted and we can try to interpret them all day. this thread is locked and it is your decision on what to do if you live in california

Venice Motor Bikes

Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles
Mar 20, 2008
Los Angeles, CA.
I have one story I would like to add to this thread... My friends & I have been riding most everyday in Los Angeles for several months (With no helmets or license), We get cops stopping us most every time, but we have never received a single ticket!
Usually when they see that it's really just a bicycle, they let us go...
(We always say the bikes are 49cc & have to be pedaled to get them going.)

My buddy once argued with a motorcycle cop about not wearing a helmet; the officer opened up his law book and read in the motorized bicycle section, "under 16 must wear a helmet" then he closed his book, got back on his bike & told my buddy to "get out of here" & then he left...

It seems that most cops here are not sure of the motorized bicycle laws, but view our rides as "almost" a moped and more like a bicycle that doesn't need a helmet or license!

If one of us ever DOES get a ticket; I will post about it here, & tell you what the end result in court is. :crash::crash::crash::crash:
Last edited:
Not open for further replies.