Scooter License In California

Motorcycle / Scooter License Resources for California

Preparing to buy and own a scooter in California begins with getting your Class M1 Motorcycle permit or License. This information is focused on California riders.  Some of the information may also be helpful to you if you are in a different state.

This page was created to help provide you with preparation steps, tools, resources and help answer a few questions you may have.

Preparing for your license

  • You can pay for a MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) class. The great thing about getting your license this way, is you have hands on basic instruction from a skilled instructor.  You receive in-class or online class instruction and then basic instruction for riding a motorcycle. Completing your course will make it possible to go to the DMV and get your license without having to take the test at the DMV. Expect the class to cost $250 and up depending on your age. If you are under 21 years old you have to take the MSF. If you are over 21, you can go "Old School".  Note that some Insurance Companies and even Cycle Stores will give you a discount if you take the MSF and pass. Those discounts are usually good for around 30 days, so make sure you have the money for your scooter and safety gear first.
  • Your second option is to go "old school".  Study for the Motorcycle Written test and pass it at the DMV to receive a learners permit with some restrictions. Practice riding on your own. When you are comfortable, go to the DMV and take the official riding test. (If you are under 21, you'll have to take the MSF course)
  • You will want a Class M1 License. Don't even bother wasting your time with the Class M2 License, it is very limited.

Studying for your license

  • Study, Study, Study. Take pre-tests and read the DMV Motorcycle Handbook until you know it by memory.
  • If you take the MSF course, you do not need to have your DMV motorcycle permit first.
  • Below are resources to help you prepare and study.  

California DMV Motorcycle Handbook
(CA Study Book) .pdf

Motorcycle Safety Foundation Study Book
(MSF Basic Riders Course) .pdf

Motorcycle Safety Foundation Library has lots of helpful guides and booklets to help.
(MSF Library of .pdf Guides and Books)


Motorcycle Safety Foundation - Riding Tips Book for Scooter Riders .pdf (MSF You And Your Scooter - Riding Tips)


CA Motorcycle License DMV Test
(This app will help you practice for the DMV written test. It has fewer advertisements compared to other apps, and is regularly updated as needed. It's also free to use. This one is recommended for Android Devices)


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