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Two-Wheeler Vehicle Operation

By DMV Wait Times Staff | April 25, 2021

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for all the activities related to motor vehicles. The various activities that are handled by the California Department of Motor Vehicle include registration of the vehicle, renewal of registration card, issuing driver’s license, renewal of driver’s license, revoking the driver’s license, issuing permit cards, revoking permit cards, approving various public and private driving schools.

Person riding a motorcycle
Motorcycles are one of many vehicles considered a two wheel vehicle.

In the handbook issued by the department of motor vehicles, there are various laws that one must abide by. Section 2 out of 7 sections describes the laws regarding two-wheel operations.

The basic laws contained in CVC (California Vehicle Code) apply to all two-wheeler vehicles. Motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, mopeds, or motorized bicycles are included in the list of two-wheeled vehicles. Along with them minibikes, tote-goats, trail bikes, and similar vehicles.

Registration, financial responsibility, licensing, meeting the operational requirements, matching applicable equipment are the factors under consideration before driving the vehicle on highways.

If there is a prohibition sign on expressway or freeway then it is illegal to ride a motor-driven cycle, moped, motorized bicycle, or electric bicycle on that route.

Unless there is a path or trail next to a road, or permission to use a trail or roadway is granted by the local law it is illegal to ride a moped, motorized bicycle, or a class 3 electric bicycle or bicycle path or trail, equestrian trail, hiking trail, or recreational trail.

Then the section describes, in brief, the two-wheel vehicles:

  • Motorcycles: It cannot have more than two wheels. It has a saddle or a seat.
  • Motor-Driven Cycles: A motor-driven cycle is a motorcycle with less than a 150cc engine.
  • Motorized bike or moped: It can have either two or three wheels. Speed greater than 30 miles per hour cannot be achieved on the ground level.
  • Electric Bicycles: It is the one with an electric motor of fewer than 750 watts. They are classified into three classes:
  • Class 1: It is usually low in speed and it provides assistance when the rider is riding the bicycle. If the speed reaches 20mph or more the assistance can’t be provided. It is pedal-assisted.
  • Class 2: It is usually low in speed and is equipped with a motor to propel the bicycle. It can’t provide assistance upon reaching the speed of 20mph.
  • Class 3: It is low in speed and equipped with a speedometer. It provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling. It fails to provide assistance when it reaches the speed of 28mph.
  • Electric vehicles are given an exemption from certain requirements such as financial responsibility of the vehicle, or anything concerning driving license, and license plate requirements.
  • Motorized scooter: Two-wheeled device. It is supported by handles, a motor, and a floorboard. The floorboard is used by the rider for standing and riding. It can also have a saddle or a driver's seat.

The driver seat should be so placed that the riding and standing process takes place without any interference. It can also be powered by human propulsion. It can be driven by any class driver’s license. There should be no alteration in the exhaust system of the scooter and it can’t be used for taking the driving test.

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