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Effective date of original law: January 1, 1981

Ultimate Program Responsibility
California Highway Patrol
Special Projects Section
P.O. Box 942898
Sacramento, CA 94298-0001
Phone: 916-657-7222
Fax: 916-452-3151

Day-to-Day Administration
Crain & Associates, Inc.
210 Industrial Road
San Carlos, CA 94070

Program Administration
Legislative Provisions

  • Source of funding: Motorcycle registration fees ($2) and up to $250,000 from State penalty funds
  • Stipulated use of funds: To fund program established under the motorcycle safety article and to defray related costs incurred

Relationship Among Various Programs

  • The California Highway Patrol coordinates between the educators and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Collection of Rider Training and Licensing Data

  • Agency responsible for collecting rider training data: California Motorcyclist Safety Program contractor—
    Crain & Associates, Inc.
  • Agency responsible for collecting licensing data:
    Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Data available in electronic format: Requests can be made through the Department of Motor Vehicles for electronic
    licensing data.
  • Link between crash, licensing, and rider education data: Collision data can be referenced to licensing, but not rider training.

Rider Education
Training Delivery

  • Months of instruction: January through December
  • Number of instruction sites: 68
  • Types of providers: Private contractors, military, and mobile training sites

Operations and Participant Characteristics

  • Courses offered: 2,800
  • Students enrolled: 31,214
  • No-shows or registration refunds: N/A
  • Time until course reaches capacity: Varies
  • Average waiting period to take course: 0-60 days
  • Students on waiting list: N/A

Program Funding and Expenditures

  • Annual budget: $950,000
  • Source of Federal funds: None
  • Average cost to State to educate rider: $30.44
  • Course tuition charged to novice rider: $185 adult, $75 youth
  • Course tuition charged to experienced rider: $50
  • Special fees in addition to course fees: N/A


  • Approved curriculum: MCR:RSS
    and ERC
  • Advisory committee: State advisory committee members are appointed.
  • Curriculum approved by:
    Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Process to modify curriculum: N/A
  • Data collected for modifications: N/A
  • Validation process for modifications: N/A

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Instructor Selection, Training, and Evaluation

  • State certification or approval is required for all Instructors and Chief Instructors.
  • Instructor internship is required.
  • State offers Instructor Preparation Course.
  • Biannual updates are required for Instructors.
  • Instructors are monitored continuously.

Profile of Instructors

  • Certified Instructors/RiderCoaches: 320
  • Chief Instructors/RiderCoach Trainers: 16
  • Instructor candidates in 2001: 84
  • Percentage of successful Instructor candidates: 89%
  • Instructor demographics: 80% male, 20% female
  • Reciprocity for Instructors trained in other States: Yes

Quality Control Procedures

  • Quality control is a highly structured program involving direct observation of courses in progress by specially trained evaluators.
  • The California Motorcyclist Safety Program contractor, Crain & Associates, Inc., is responsible for quality control.
  • Over 140 evaluations were conducted in 2001. All sites were evaluated three times annually—two compliance audits and one administrative evaluation.

Program Evaluation

  • A major evaluation of the program was completed in 1996.
  • Specially trained evaluators observed training sites and submitted findings to the contractor for review and additional comments.

Licensing Requirements

  • $12 initial fee
  • Successful completion of eye exam
  • Successful completion of knowledge exam
  • Valid for 1 year
  • Renewable
  • Minors must hold a permit for 6 months before applying for a license.


  • $15 if you have a 5-year license and are adding an M1 or M2
  • Rider may be licensed at 16 upon successful completion of a rider education course. Rider must be 21 if course not completed (but still must take a driving test).
  • Motorcycle endorsement must be renewed every 4 or 5 years.

Operator Licensing
Testing and Training Responsibilities

  • Testing agency: Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Third-party testing: Yes
  • Agency responsible for training examiners: Department of Motor Vehicles

Knowledge and Skills Tests Used

  • Knowledge test used: Local
  • Skills test used: Local off-street


  • Rider education waiver: Skills
  • Reciprocity for rider education completed in another State: None
  • Reciprocal license waiver: Yes

Operator and Vehicle Characteristics

  • Motorcycle operators licensed: 832,732
  • Registered motorcycles: 420,422
  • New motorcycle licenses/endorsements issued in 2001: 141,870
  • Operators licensed through rider education in 2001: N/A
  • Operators licensed without rider education: N/A
  • Operators without license or proper endorsement: N/A

Motorcyclist Licensing System

  • Graduated licensing: Yes
  • Tiered licensing: None

Public Information and Education

  • Operator’s manual used: Modified Motorcycle Operator’s Manual
  • Annual budget for public information and education: None – suspended because of budgetary constraints