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How to Register a Motorcycle in California


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In order to ride your motorcycle on public roadways in California, you’ll need to make sure it is registered and that your registration is valid. 

When you buy a motorcycle, you’ll first need to transfer the title and get an insurance policy. Next, you’ll need to get it registered and get your California motorcycle license plates and stickers. 

Note, you should also be sure to have a valid California motorcycle license when you register your motorcycle too. 

This page will provide you with an overview of the steps to register a motorcycle in California for the first time, and then we’ll go over your options for renewing your motorcycle registration before it expires. 

Remember, your registration documents and proof of insurance should be kept on your bike when you ride. 

California Motorcycle Registration Steps

Registering a motorcycle in California is basically the same process as registering any other vehicle.

If necessary, you’ll also need to complete any motorcycle inspections as required by the CA DMV.

How to register a motorcycle in California:

  1. Visit your local DMV office. 
  2. Complete an application for new registration. 
  3. Provide the motorcycle title.
  4. Provide proof of motorcycle insurance coverage. 
  5. Present your valid motorcycle license. 
  6. Pay the registration fees.

If you’ve recently purchased a motorcycle, you’ll need to transfer it into your name and register it within 10 days. 

If you’ve just moved to California, you’ll have 20 days to register your bike and transfer your out-of -state plates. 

Renew Motorcycle Registration in California

In order to avoid any traffic tickets or late fees, you’ll want to make sure that your California motorcycle registration and license plate stickers are valid. 

You’ll need to renew your CA motorcycle registration each year. 

Your options for renewing your California motorcycle registration include:

The information and items you’ll need in order to complete your motorcycle registration renewal include:

  • Your license plate number.
  • The motorcycle’s VIN.
  • Your current address that matches the address on file.
  • Payment for your renewal fees.
  • Your motorcycle insurance info.

Depending on the type of bike you have, you may also need to complete the necessary motorcycle inspections when you renew your motorcycle registration.

California Motorcycle Insurance

In addition to renewing your motorcycle registration, you’ll also want to make sure that your motorcycle insurance policy is up to date. 

Your annual registration renewal is a great time to compare motorcycle insurance quotes and check for cheaper rates

How much does it cost to register a motorcycle in California?

The fees for California motorcycle registration are as follows:

  • Motorcycle registration fee: $61
  • Highway patrol fee: $28
  • Vehicle License Fee: $14
  • Motorcycle Safety Fees: $2

You may also be responsible for additional taxes, local fees, and other charges. 

For more information about California motorcycle registration and registration renewals, check out the official DMV website at: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/ 

Need more information? Check out our overview of the requirements for motorcycle titles and registrations in California.

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