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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I am going to be 20 in a month or so. I live in California. According to what I understood from reading the handbook, I need to get a permit for 6 months before I take my test, right? And that permit is valid for 12 months. During said 12 months I may drive as much as I want but cannot go into the freeway or drive at night. Being under 21, I also need to complete a safety course that would waive my skills test for the licence.

I get this permit by passing the written test and paying 33 dollars right? If so, does it make sense to get the permit and just drive normally with it for 12 months and then just take the practice test? I would save myself 260 dollars for the safety course.

If so, I do not need a license to drive for 12 months, right?

I am contemplating getting a motorcycle but I want to figure out the best way to get my license. I am not a fan of having to spend an extra 260 dollars just because I am one year young.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Things must have changed drastically because there was a time when the permit was used just to practice and you could take the final driving test any time so you then had no restrictions. Are you sure it isn't still that way? It wouldn't surprise me with California that they might impose some stupid age restriction but I'd question whether you can take your driving test any time within that 12 months. If not then do what the illegals do.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well this is from the CA DMV website.

Permit Restrictions
With your motorcycle learner's permit, you may practice driving a motorcycle. However, you are not allowed to:

Drive your motorcycle at night.
Drive your motorcycle on the freeway.
Carry any passengers on your motorcycle.
Your $33 learner's permit application fee will be good for 12 months. You may take the written and skills tests 3 times. If your application expires before you pass the tests and are issued a license, you must start the application process all over.


Seems like the only restriction that is a pain is the night riding. I was not planning on going on the freeway for a while anyways.

This makes it sound like 12 months I can just use the permit the same as a license to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Getting Your Motorcycle License: Under 21

You may apply for your motorcycle license after if you already have a learner's permit or driver's license:

You are at least 16 years old.
You've held your motorcycle learner's permit for at least 6 months.
You've passed a California Motorcyclist Safety Program training course administered by the California Highway Patrol, and been issued a Certificate of Completion of Motorcycle Training (DL389)


The age restriction also from the website.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Okay. It is as it has been. You can ride with the permit for 12 months honoring the stated restrictions. HOWEVER, I would highly advise you take a basic riders course.

You will learn the correct way to do basic things which will make it so you don't have to unlearn bad skills you thought were right.

It can be the difference of a short riding career and a long one. Provided you actually live after your mistakes. There is a lot more to riding a motorcycle than pointing it down the road. I hope you take this to heart.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Take the course. It is worth the money. I rode for about 25 years and then didn't for another 20. I took the course when I started riding again.
 

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Just looking to save a little money.........

ask your insurance agent the difference in rate from having a permit vs having a license...........license without safety course vs license with safety course

and ask how many yrs experience it takes to make your rate the same as a beginner with the safety course.

this is just a saving a few bucks point of view
 

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Okay. It is as it has been. You can ride with the permit for 12 months honoring the stated restrictions. HOWEVER, I would highly advise you take a basic riders course.

You will learn the correct way to do basic things which will make it so you don't have to unlearn bad skills you thought were right.

It can be the difference of a short riding career and a long one. Provided you actually live after your mistakes. There is a lot more to riding a motorcycle than pointing it down the road. I hope you take this to heart.

What hogcowboy said!! +1^^^^^^^^
I took the Basic Riders Course back in 1974,( Interestingly, it was mandatory at the military base in South Carolina I was assigned to at that time if a service member wanted to own, ride a motorcycle on that base) It was very helpful! Of course I "resented" being told I had to take it, but hindsight being what it is ( and 41 years of riding later) I absolutely think it was a smart thing!
In fact, although I have been riding for over 40 years ,I am pondering taking it again!! just to refresh myself and get the latest info. I figure what the heck?!
Regards
Ed
 

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It's almost beginning to look like the OP got the message he didn't want to see.:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Lol. Not really. I just did not really have anything to input. I was contemplating weather I should just plop down the money. It really does not seem like a bad idea and it might make my mom feel better about me riding.
 

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And it is so much better to learn the correct way rather than have to TRY to unlearn bad habits you thought were okay. It good to hear you will be taking the class. Far too many times we hear the stubborn refuse to take it and then never hear from them again. There are only two possibilities for that and one isn't good at all.
 

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If you are already 20 then yes, treat a learner's permit as a driving license for up to a year. When you turn 21 you could go in and take the driver's test to get a license.
With all of that said, go take the skills training. It is not just about being legal. The training has a real value of its own. I have been riding since 1968 but went out and took the training for the first time in 2007. It gave me a lot of insight into how to do what I should do when out riding.
BTW my first bike license was in SoCal at around age 22. I got the endorsement because they had just invented bike endorsements at the time and I had been riding for years by then. 45 years later I got real instruction and found out what I had not figured out on my own.
 
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