How to Replace a Motorcycle License in California
If your motorcycle license is lost, stolen or damaged, you must obtain a replacement license before you can operate a motorcycle on public roads. Most states will allow riders to apply for a duplicate license online, in person or by mail. The fastest and most efficient way to apply for a new motorcycle license is online. However, you will first need to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for online motorcycle license replacement. Additionally, you must have your personal information on hand in order to fill out the application. To help you through this process, you can download our guide, which will assist you every step of the way. Losing your license can be stressful, but with our guide, you can learn how to get a replacement as quickly as possible.
2. By Mail
Not all states offer a mail-in option for motorcycle license replacement, but many states offer this option for residents who are out-of-state or unable to visit a DMV in person. If you meet the mail-in requirements for your state, you will be able to mail a physical application to your local DMV. However, keep in mind that mail-in applications will take longer to process than online or in-person applications. You will need to account for travel time both to the DMV office and back to your residence, as well as any mailing delays that may occur.
3. In Person at the DMV
Finally, you can replace your lost, stolen or damaged motorcycle license at your local DMV. You will be required to bring a completed replacement application, along with required documentation and information. Keep in mind that you will need to have all the necessary documents on hand when you apply, or the DMV will not be able to process your application even if you have an appointment. Fortunately, these requirements and others are outlined in our guide to ensure you never show up to an appointment unprepared. Once your application has been processed, you will be able to receive a duplicate credential. However, the DMV may not be able to fully process an application if it is too busy, and you will need to wait a few days to receive your duplicate motorcycle license in the mail.
You must replace a motorcycle license in California whenever your current motorcycle license is lost, stolen or damaged. Until you obtain a new, valid motorcycle license, you will be unable to legally ride a motorcycle. If you have a motorcycle endorsement as part of another class of license, you will not be able to legally operate a motor vehicle either. Requesting a motorcycle license replacement is the only way that you can restore your riding or driving privileges.
You can request a duplicate motorcycle license in person at your local DMV office. Before your visit, it is worth taking the time to review the information, fees and documentation that you will need to provide to the office before your application can be processed. You can also save time during your visit to the DMV by scheduling an appointment, though walk-ins are accepted.
When is a motorcycle license replacement required in California?
In the event of a damaged, stolen or lost motorcycle license in California, it is important to request a replacement right away, as you cannot legally ride a motorcycle without a valid license on your person. If you have a motorcycle endorsement rather than a motorcycle-only license, you will also not be able to operate a standard motor vehicle until you have obtained a replacement.
Documents Required to Replace a Motorcycle License in California
In California, motorcycle license replacement documents are only required if you would like to convert your standard motorcycle license into a REAL ID motorcycle license as part of your replacement request. In cases such as these, you will be required to provide the DMV office with proof of your identity, residency and Social Security Number (SSN). When replacing a motorcycle license for a REAL ID motorcycle license, proof of identity can be satisfied with original or certified copies of one of the following:
- An unexpired U.S. passport.
- A certified U.S. birth certificate.
- A valid foreign passport with a valid U.S. visa and approved I-94 form.
- A certificate of naturalization or citizenship.
- A valid permanent resident card.
Proof of SSN be satisfied with one of the following:
- Your Social Security card.
- A W-2 form.
- A SSA-1099 form.
- A non-SSA-1099 form.
Proof of California residency can be provided with a recent:
- Utility bill.
- Medical document.
- Car registration.
- Insurance documents.
- Rental receipt or lease agreement.
- Mortgage agreement.
How to Replace a California Motorcycle License in Person
When following the process for how to replace a motorcycle license in California, it is important to know that you can only request a duplicate license in person by visiting a California DMV field office. At this time, by-mail, by-phone and online requests are not permitted. However, you can save time at the DMV by completing an application or a duplicate license online prior to your visit. You will also have the opportunity to schedule an appointment at your local DMV, should you so choose to do so. If you would like to replace a lost motorcycle permit, you must follow the same steps as you would when replacing a regular driver’s license.
Your duplicate motorcycle license fee will be due at the time that you visit your local DMV to begin or complete your application. During your visit, you will also be required to submit to a fingerprint scan. If you are also converting a standard motorcycle license into a REAL ID license, you will need to provide additional documents so the DMV can verify your identity.
After submitting a motorcycle license replacement request, you will receive a temporary license that will remain valid for a 90-day period. However, you should receive your new license by mail within 60 days from the date of your request. If you do not receive your new license within 60 days, you must contact the California DMV at 800-777-0133.
Out-of-State Motorcycle License Replacement in California
If you need to apply for a duplicate motorcycle license but are currently outside of California, contact the California DMV at 1-800-777-0133 or TTY 1-800-368-4327 if you are hearing impaired in order to determine if there are any additional options to you in obtaining a temporary license. Depending on the circumstances, you may have additional options for a duplicate license request.
California Motorcycle License Replacement Fees
The California duplicate motorcycle license fee is $28, regardless of whether you have a motorcycle endorsement on noncommercial license or a Class M1/M2 license. If you have a motorcycle endorsement on a commercial driver’s license (CDL), the fee is $34 for a duplicate.