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Thread: MSF Certificate, Residency, California

  1. #1
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    MSF Certificate, Residency, California

    OK, not sure which heading for this one, so here goes...

    24 yr old nephew with NJ Drivers License and no M endorsement wants to move to CA this year. He's there now visiting and friends there are telling him to get into riding and get the M license. He wants to do MSF school in CA now. He is not a resident there. The MSF schools out there will take your money for the course with an out-of state-license. NJ will not honor CA MSF certificate for NJ M license endorsement.

    It's kind of the cart before the horse the way I see it. My advice to his dad and him has been to get his M endorsement in NJ using an MSF course in NJ and then dealing with the resident license transfer to CA when that time comes. Junior is putting up some resistance saying he can do the MSF in CA now and get legal before establishing residency. Doesn't sound right.

    Also, looking down the road, does CA DMV honor out-of-state motorcycle endorsements for new resident license transfers?

    What am I missing and what can I tell his Dad?

  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    The CA DMV motorcycle handbook (and other doc's, including sample tests) may be viewed and downloaded at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/pubs

    In the Drivers' handbook (auto), viewable at the same site, page 2 has info regarding visitors and new residents. It certainly seems logical that one must establish residency before applying for a license.

    Of course they'll take the money, it's a business (and under-funded). Another aspect of the MSF training regards insurance - why would a NJ insurance company honor CA training, as this is done at the State level, not Federal.

    Young'uns are often ignorant in their knowledge of the law, and arrogant and disbelieving when presented with the truth of it. Teaching a pig to sing... Patience... Once he's here, he'll see that there's only one way through it. And being at, and dealing with, the local DMV office will give him another worthwhile experience and the opportunity to learn and grow...
    Last edited by Pauls1150; 01-21-2015 at 06:16 PM.

  3. #3
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    A person over 18 licensed in another state who wishes to drive in Calif must, upon becoming a California resident, apply for a Calif license. That application requires an in-person visit to the DMV to fill out DMV Form 44, which is not available on-line. DMV will administer vision and written tests. If one passes, a license is issued.

    This page has DMV info regarding drivers licenses and registration for people new to Calif. A link on that page describes the Calif motorcycle license scheme: relevant here is that an endorsement to the drivers license indicates that the holder may drive a motorcycle, and if the applicant is over 18, the applicant must complete a CMSP class or pass a riding test at the DMV office. There's no mention of "importing" an out-of-state motorcycle endorsement. However, in this thread, nshocker's post of 1-17-2014 says that DMV accepted his out-of-state motorcycle endorsement...but then the applicant failed the written test so no license was issued.

    You wrote that nephew thinks he can "...get legal before establishing residency." While he can take a CMSP course before he's a Calif resident, DMV won't issue him a drivers license until he's a resident, and (at least in the past) CMSP completion certificates expired after one year. (The Highway Patrol administers the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. From the mid-90s through 2014, MSF was the CMSP contractor and provided the program. Beginning 2015, Lee Parks' Total Control is the contractor.)

    I suppose one might ask the DMV this question, but getting an answer (if you got an answer) from one person doesn't necessarily mean that the different person your nephew meets when he goes there would answer he same manner.

    Finally, I think it's prudent to accept that the DMV may always require an actual riding test. The DMV riding test is difficult for many, who find it useful to find a DMV and practice on the "key" layout when the office is closed.
    Last edited by dbrick; 01-21-2015 at 07:50 PM.
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  4. #4
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yantacaw View Post
    OK, not sure which heading for this one, so here goes...

    24 yr old nephew with NJ Drivers License and no M endorsement wants to move to CA this year. He's there now visiting and friends there are telling him to get into riding and get the M license. He wants to do MSF school in CA now. He is not a resident there. The MSF schools out there will take your money for the course with an out-of state-license. NJ will not honor CA MSF certificate for NJ M license endorsement.

    It's kind of the cart before the horse the way I see it. My advice to his dad and him has been to get his M endorsement in NJ using an MSF course in NJ and then dealing with the resident license transfer to CA when that time comes. Junior is putting up some resistance saying he can do the MSF in CA now and get legal before establishing residency. Doesn't sound right.

    Also, looking down the road, does CA DMV honor out-of-state motorcycle endorsements for new resident license transfers?

    What am I missing and what can I tell his Dad?
    Tell dad to tell son that his best pathway would be to take an MSF course in New Jersey now and get the M endorsement on his NJ license.


    Passing a Basic Rider Course in a state in which you do not legally reside is like kissing your sister - you could brag about the accomplishment, but it didn't get you any where. Need to be a resident of CA for passing the BRC to have any value, so why not just show up already endorsed?!

    Then when he relocates to California, he simply follows the procedure below.

    Transferring an Out-of-State License w/ M Endorsement in CA:

    Visit any DMV location, or save time by calling ahead for an appointment. You will be required to take a written exam, so studying California's Motorcycle Handbook is strongly encouraged.

    When you arrive to apply and take the exam, you must:
    Provide either your original birth certificate or a passport.
    Provide your license.
    Complete Form DL 44.
    Pay a $33 application fee.


    AMA official site also states CA will accept M endorsement from out-of-state.
    Last edited by greenwald; 01-21-2015 at 11:10 PM.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle & High Performance Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  5. #5
    BruceRT
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    Timeline

    So if he takes the course in California now, he is not a licensed motorcyclist. You said he is moving there this year. When he does, he must go to their DMV to get his California car license and then he hands them the course completion certificate and his new California license has an M endorsement. This assumes he becomes a CA resident and gets his CA license within a year of taking the course. So nothing is wasted but gratification is delayed.

    I am a Rider coach in Virginia and occasionally get students who are moving to Virginia but have not made the trip to the DMV yet. They do what I described in the previous paragraph and make one trip to the DMV instead of two.
    Bruce
    2005 R1200RT (It's new to me!)
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If you are not continuously learning, you are slowly getting bored.

  6. #6
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdimon View Post
    So if he takes the course in California now, he is not
    nope
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  7. #7
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    Also, I suggest making an appointment and shopping around while doing so. In other words, don't just choose the closest DMV when making the appointment - go through the process multiple times with other DMVs that you are willing to travel to in order to see which one has the best schedule.

    Waiting in line at the DMV is soul-crushing, but making an appointment and sailing past the line is oh so sweet. Ignore my advice at your peril.

  8. #8
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Tangent but related:

    Never go to a DMV on a Monday - people buy and sell vehicles over the weekend, so Mondays are busy.

    If he winds up in the South Bay (south/west of L.A.) area, I've used the DMV offices in Hawthorne and in Carson several times each ... Hawthorne has illiterate idiots behind the counters (forms, registrations, inspections, etc.), but Carson has been pretty good.

  9. #9
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Monday at the Orange County CA DMV
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