Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a California Driver License or Permit to take the course?

You do NOT need a California Driver License or Permit to take the course. However, you must present a valid, unexpired, government issued, photo identification at the first session.

The DMV will NOT honor your waiver if the name, ID# and birthdate on it does not exactly match your ID, so be sure the name, ID# and birthdate you enter when you register is accurate, as that is what will appear on your waiver.

I have a restricted or punched license. Can I use it for the class?

A license with a punched hole is invalid and can NOT be used

Is it OK if my ID is from a different state or country?

Yes.  As long as it is a valid, government- issued photo ID we can accept it.

To indicate an ID that is from another country or that is not a driver's license enter ff where you would usually indicate the state(ex: CA for California, TX for Texas)

Can I use my driver's permit as my ID? It says it is not a vaild ID.

We are allowed to accept driving permits, as long as they have a photo on them.  If they do not have a photo we cannot accept it.

I am a minor, are there any special requirements?

You must be at least 15.5 years of age on the first day of class. Students who have not yet had their 18th birthday MUST be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to the first session. The parent/guardian will be required to complete and sign an additional waiver.

How do I get into a course?

You must register and pay for a course before attending the first session. Walk in students are not accepted.

Most students register online, but if you do not have access online and/or do not have an email address you may register through the office 888.744.2268 instead

To read about the beginning motorcycle class go to:

Learn to Ride

To register for a beginning class go to:

https://app.msi5.com/scripts/i5.exe?book=CABAMCT&page=CS.CL.Select&CC=MTC&SC=*FA&LAP=12

Is there a standby list to get into an earlier course?

When you register and pay for a course, you can contact the office and ask to be notified about earlier openings. When an opening occurs, the office will call students in the order which they requested notification. The first person to respond will get the transfer. Seats cannot be held open until everyone checks messages. It is first come first serve, just like registration.

Do I need to have my own motorcycle?

In all beginning classes, we provide the training motorcycle. No prior riding experience is expected or required.

Unless you are absolutely certain which bike you want to own, we encourage you to wait until after the course to purchase one. In the classroom, we discuss the things you might want to consider in choosing a motorcycle to fit your needs.

May I ride my own motorcycle?

BEGINNING CLASSES:

No.  Except for scooter riders, we do not allow students to ride their own vehicles

ADVANCED CLASSES:

Depending upon our schedule, may be able rent one of our bikes, so please call the office.

What kinds of motorcycles are provided?

All training motorcycles are required to be less than 500cc. Our fleet includes standards, cruisers, and dual sports.

Do you have scooters to ride?

We have a limited number of scooters, which may be requested when you make your reservation, or contact the office to make your request

We strongly suggest you learn on one of our motorcycles unless you already have your own scooter. Learning on a motorcycle teaches you clutch operation, which is difficult to learn on your own. A motorcycle rider can ride a scooter... But, if you only learn a scooter and you ever need / want to ride a motorcycle, you may still need to develop that skill.

You may not switch from motorcycle or scooter to the other mid-course, so please decide which on you would like to ride at that beginning

May I ride my own scooter?

We encourage beginners to ride their own scooters.  You will still earn the DMV waiver if you pass the beginning class on a scooter

Will I still get the DMV waiver if I ride a scooter during the beginning class?

Yes.  If you pass the beginning class on a scooter you will still earn the DMV waiver that waives the riding portion of the motorcycle liscening test.

However, since you will probably never take another beginning motorcycle class you will get the most out of your class if you ride a motorcycle, since part of we cover is how to use a clutch

Do we ride on the street? What about steep hills?

All of the riding is done on pavement on a closed range. During each riding session, you will actually ride a motorcycle about 12-15 miles, but there are no hills and no street traffic to worry about. How to ride on the street is covered extensively in the second half of the course by addressing Street Strategies.

Do dealers reimburse for courses?

Dealers and manufacturers occasionally offer rebate programs to encourage you to take a safe riding course. The Motorcyclist Training Course usually meets all requirements for reimbursable training, but the rules are established by the dealer or manufacturer. The Course Completion Card and the DMV DL389 form(that waives the riding portion of the DMV's M1 license test) you receive after completing the course is proof of your achievement. Some rebate programs require an additional proof of payment receipt.  Your confirmation letter is also your credit card receipt

What about insurance discounts?

Some insurance companies offer discounts of 10% or more for completing a safe riding course. The Motorcyclist Training Course usually meets all requirements for discounts. Check with your insurance agent. The Course Completion Card you receive after completing the course is proof of your achievement.  If you lose it, contact the office for a replacement.

Do I still have to go to the DMV after passing the course?

Yes. You get your license from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The waiver we give you is the DMV form DL389, which allows you to waive the riding portion of your license test. You still have to take the DMV written test.

  • If it has been more than a year since you received your car license, they may also ask you to take the car written test
  • If you never had a car license and are applying for only a motorcycle license, they may also ask you to take an on-road riding test at an intersection near the DMV office. You have to provide your own vehicle for this test
  • The DMV DL389 is mailed to you within 10 business days after you complete the course. Be sure to allow time for the mail delivery when you make plans to visit the DMV

How long can I wait before getting my license?

Licensing questions should be directed to the DMV. We can not answer licensing questions because we are not authorized to speak for the DMV, and different DMV offices may enforce the policy differently. However we can say THE DL389 CERTIFICATE EXPIRES ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE IT IS ISSUED and cannot then be reissued. You must take (and pay for) the entire course again to get another.

Can I get my money back if I change my mind?

Tuition fees are not refundable or transferable for any reason.

  • You may cancel a reservation and reschedule for another course within three months of the original reservation
  • There is a 15% cancellation fee if you cancel 7 business days before your reserved class starts
  • Cancellation 7 business days or less before your class begins is considered a voluntary withdrawal, for which there is NO refund.  You may pay a partial fee to return as a standby/drop-in student or you may pay the entire course fee again to reschedule with a confirmed seat
  • Failure to appear on time to a classroom or riding session or return from a break on time forfeits the course fee. The entire fee must be repaid to take the course again with a confirmed seat, or pay a partial fee to return as a standby. No priority is given for the next open class
  • Failure to appear at a classroom or riding session forfeits the course fee, even if you have a really good reason. The entire fee must be repaid to take the course again with a confirmed seat, or pay a partial fee to return as a standby

What happens if I have a conflict after I start a course?

We are required to make sure you attend the whole class, and cannot issue you a DL389 if you leave early.

So if you are not able to stay for the whole class you will have to pay a fee to return to finish it as a standby student.

How do I get into another course if I miss or need to repeat a session?

We do not reschedule, so if you need to come back you may come back as a standby student

  • Failure to appear on time – forfeits the course fee. The entire fee must be repaid to repeat with a confirmed seat, or pay a partial fee to return as a standby.
  • Failure to appear with required material (documents or riding gear) – forfeits the course fee. The entire fee must be repaid to repeat with a confirmed seat, or pay a partial fee to return as a standby
  • Failure to appear at all – forfeits the course fee. The entire fee must be repaid to repeat with a confirmed seat, or pay a partial fee to return as a standby
  • Failed written or riding evaluation – allowed only one (1) more attempt. If the one (1) additional attempt is unsuccessful. CMSP rules require your retest must be within 60 days of the original failed test date. There is no charge for retaking the written evaluation, there is a

Standby students:

  • You should arrive at least 45 minutes before the session check in time
  • When you arrive, sign into the standby list to keep your place, as standby is first come first served.  Do not interrupt the instructors if they are setting up the range or conducting a session already in progress.  They will come and help you as soon as they are able.
  • While you are waiting, pick out a helmet and fill out a new waiver just in case there is room for you.  Be sure you are already wearing all of the required gear just in case you get in.  This way you will be ready to be added to the class.  If you are not ready to go the instructor might not add you to the class, and/or may take a student in line behind you that is ready, as waiting for you will mean both you and the rest of the class may not get as much riding time as they would if you were ready to go
  • If you are added into a session, you must show the same valid, government-issued photo ID you used when you took the class before.  If your ID does not match the ID you showed before you might not be issues a DL389 unless we can verify you were the same person that took the class previously
  • If you are under 18, you must bring a parent/legal guardian with you again to your first session in order to complete/sign a new minor waiver.  They must bring their photo ID with them again

Does every student pass the course?

About 80% of the students pass the course the first time. Neither passing nor getting a license is guaranteed

If you do not pass either the written or riding test or your instructor feels you need more practice, your standby fee will be waived

Do I still have to take the DMV's written test after I pass the written test given during the beginning clas?

Yes.

Our written test is based upon the MTC Handbook, which is more about the techniques of riding a motorcycle.  The DMV written test is more about the laws of riding in California.  There is no way to avoid taking the DMV's written test.

Can I take a course with a particular Instructor?

We can not guarantee any particular instructor will teach a specific course. It takes at least two instructors to teach a full course, and you could have as many as five different instructors in one course.

Is there a separate course for people with no experience?

" I've been contemplating this course for a while. But I'm scared I'll be left way behind because I have NO experience while others will have some. "
The curriculum is designed to be taught to students who have never even sat on a motorcycle. All students are considered to be at the same skill level regardless of any prior experience. Even if everyone in a course is experienced, not one part of the course may be shortened or skipped. The instructor is required to see that every student has sufficient time and the proper personal attention to meet each objective in each lesson. Students will not be left behind ... the course is not run at the speed of the fastest learners (dragging others along), nor is it run at the speed of the slowest learners (pushing them to hurry) – it is run according to a precise schedule designed for the eager but inexperienced learner. However, students who simply can not meet the objective of a lesson in the allowable time will be asked to withdraw and may consider repeating the session or the entire course. (See Does every student pass the course?)

The one thing no one can teach is balance. Students who have never ridden a bicycle or anything that requires balance may or may not get their sense of balance in the time allowed. We can't separate those students and let them keep trying. Occasionally we do have to ask students to come back after they have practiced balancing.

The average mix of students in a course is a few who have never had any contact with motorcycles, the majority who have had some contact but are not really "experienced", and a few who know how to ride but are getting back into it. Instructors often say it is the "never had" who are the best learners.

I lost my certificate. How do I get another?

DL389 CERTIFICATES EXPIRE ONE YEAR AFTER DATE OF ISSUE.  If your certificate is expired, you can not receive a replacement. You must take and pay for the entire course again to receive a new certificate

The DMV DL389 certificate is a legal document, strictly controlled by the State. Issuance of every single certificate is recorded by the California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) for the California Highway Patrol. Their rules for reissuing must be followed exactly

  • Be certain where and when you took the course
    • You must identify the Training Provider ("Bay Area Motorcycle Training", NOT the city where it was taught).  I you took your class in a city other than San Francisco, Alameda or Vallejo you did not take your class from BAMT
    • You must identify the date the course completed (if you are not sure of the date of completion, please contact the office)
  • You must send a copy of your driver license
  • You should return the completed Request for Replacement form to CMSP, not Bay Area Motorcycle Training, see directions for return on the bottom of the form

The form must be received by CMSP within one year of the date that your original DL389 wasissued, otherwise your certificate is expired and can not be replaced

What is your code of conduct?

Instructors will enforce immediate dismissal for being under the influence of alcoholic beverages, reaction altering drugs, including OTC or prescribed medications, possession of weapons, intent to harm students or Instructors, foul or abusive language, abuse of equipment, willfully not following instructions or any other intentionally unsafe or disruptive act

What do I need to do to prepare for the course?

READ:

MTC Handbook:

  • Especially if you have never ridden a motorcycle, you will get the most our of your class if you have gotten as familiar with the information in the MTC Handbook as possible before your first classroom.  In addition, not everything that is in our written test is presented in the classroom, so the best way to be prepared for passing our written test is by studying it.  You will receive a link to this handbook in your confirmation letter when you register

DMV Motorcycle Handbook:

  • This is in the same link that the MTC Handbook is in

DMV Driver's Handbook:

  • If you have not yet gotten your California Driver's license you should make sure to study this as there are a few questions from it on our written test

BRING TO ALL SESSIONS:
Identification(ID):

  • you do not need a driver’s license or permit to take this class. You only need to be at least 15.5 years old, and have a valid, government- issued photo ID of any kind. It does not matter what government issued it, or if it allows you to drive. If your ID does not meet these requirements and/or if you bring a different one than you presented at your other sessions you will not be let into class or you will be dropped from the class and will have to pay a $100 fee to return as a drop in/standby student.  To indicate an ID that is from another country or that is not a driver's license enter ff where you would put usually indicate the state(ex: CA for California, TX for Texas)
    • MINORS MUST PRING A PARENT/GUARDIAN: If you are under 18, in addition to following all of the other rules, your parent/guardian MUST:
      • attend the first classroom with you until you are checked in
      • also bring their valid, government- issued photo ID
      • sign the minor waiver in front of the instructor
BRING TO BOTH RIDING SESSIONS:
  • BOOTS: Sturdy over-the-ankle footwear that provides ankle support/reinforcement/padding is required. Most laced and tied hiking boots or high tops will do as long as they are laced up the way the manufacturer intended in to order to provide ankle support. High tops or boots that merely cover the ankle but do not provide ankle support(ex: Chuck Taylor high tops) will NOT be accepted.  Motorcycle-specific footwear is highly recommended, but must meet the above requirements
  • LONG SLEEVED SHIRT/JACKET: A motorcycle-specific jacket is recommended but is not always practical if it is too hot, so bring layers that allow no skin/ wrists showing when seated on the motorcycle and arms outstretched to ride.
  • DURABLE PANTS: Long, non-flared, durable pants without any rips or holes is required. Jeans made out of denim are acceptable, but stretch pants or stretch fabric (including 'jeggings') are not. Pants must cover all of the leg when seated on the motorcycle with feet up on the foot pegs - no skin/socks, etc. showing.
  • GLOVES: Full- fingered gloves of a durable material are required. Many motorcycle shops carry very reasonably priced street- specific motorcycle gloves, but full- fingered leather work gloves are acceptable and can usually be found very cheap at any hardware store. Off- road motorcycle gloves, leather dress gloves, ski gloves, and work gloves of material other or that are not durable and will NOT be accepted
  • RAIN GEAR: We do NOT cancel for rain. It is surprising how cold you can get even at the low speeds you will be riding in our course, and hard it can be to do even the most basic maneuvers when your teeth are chattering, so come prepared if rain and/or cold weather is expected
  • HELMETS are required gear and are provided by us, so you do not need to provide one.  You may bring your own DOT full- face helmet if you like, but if the instructor cannot verify that it meets our needs you will have to use one of ours.  We do not allow helmets that are not full- face for our beginning classes.  We strongly recommend you wait until after you take the class so you may make an educated decision about which kind of helmet is best for you, as a good helmet can be a very expensive investment
  • EYE PROTECTION: Must be shatter-resistant. Prescription glasses or sunglasses will suffice, but eye protection other than the face shield on a full face helmet is not necessary

What should I bring to the first class?

You MUST bring your valid (unexpired), government issued, photo identification to the first session, the same ID that you used to register for the course. Students who have not yet had their 18th birthday MUST be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

A minor's parent or legal guardian will be required to complete and sign an additional waiver in front of the instructor.

You do not need to bring your riding gear to the classroom sessions, however, when your riding session takes place on the same day as your classroom session it is HIGHLY recommended that you have your gear with you, as you may not have enough time to leave to get it.

Do I need to bring a helmet?

No, you do not need to bring a helmet.  We provide motorcycles and helmets.

May I bring my own hemet?

As long as your helmet is a DOT full- face helmet you may use it for our class.  If it is not, we will provide one for you to use.

Where can I get the riding gear for the course?

We do not loan any riding gear other than helmets.  We strongly recommend you wait until after the class to buy riding gear as good riding gear is an important investment and can be very expensive, and part of what is covered in class is what to look for in good riding gear.

Most people already own what is required for taking our class:

  • BOOTS: Sturdy over-the-ankle footwear that provides ankle support/reinforcement/padding is required. Most laced and tied hiking boots or high tops will do as long as they are laced up the way the manufacturer intended in to order to provide ankle support. High tops or boots that merely cover the ankle but do not provide ankle support(ex: Chuck Taylor high tops) will NOT be accepted.  Motorcycle-specific footwear is highly recommended, but must meet the above requirements
  • LONG SLEEVED SHIRT/JACKET: A motorcycle-specific jacket is recommended but is not always practical if it is too hot, so bring layers that allow no skin/ wrists showing when seated on the motorcycle and arms outstretched to ride.
  • DURABLE PANTS: Long, non-flared, durable pants without any rips or holes is required. Jeans made out of denim are acceptable, but stretch pants or stretch fabric (including 'jeggings') are not. Pants must cover all of the leg when seated on the motorcycle with feet up on the foot pegs - no skin/socks, etc. showing.
  • GLOVES: Full- fingered gloves of a durable material are required. Many motorcycle shops carry very reasonably priced street- specific motorcycle gloves, but full- fingered leather work gloves are acceptable and can usually be found very cheap at any hardware store. Off- road motorcycle gloves, leather dress gloves, ski gloves, and work gloves of material other or that are not durable and will NOT be accepted
  • RAIN GEAR: We do NOT cancel for rain. It is surprising how cold you can get even at the low speeds you will be riding in our course, and hard it can be to do even the most basic maneuvers when your teeth are chattering, so come prepared if rain and/or cold weather is expected
  • HELMETS are required gear and are provided by us, so you do not need to provide one.  You may bring your own DOT full- face helmet if you like, but if the instructor cannot verify that it meets our needs you will have to use one of ours.  We do not allow helmets that are not full- face for our beginning classes.  We strongly recommend you wait until after you take the class so you may make an educated decision about which kind of helmet is best for you, as a good helmet can be a very expensive investment
  • EYE PROTECTION: Must be shatter-resistant. Prescription glasses or sunglasses will suffice, but eye protection other than the face shield on a full face helmet is not necessary

What did we miss? Feel free to Contact us if you can't find what you need.