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California teen motorcycling law goes into effect Jan. 1

A new law heightening the requirements to earn a motorcycle license for teens and young adults in California takes effect Jan. 1.

Beginning in 2011, riders under the age of 21 will have to attend a 15-hour motorcycle skills and safety course before hitting the streets, according to a report from The Sacramento Bee. Currently, teens 15½ and older can ride a motorcycle after taking only a written exam.

Under the new law, once a teen has passed the $150 course, the rider earns a learner’s permit. With the permit, the cyclist can ride on streets but not freeways, cannot ride at night and cannot carry passengers. After six months, the teen receives a motorcycle license. Those under age 18 with a license are still given restrictions, however, including no riding between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and no passengers until the rider reaches age 20.

The course is administered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and authorized by the California Highway Patrol.

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