A Street Legal Dirt Bike in California is a bike with functional side mirrors, lights, and windshield. Also, it must have all other equipment conventional vehicles have. To make your dirt bike street legal, it must meet the state’s emission requirements.
As a matter of fact, it is better to buy a street-legal dirt bike than to make your dirt bike street legal. To get this kind of bike, check out California’s list of compliant bikes on its DMV website.
Dirt bikes are not street legal in California. In fact, the California government classifies it as off-highway vehicles (OHV). They are subject to the state’s cumbersome emissions rules. To ride them legally, you must be certified by California’s Air Resource Board (CARB).
Usually, CARB awards Red or Green stickers to all OHVs, even dirt bikes. If yours was produced in 2003 or later, you can ride it on OHV roads all year round. But if yours is an old model with poor emissions with a red sticker can operate seasonally. If your bike does not have a green sticker from CARB, it’s not street legal. Even green-stickered OHV’s are not really street legal. Green stickered bikes meet the emission standard dictated by California or they have customized designs. If you buy green stickered dirt bikes in California, they may not have the equipment that will help you drive safely on the road.
A California visitor driving a dirt bike registered in another state is not subject to this law. But if you move to California, register your dirt bike.
Now, to make your dirt bike street legal in California, buy a model that meets the state’s emissions and high-way safety standards. With this, you can save a lot of money instead of converting your bike to a street legal one. The customization process is super expensive. This is because you will need conventional motorcycle features like windshields, horns, brakes, and so on. It will as well need 2 fees and 2 forms of registration. Also, the emission system of any modified bike has to be inspected to make sure it rhymes with California’s emissions requirements.
Once your dirt bike becomes street legal, you must carry insurance. In California, most vehicles get equal treatment for insurance purposes. All riders such as a motorcycle or car drivers carry the same insurance. If you have a dirt bike that has met all of CARB’s requirements, go ahead to insure it. However, if it does not meet the requirements try to customize it and make it street legal.