Pocket bikes are forbidden on “highways.” According to the California Vehicle Code Section 360, a highway is “a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. Highway includes street.”
This means that pocket bikes cannot be ridden by anyone at anytime on any publicly owned property, including roads, streets, alleys, public parking lots, and streets. Pocket bikes can only be ridden on private property.
If you decide to operate a pocket bike on the highway, you are subject to being cited for any and all of the following violations of the California Vehicle Code:
- Section 27803(a) VC – Helmet required.
- Section 12500(a) VC – Unlicensed driver.
- Section 12500(b) VC – License out of class.
- Section 24600 VC – Taillamp required during darkness.
- Section 24253 VC – Battery required.
- Section 24603 VC – Stoplamp required at all times.
- Section 24607 VC – Red rear reflectors required.
- Section 24951(b)(4) VC – Lamp-type turn signal system required (if capable of more than 30 mph).
- Section 25650.5 VC – Lighted headlamp required when engine is running.
- Section 26103 VC – DOT headlamp required.
- Section 24400 VC – Headlamp height – between 22 and 54 inches.
- Section 26311 VC – Brakes on both wheels.
- Section 26709 VC – Mirror required.
- Section 27000 VC – Horn required.
- Section 27150 VC – Muffler preventing excessive or unusual noise.
- Section 27155 VC – Fuel Tank Cap.
- Section 27465(b)(1) VC – Tire tread depth; minimum of 1/32 inch on any two adjacent grooves.
- Section 27501(b) VC – DOT tires required.
If a pocket bike driver does not possess a valid driver license, the mini-motorcycle is subject to impound and storage for up to 30 days. Costs associated with impounding of a vehicle for unlicensed driver activity can easily exceed $1,000.
For additional information on pocket bike laws, see the California Highway Patrol Website.