As previously blogged, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course counts as the riding portion of the tests required to attain a Class-M California driver's license. A trip to the DMV is still required for the written portion, however. For me, this translated into three soul-sucking hours at the Laguna Hills DMV office in lines that make the ones at Disneyland seem like rides in themselves.
That's lines--plural--because choosing to take one's written test and transfering the title of a bike to one's name involves two separate transactions and, therefore, two separate waiting numbers.
Changing the title was another crushing wait in a sea of apathetic faces. But if you buy a used bike from a private owner, be sure to bring in the title itself. A bill of sale does not suffice, and you'll only have to come back to wait in more lines once you get the title.
One agitated gentleman was unsuccessfully trying to convince the DMV employee that his hand-written bill of sale would be enough to transfer title on his jet ski. He was wrong. But his red, enraged face did lend some needed color in the beige-and-white room.
Once at the front, it cost me a ridiculous $175 to change the title and register the bike. There were all sorts of taxes and confusing acronyms with dollar signs attached to them on the receipt, so I'm still not sure exactly what I paid for. It hurt me, but I did my best to keep my strong face up.
That is, until I paid and was forced to wait in ANOTHER GOD DAMN LINE for a friggin' registration sticker. And it was at the next window from the change-title guy--roughly five feet away. Another 25 minutes to hand over a paper and receive a golden "2010" for my license plate. Why the guy couldn't have just turned his head and asked his co-worker for a sticker, I don't know, but it made me late for work.
Yes, it was cliche, but I feel a little better now. And now I'm legal to ride . . . once I get a helmet . . . and get insured.
Previously in Easy Writer:
The Newbie Motorcyclist's Journey Begins
Part 2: Gettin' Greasy
Part 3: Learning to Crawl