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To start off this post I would like to say that I am 16, going into the California DMV tomorrow to get my learners permit for a car, and need clarification on this vehicle. So to begin this whole fiasco of wrongful information my parents and I went into the polaris dealership near my hometown to look at the slingshots they had. The guy that helped us out said the only requirements to operate the slingshot was a class C license. He did not say anything about a motorcycle endorsement or permit or anything of the sort (or about wearing a helmet) but on the Polaris website it states that California is a state that classifies this vehicle as a motor cycle. So we get home and I call the local DMV telling them the situation and they told me that the minimum requirements for a person my age was to pass the exams, the safety test, and get my motorcycles permit then I could drive off in my slingshot the day I received my permit.
So now I have 2 different and conflicting statements from high profile places that I think would know which is correct, and to top it all off I had talked today not even 2 hours ago with a Local CHP Officer who teaches a motorcycles safety course and he says that to drive the slingshot I need a Class C license, A motorcycle permit (atleast) and requires a helmet when operating.

So if there is anyone in Ca that has gone through this process and can clarify this for me that would be great especially if they know anything that would help me seeing as I am sixteen.
 

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Very interesting, this will probably confuse the issue even more, sorry.
CVC states that only a class C is required to drive a three wheeled vehicle (CVC 12804.9). I do not however think they will allow you to test in it for your class C since it is still classified as a motorcycle (thus still needing a helmet until it is ruled on whether it is "fully enclosed" with rollbar and cage). You, also do not have a class C license, you have a provisional, and cannot do many things a fully licensed driver can do. That may be why they require you to have an M1 also.
The question I have; If you get your M1 permit as well, can you drive your Slingshot by yourself without a licensed adult passenger, the same as if it were a motorcycle?
 

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Huggy,

I read this and didn't have time to respond originally. I can give you many reasons for not taking a driving test in a SS. I more so want to address driving in general. I would never put someone in a SS as the vehicle they learn about driving in. No doubt you could become remarkably skilled in a SS. The problem is this is like wanting to be a world class sprinter without knowing how to crawl. The point of a learners permit is to learn, not just to get road time. I suggest if you can afford it you learn to drive in an old car and then an old bike, then get into a SS. See my post elsewhere on how much a tire effects the SS. Here is why I'm saying any of this. An older car will make you learn to steer. You need to understand under steer and over steering. Riding a bike is the same in that you will be more aware, open, you will learn skills needed to make good decisions the SS will just let you gloss over. On a motorcycle you are a functional part of it. Riding makes you tired, you are a part of it's balance at all times. You have to have a sharper mind to operate a bike. The SS has a computer doing a lot for you. Without the other experiences you won't know what it is doing or how to handle it if it goes out while your driving. I've had some pretty weird things fail or go wrong while driving. I've never been hurt in a motor vehicle. I have been hurt on a motor vehicle. I've never injured anyone else. I always say it is fine to choose to risk you own person, but how would you feel if someone else pays for your mistake? I'm addressing your education. The SS is a thing all of it's own.

I think it's important for you to understand what other peoples functions are here. The DMV is not there to tell you if it is more car or motorcycle. They may try to help you interpret the codes their agency puts out, these are not the same thing. The vehicle code is a legal document. Ultimately the person or persons you interact with are there to give you information, and protect you and the out going public from getting hurt. When something is presented they don't understand they will lean on the safest answers, even if they are wrong.

As the first people on this front, it's our responsibility to educate people on it, if we want it to flourish. The DMV will look at it as classified as a motorcycle and apply those rules. I can tell you the SS will not make it through the Motorcycle test course as it exists today. It cannot make the hairpin turn, it's turning radius is to large. This is all advice is what I'd give my son or daughter if they asked me.
 

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As the first people on this front, it's our responsibility to educate people on it, if we want it to flourish. The DMV will look at it as classified as a motorcycle and apply those rules. I can tell you the SS will not make it through the Motorcycle test course as it exists today. It cannot make the hairpin turn, it's turning radius is to large.
Doesn't California have a course specifically for three wheeled motorcycles? Here in Oregon there is a separate course for three wheeled motorcycles in which the SlingShot can navigate, it's tight, but it can be done

Bill
 

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I took the rider safety course and driving skills test in my late 20's. I had been racing since I was 5. I never used a front break until I was in the class. In racing grabbing the front break equals over the bars and a loss of teeth. I even had them removed from my bikes. In the course you get 3 tries to do a controlled skid with both wheels locked. I was teachers pet in the class. On this part I almost failed, I was wired to never do this. I got it on the 3rd try.
 

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Although I cannot speak to the rules concerning provisional DL's in CA., I can speak to driving a slingshot in CA. Although registered as a motorcycle- the similarity stops there. In no way of shape does it handle like a motorcycle!
California helmet law is ambiguous. It has not fully defined "enclosed". MOST LEO will not ticket for no helmet- there have been some that have. Some people win their cases some don't. Having been on 2 wheels before, there is not a prayer inhale that I would ever drive without at least a shorty hemet and eye shield. I am not in the mood for a rock in the head- or heaven forbid- my eye. Just know that you run the risk of being pulled over more frequently, if you do not have a helmet. At your young age, I would recommend wearing one..........
As far as safety goes..... If you are going to be a jack-lick and do burnouts for the buddies- probably not a wise choice. If you are going to be a responsible driver, maybe take driving lessons, get lots pf practice one quiet streets- doing RESPONSIBLE, DEFENSIVE driving- I would say go for it. It does take time to learn where that center back wheel is- you can't just go over road debris. These vehicles SUCK in very wet weather- particularly for a novice driver, but understand that hydroplaning has gotten the better of many top-notch, experienced drivers. In very wet weather- they absolutely DO NOT handle like a car or a motorcycle. If I had a kid just getting his license, and he had 2 feet on the ground, not prone to grandstanding, , and understood the slingshot's limitations in the heavy rain....... I would let him get one. (With helmet mandatory.) I would prefer he had a slingshot over a 2-wheeler, any day. Just my 2 cents
 
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