Linear Dynamical System (LDS) is an elegant mathematical framework for modeling and learning Multivariate Time Series (MTS). However, in general, it is difficult to set the dimension of an LDS's hidden state space. A small number of hidden states may not be able to model the complexities of a MTS, while a large number of hidden states can lead to overfitting. In this paper, we study learning methods that impose various regularization penalties on the transition matrix of the LDS model and propose a regularized LDS learning framework (rLDS) which aims to (1) automatically shut down LDSs' spurious and unnecessary dimensions, and consequently, address the problem of choosing the optimal number of hidden states; (2) prevent the overfitting problem given a small amount of MTS data; and (3) support accurate MTS forecasting. To learn the regularized LDS from data we incorporate a second order cone program and a generalized gradient descent method into the Maximum a Posteriori framework and use Expectation Maximization to obtain a low-rank transition matrix of the LDS model. We propose two priors for modeling the matrix which lead to two instances of our rLDS. We show that our rLDS is able to recover well the intrinsic dimensionality of the time series dynamics and it improves the predictive performance when compared to baselines on both synthetic and real-world MTS datasets.