Home Latest Your Complete State-by-State Guide to Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Your Complete State-by-State Guide to Motorcycle Helmet Laws

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If you’ve ever owned or considered owning a motorcycle, then you’re no doubt familiar with helmet laws. It may seem like common sense to wear a helmet, but only 19 states actually require all riders to wear a helmet. In most states, it’s legal to ride without a helmet for riders at least 21 years of age. In states that do require helmets, they will likely need to be DOT-approved models. To learn more about motorcycles and automotive technology in general, you might check out this automotive & diesel technology college in NY.

For now, here is a simplified list of the motorcycle helmet laws by state:

Alabama

Universal helmet laws, which also apply to mopeds.

Alaska

All passengers and persons under 18 must wear a helmet. This also applies to those with a motorcycle instruction permit or those taking a road test.

Arizona

All riders and passengers under 18 must wear a helmet.

Arkansas

All riders under the age of 21 must wear a helmet.

California

All passengers, including those of mopeds, must wear a helmet.

Colorado

Riders and passengers under the age of 18 must wear a DOT-approved helmet.

Connecticut

All riders and passengers under 18 must wear a helmet.

Delaware

Anyone operating a motorcycle must possess a helmet, and anyone under the age of 19 must wear a DOT-approved helmet.

Florida

Riders under the age of 21 must wear helmets, and all other riders need helmets unless covered by an insurance policy for at least $20,000 in medical expenses.

Georgia

Universal helmet laws requiring a DOT-approved helmet.

Hawaii

Anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet.

Idaho

Anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet.

Illinois

No helmet requirements.

Indiana

Anyone under the age of 18 or in possession of a learner’s permit must wear a helmet.

Iowa

No helmet requirements.

Kansas

Anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet and eye protection.

Kentucky

Anyone under the age of 21, in possession of a learner’s permit, or has had a motorcycle license for less than 1 year must wear a helmet.

Louisiana

Universal helmet laws.

Maine

Operators under 18 years of age, in possession of a learner’s permit, or who have only had a motorcycle license for under 1 year must wear a helmet. This also applies to their passengers.

Maryland

Universal helmet laws requiring DOT-approved helmets.

Massachusetts

Universal helmet laws requiring DOT-approved helmets.

Michigan

Anyone under the age of 21 must wear a helmet. Anyone over the age of 21 must wear a helmet unless covered by an insurance policy of at least $20,000 in medical expenses. This also applies to passengers.

Minnesota

Anyone under 18 years of age or in possession of an instructor permit must wear a DOT-approved helmet.

Mississippi

Universal helmet laws.

Missouri

Universal helmet laws also applying to passengers.

Montana

Anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet.

Nebraska

Universal helmet laws also applying to passengers.

Nevada

Universal helmet laws requiring a DOT-approved helmet. Also applies to passengers.

New Hampshire

Anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet. Also applies to passengers.

New Jersey

Universal helmet laws also applying to passengers.

New Mexico

Anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet. Also applies to passengers.

New York

Universal helmet laws requiring a DOT-approved helmet. Also applies to passengers.

North Carolina

Universal helmet laws requiring the helmet to be approved by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. Also applies to mopeds.

North Dakota

Anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet. Also applies to passengers.

Ohio

Anyone under the age of 18 or anyone with a “novice” designation on their motorcycle license must wear a helmet.

Oklahoma

Universal helmet laws with persons under 18 years of age required to wear a DOT-approved helmet.

Oregon

Universal helmet laws requiring a DOT-approved helmet. This also applies to mopeds.

Pennsylvania

Anyone under 21 years of age is required to wear a helmet. Afterwards the only ways to opt out of wearing a helmet are to have 2 years driving experience or to complete an approved motorcycle safety course.

Rhode Island

Anyone under 21 years of age is required to wear a helmet in addition to anyone who has had their motorcycle license for less than 1 year.

South Carolina

Anyone under 21 years of age is required to wear a helmet. Also applies to passengers.

South Dakota

Anyone under 18 years of age must wear a helmet.

Tennessee

Universal helmet laws requiring a DOT-approved helmet.

Texas

Anyone under 21 years of age is required to wear a helmet. Afterwards opting out is an option after providing proof of health insurance that offers benefits in case of an accident.

Utah

Anyone under 18 years of age is required to wear a helmet. Also applies to passengers.

Vermont

Universal helmet laws also applying to passengers.

Virginia

Universal helmet laws also applying to passengers.

Washington

Universal helmet laws requiring DOT-approved helmets. Also applies to passengers.

West Virginia

Universal helmet laws requiring DOT-approved helmets. Also applies to passengers.

Wisconsin

Anyone under 18 years of age or possessing an instructor permit must wear a helmet.

Wyoming

Anyone under 18 years of age must wear a helmet.

Depending on your state, you may have some options regarding helmet use, although wearing a helmet is always advisable. In most cases, it won’t affect your insurance rates, but it can help you avoid motorcycle accident negligence. Enjoy the freedom and thrill of riding a motorcycle, but for your own sake and the sake of others, be smart about it.

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