Current U.S. Motorcycle Laws as of December 2004



No Helmets Required                                                Helmets Required

Alaska                                                                          Alabama

Arizona                                                                        California

Arkansas                                                                      D.C

Colorado                      *                                              Georgia

Connecticut                                                                  Louisiana

Delaware                                                                      Maryland

Florida                                                                         Massachusetts

Hawaii                                                                          Michigan

Idaho                                                                           Mississippi

Illinois                           *                                              Missouri

Indiana                                                                         Nebraska

Iowa                            *                                              Nevada   

Kansas                                                                         New Jersey

Main                                                                            New York

Minnesota                                                                    North Carolina

Montana                                                                       Oregon

Mew Hampshire           *                                              Tennessee

New Mexico                                                                Vermont

North Dakota                                                               Virginia

Ohio                                                                             Washington

Oklahoma                                                                    West Virginia


Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota






I won’t go into all the specifics as there are too many variations. My list is for riders over 21 years of age.


Alaska's motorcycle helmet use law covers passengers of all ages, operators younger than 18, and operators with instructional permits.

In Florida and Kentucky, the law requires that all riders younger than 21 yrs. wear helmets, without exception. In Florida, those 21 yrs. and older may ride without helmets only if they can show proof that they are covered by a medical insurance policy. Texas exempts riders 21 yrs. or older if they either 1) can show proof of successfully completing a motorcycle operator training and safety course or 2) can show proof of having a medical insurance policy.

Motorcycle helmet laws in Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, and Wisconsin also cover operators with instructional/learner's permits. Maine's motorcycle helmet use law also covers passengers 14 years and younger and passengers if their operators are required to wear a helmet.

North Dakota's motorcycle helmet use law covers all passengers traveling with operators who are covered by the law.

Ohio's motorcycle helmet use law covers all operators during the first year of licensure and all passengers of operators who are covered by the law.

Rhode Island's motorcycle helmet use law covers all operators during the first year of licensure and all passengers. Pennsylvania's motorcycle helmet use law covers all operators during the first two years of licensure unless the operator has completed the safety course approved by the department or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.


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