Motorcyclists

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The chart below describes the statewide motorcyclist helmet use laws across the country. Use the arrows below the chart to toggle through the states in alphabetical order. To advance slowly, click the single right arrow (>). To jump to the end, click the double arrows (>>). Or use the filter by state feature to jump to a specific state.
 
Scroll down for a summary overall totals of the number of states that have specific provisions.

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas
Motorcycle Helmet Required?

Universal helmet law enacted 1967

Motorcycle Helmet Required?

Helmet required for riders under 18 or with instructional permit; all passengers must wear helmet. Universal helmet law repealed 1976.

Motorcycle Helmet Required?

Helmets required for riders under 18. Universal helmet law repealed 1976.

Motorcycle Helmet Required?

Helmets required for riders under 21. Universal helmet law repealed 1997.

Motorcycle Helmet Required?

Universal helmet law enacted 1967

Motorcycle Helmet Required?

Helmet required for riders under 18 or with instructional permit; all passengers must wear helmet. Universal helmet law repealed 1976.

Motorcycle Helmet Required?

Helmets required for riders under 18. Universal helmet law repealed 1976.

Motorcycle Helmet Required?

Helmets required for riders under 21. Universal helmet law repealed 1997.

Motorcyclists

In 1967, the federal government required states to enact universal motorcycle helmet laws to qualify for certain highway safety funds. By 1975, all but three had complied. In 1976, Congress revoked federal authority to assess penalties for noncompliance, and states began to weaken helmet laws to apply only to young or novice riders.

Currently, about half the states require helmets for all motorcyclists. Most other states require helmets for certain riders, and a few have no helmet law. GHSA urges all states to adopt a universal motorcycle helmet law and vigorously enforce existing laws.

  • 47 states, D.C., Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have a helmet law for motorcyclists.
    • 18 states, D.C., the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have a universal helmet law, requiring helmets for all riders.
    • 29 states and Guam require helmets for specific riders.
  • Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire are the only states that do not have motorcycle helmet laws.

NOTE: GHSA does not compile any additional data on helmet laws other than what is presented here. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Offices.