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Texas Motorcycle Laws You Should Know

Posted on November 25, 2023

Texas has a unique set of rules and regulations aimed at ensuring the safety of motorcyclists and others on the roads. Here are the laws that every rider should know.

Texas Motorcycle Laws You Should Know

Helmet Law

In Texas, it is a legal requirement for every motorcycle rider to wear a helmet. The helmet must also meet the safety standards established by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). As a result, a DOT-approved sticker must be affixed to the back of the helmet. Wearing a helmet is not only a legal obligation but also a crucial safety measure to safeguard against potential head injuries in the event of an accident. 

Nevertheless, there are two exceptions. Riders 21 and above are not required by law to wear a helmet if they have successfully completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course or have evidence of health insurance coverage that would cover any injuries sustained while riding.

Licensing Requirements and Registration

Riding a motorcycle requires a distinct license endorsement, separate from the standard driver’s license. Acquiring a Class M license or an M endorsement involves successfully passing a written examination, a vision test, and a skills test. For individuals below the age of 18, completing a Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved motorcycle operator training course is mandatory. Keeping the appropriate license current is crucial to steer clear of legal complications and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

If you bought a motorcycle from a dealership, they will most likely handle the registration process for you. On the other hand, if you buy a motorcycle from a private party, you must register it yourself at a Texas DMV.  

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting involves riding a motorcycle between lanes of slow-moving or stationary traffic. Texas lacks specific regulations permitting or addressing lane splitting, rendering the practice illegal. It is strongly advised that riders avoid lane splitting to mitigate the risk of accidents and potential legal repercussions.

Motorcycle Insurance

Similar to operating any motor vehicle, maintaining appropriate insurance coverage is crucial when riding a motorcycle in Texas. State law dictates that all motorcycle owners must possess liability insurance to provide coverage for potential damages or injuries resulting from an accident. The minimum coverage requirements are:

  • $30,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 in total bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

Keep in mind that only liability coverage is required, which will not pay for your losses if you cause a collision. There are other forms of optional coverage you can consider adding on, such as collision coverage. 

Headlight Usage

Motorcyclists must keep their headlights illuminated at all hours, whether day or night. This requirement aims to improve visibility and facilitate the easier detection of motorcycles by other motorists. Alongside the headlight, motorcycles must be equipped with operational tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals. Regularly examining and upkeeping the lights on your motorcycle is essential. 

For help understanding how a Texas law can impact a motorcycle accident case or for a free case evaluation if you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact a trusted Waco motorcycle accident lawyer today.