Street Bike Helmet Laws

Before you head out on the road on your street bike, it’s important to know the laws for riding in your area. Depending on what state you’re in, you may be required to wear a helmet.

Helmet laws vary by state in the United States, falling into a few broad categories. Learn more about the types of helmet laws below, and be sure to find a helmet that follows your state’s guidelines from a trusted vendor of motorcycle parts online. Where a helmet is required, think of it as a stylish accessory like moose adv1 saddlebags or a functional riding upgrade like Progressive Suspension 422 Series Shocks.

Types of Bikes That Fall Under Helmet Laws

Statewide helmet laws determine whether motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet while they’re riding, regardless of where that riding is happening. Where helmets are required, you can find a stylish, comfortable choice that meets safety guidelines from a reputable seller of motorcycle parts online. Riders on street bikes – including roadsters, cruisiers, sport bikes, touring bikes, dual sport rides and super sport motorcycles – are subject to the law of the state they’re in.

Some states use the bike’s power to decide whether its rider will need to wear a helmet. Others set an upper limit for how fast the bike can go to decide if a helmet is required. States with helmet guidelines related to the type of bike include Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana and Nevada.

Types of Helmet Laws

There are three broad areas of motorcycle helmet laws in the U.S. They vary by state, with some states applying additional guidelines based on the age or experience of the rider.

  • Universal Helmet Laws: There are 19 states with universal helmet laws, meaning that a helmet is required for all riders. Some of those states have retained their rule from a previous federal law, passed in 1967, that required all riders in all states to wear a helmet. That law was overturned in 1976, leading to a state-by-state system for helmet regulations. States that require helmets for all riders, regardless of age or other factors, include: Alabama, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia.
  • States With Helmet Laws for Some Riders: Many states use the age of the rider to determine if they’ll be required to wear a helmet. The age minimum varies by state, so be sure to check your local guidelines before hitting the road. The most common guideline for these states is to require helmets for riders younger than 18, though some states set the minimum at age 21. A few states have additional guidelines that relate to how long the operator has been riding a motorcycle or the type of insurance they have. States with helmet laws that are contingent on age or other factors include: Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.
  • No Helmet Law: A handful of states do not require motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Those states are Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire.

Research the helmet laws in your area, then find a safe and reliable helmet choice from your favorite vendor of motorcycle parts online.