What Are the Motorcycle Helmet Laws by State?

Whether you just got a new Harley-Davidson or you’re veteran rider, it’s vital to be familiar with motorcycle helmet laws in your state and beyond state lines. If you’re cruising around Sacramento, for example, you must follow the greater California motorcycle helmet law, which mandates all drivers and passengers must wear a U.S. Department of Transportation compliant helmet. Additionally, the State of California strongly suggests riders wear proper eye protection and clothing for added safety. Before you fire up your new Harley-Davidson Sportster from Harley-Davidson of Sacramento, prepare the proper gear and familiarize yourself with the motorcycle helmet laws for each state, listed below.

What States Have Motorcycle Helmet Laws?

In addition to California, you’ll need to be aware of other states’ laws. If you’re going for the long haul and crossing state lines, the following 20 states (as well as D.C., Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) have universal helmet laws that require drivers and passengers to wear helmets:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oregon
  • Puerto Rico
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virgin Islands
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

28 States and Guam have helmet requirements for specific types of riders:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Three states have no helmet laws:

  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • New Hampshire

Practice Safe Motorcyclist Behaviors

As a motorcyclist, you unfortunately can’t always expect other Folsom or Rocklin drivers to see you. As well as properly wearing your helmet, the California Department of Motor Vehicles encourages motorcyclists who ride a Harley-Davidson or any other brand of bike to practice these safe riding habits:

  • Stay visible
  • Communicate your intentions
  • Maintain an adequate space when following and being followed
  • Remain alert at all times, but especially in heavier traffic
  • Scan your path of travel and think 10-15 seconds ahead
  • Identify hazards
  • Be prepared to act
  • Know proper collision-avoidance techniques

Shop Helmets at Harley-Davidson of Sacramento

Should you have any more questions about motorcycle laws per state, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Harley-Davidson of Sacramento. We’re happy to assist you with any inquiries about how you can be as safe as possible on your new Harley-Davidson. First time rider? Sign up for our Riding Academy classes!

Harley-Davidson of Sacramento 38.605796, -121.443579.