Florida Motorcycle Helmet Laws Explained by Motorcycle Injury Lawyer

South Florida is a great place to ride a motorcycle. Knowing Florida’s helmet and motorcycle laws is essential to safe riding. Motorcyclists can ride in Florida year-round due to our great weather, and take advantage of incredible views. Whether you’re a commuter, or you enjoy riding along the ocean’s coast, passing through the Everglades, or even taking in the beauty of the 7-mile bridge in the Florida Keys; riding in Florida never disappoints.

Florida Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Infographic reads: Do you need a helmet to ride a motorcycle in Florida? If you're under 21 or don't have insurance, you need to wear a helmet in Florida. If you're over 21 and do have insurance, you do not have to wear a helmet on a motorcycle in Florida. Many people think Florida doesn’t have a motorcycle helmet law, but that’s not exactly the case. A rider can choose not to wear a helmet, but they need to be 21 or older AND they have an insurance policy with at least $10,000 worth of injury benefits in the event you’re in a motorcycle accident, according to Florida law 316.211(3b).

  • You must wear a motorcycle helmet in Florida if you are under 21-years old.
  • You do not need to wear a motorcycle helmet in Florida if you are over 21. But, legally, you need to have the right motorcycle insurance to not wear a helmet when you ride - even if you’re over 21.
  • Eye Protection: Even if you don’t wear a helmet, eye protection is still required for all Florida motorcyclists, according to Florida law 316.211(2).
  • Recommendations as Motorcycle injury attorneys:
    • We recommend wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle in Florida. Helmets can drastically reduce the risk of suffering from a traumatic brain injury or head injury if you’re in a motorcycle accident.
    • If you are in an accident, even if it is someone else’s fault, it’s possible for you to be found “negligent” for not wearing a helmet, which means you will get a smaller injury settlement. It depends on the court, but it’s likely to result in lesser damages awarded (which means a smaller monetary settlement for you if you’re injured in a motorcycle accident).

‚ÄčMotorcycle Lane Splitting is Illegal in Florida

Any South Florida driver or motorcyclist knows that people Lane Split in South Florida all the time. Even though the practice is common, it is actually illegal to lane split in Florida.

When you’re riding a motorcycle, lane splitting is when you pass in the same lane as a vehicle, or when you ride the center line between two vehicles.

  • Lane Splitting is illegal for motorcyclists in Florida. This means passing a car in the same lane, or riding between lanes is forbidden under Florida law.
  •  Motorcyclists in Florida are also only allowed to ride with up to two riders per lane. No more than “two abreast” motorcycles are allowed in a single lane under Florida law.

Florida Motorcycle Laws: Shared by Motorcycle Accident Attorney

To legally ride a motorcycle in Florida, there are a few other laws and regulations to be aware of. We’ll touch on those here.

  • You need a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license to ride a motorcycle in Florida lawfully. Special training is required to get a motorcycle endorsement on your license in Florida. Find out more about motorcycle endorsements in Florida’s law.
  • If you do not have a driver’s license, it’s still possible to get a motorcycle endorsement.
  • Tags Required for motorcyclists:
    • Rear exterior tags are required under Florida Law 316.605(1) 
    • The motorcycle license tag needs to be attached to the motorcycle permanently and clearly visible from the rear at all times
  • Additional Requirements for Florida Motorcyclists include:
    • Your motorcycle headlight must be on at all times, day or night.
    • Make sure your bike is equipped with a horn, footrests, handlebars, stop lamps, headlights, mirrors, rear red reflectors, taillights, and signals.
    • Seats are required for motorcyclists and any passengers, under Florida law 316.2085(1)
    • Handlebar restrictions: In Florida, the handlebars on your motorcycle cannot be higher than the rider’s shoulders.

Florida Motorcycle Insurance Laws

A man rides a motorcycle along the ocean in Florida. The bottom of the image says Florida motorcycle Accident Free ConsultationIf you ride with a helmet, Florida is the only state in the US that does not require you to have motorcycle insurance in order to ride. If you ride without a helmet, however, Florida law says you need to have at least $10,000 in health insurance benefits that will cover your own injuries.

The only other exception in Florida is that any rider who was involved in a crash involving injuries or other violations, Florida law will then require those riders to get and keep insurance for bodily injury and property damage liability for three years.

Even though insurance is optional for riders who wear helmets, it’s still strongly recommended that you get insurance. Especially since 1 in 5 Florida drivers do not have insurance, it makes it all the more important for you to have insurance as a motorcyclist because it guarantees that you’ll have insurance coverage in the unfortunate event that you’re injured while riding.

All motor vehicle drivers in Florida are legally supposed to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance policies. Even if you own a car and have this PIP policy, it doesn’t extend to you on a motorcycle in Florida.

Even though insurance isn’t technically required in Florida if you own a motorcycle, you will be penalized by the state if you’re involved in an accident and don’t have all the proper documentation.  If you’re at fault for an accident, you will be held financially responsible for the bodily injuries and property damage you caused.

While not legally required, getting insurance for your motorcycle is a wise idea in Florida. It both helps protect you if you’re injured in an accident, and in the event anyone sues you for any damages or injuries you caused. Whatever you would pay in insurance premiums over your lifetime will certainly cost less than one lawsuit against you.

Getting an insurance policy helps protect you and limits your liability exposure. Having insurance is also a  good idea if you ever ride your motorcycle outside the state of Florida, because other states do require you to have insurance.

Purchasing UM coverage (uninsured Motorist coverage) is also highly recommended, although not required, because usually the injuries sustained from motorcycle accidents exceed the limits that the minimum bodily injury insurance of another driver will cover. The UM insurance will also pay for your expenses after an accident if you’re injured by a driver who doesn’t have any car insurance or are injured in a hit and run accident.

Ways to get motorcycle insurance in Florida:

  • You can get liability insurance from a licensed Florida insurance carrier.
  • You can get a Financial Responsibility Certificate with the DHSMV. Then, you can get a Self-Insurance Certificate.
  • Remember: even though you’re not required to get insurance, if you’re charged with an accident you will be held financially responsible for any bodily injuries and property damage to others. Not having liability coverage can potentially lead to: having your driver’s license suspended, being required to purchase bodily injury and property damage insurance, and having to pay for any personal injury claims filed against you.

South Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney: Schedule your FREE Consultation Today

Working with Rosenberg Law Firm’s Motorcycle Injury Attorney is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Call for a FREE consultation: (954) 755-7803
  2. Hire our Motorcycle Injury lawyer (this costs you NOTHING out of pocket)
  3. We work to get you the best possible settlement you deserve after a motorcycle accident

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced Florida motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Coral Springs office directly at (954) 755-7803 to schedule your free consultation.

We proudly serve Florida residents including all of Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, and all points in between.

Andrew Rosenberg
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Helping Florida state residents with all of their estate planning and personal injury legal needs.
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