Basic Motorcycle Laws By State

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.If many of you like me, like to ride your motorcycle in different states, you would be surprised at the differences in the various laws of each state when it comes to riding your motorcycle.

Obviously, you should at least know the basic laws pertaining to riding your motorcycle in your home state.

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has on their website, a simple method by which you can find out the various laws pertaining to riding your motorcycle in the various states.

Please note that the link I am about to provide only provides the basics with respect to the motorcycle laws of each state. As you probably already know, the laws are much more complicated than the simple charts provided on the AMA website; however, it is a good reference chart, and starting point to find out the basic laws of each state.

I highly recommend that if you plan on riding out of state to check out the chart. For instance in California lane splitting is legal. I found out the hard way that in Nevada it is not.

To check out the AMA website, index of motorcycle laws for each state, click here now.

If you have any doubt as to the accuracy of the chart, you should always consult with an attorney.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, ESQ. , Copyright 2006

2 Responses to Basic Motorcycle Laws By State
  1. Anonymous
    March 4, 2007 | 4:02 pm

    Norm: What is lane splitting? I am trying to figure that one out. Never heard of that before reading your article.In Florida it is legal to change your pipes to custom…as of now. Everyone I ride with has changed their pipes, especially people with Harley’s because they are so quite right out of the showroom. We do not have the emissions thing that is going on in California. I did see in the newspaper where Jesse James was fined heavily for not having proper emissions on bikes he built and sold in California and had to make them right for the people who bought the bikes from him. Remember to tell me what lane splitting is??

  2. Norman Gregory Fernandez
    March 4, 2007 | 4:14 pm

    Lane splitting is riding in between cars. Let’s say you have two cars riding side by side in two different lanes; lane splitting is the process of riding in between the cars on the white line. In bumper to bumper traffic splitting is riding between the cars on the line.

    With respect to pipes; most everyone that I know changes their pipes out with aftermarket pipes too. The EPA (Federal Government) actually prohibits tampering with emissions (pipes) on all motor vehicles. The law is rarely enforced. Mostly bikers get stopped and ticketed for noise law violations. Under the new EPA law, any shop found to be installing after market pipes can get hit with heavy fines for each occurrence. We will see how this works out in practice. I know many local shops have received threat letters from the Feds.

    In California there have been rules for years that new motorcycles, cars, etc., must have a certain maximum emission standard. The EPA has adopted some of these rules for motorcycles. Jesse got busted for not complying with the manufacturing new motorcycle rules from what I know.


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