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motorcycles on Florida highway

What Are the Laws for Motorcycles in Florida?

In Florida, motorcycles are considered motor vehicles and subject to State Uniform Traffic Control. There are also special rules just for motorcyclists. From getting a motorcycle endorsement to wearing the proper gear to riding safely and having insurance, you will need to abide by the law.

Keep reading to learn more about Florida motorcycle laws.

Do You Need a Motorcycle License in Florida?

Yes. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:

Being properly licensed is required by law and is one of the first steps to becoming a safe rider.”

To add a motorcycle endorsement to your driver’s license or hold a ‘Motorcycle Only’ license, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Hold a Learner’s License for one (1) year with no convictions (if under 18).
  • Take and pass the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) or Basic RiderCourse updated (BRCu) through a Florida Rider Training Program authorized sponsor.
  • Have a valid Class E operator’s driver license (for the motorcycle endorsement).
  • Pass the written test for a Class E license (for the ‘Motorcycle Only license’).

For more information about getting a motorcycle license in Florida, please see section 322.12(5)(a) of the 2020 Florida Statutes.

Is It Legal to Ride a Motorcycle Without a Helmet in Florida?

Everyone who operates or rides upon a motorcycle in Florida must wear a helmet or “protective headgear” UNLESS they are over 21 years of age and covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits.

Motorcyclists and moped riders must also have other special equipment, as specified by section 316.211 of the 2020 Florida Statutes, “Equipment for motorcycle and moped riders.”

Is It Legal for Motorcycles to Drive Between Cars in Florida?

No, “lane splitting” or passing in the same lane is not legal in Florida. Per section 316.209:

The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken,”

and

No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.”

On the road, motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other motor vehicles on the roadway.

Other Relevant Laws

Like cars and trucks, motorcycles must have working brakes, functional exhaust systems, mirrors, headlights, taillights, stop lamps, and turn signals. Tags are also required on the rear registration plate, which must be illuminated. Additionally, motorcycles need a rear red reflector and have handlebar restrictions (the handlebar’s height cannot be higher than the operator’s shoulders).

Motorcyclists must also follow all the same traffic laws as other drivers, and they cannot ride more than two abreast in a single lane of traffic nor perform stunts on the roadway. Motorcyclists must sit on the seat, keep both wheels on the ground, face forward, have both hands on the handlebars, and have one leg on each side of the motorcycle.

There are also special laws for motorcycle passengers. For example, passengers must be helmeted and ride on a seat with footrests or in a sidecar.

What If I Break the Law?

Breaking Florida motorcycle laws can lead to motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, following all the appropriate laws isn’t always enough to keep you safe.

If someone else’s negligence caused or contributed to your accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit – even if you were not abiding by all motorcycle laws at the time of the accident.

Motorcycle accidents are typically much more severe for the motorcyclist, so it is worth discussing your case with an attorney.

If you want to know more about your rights and legal options after a motorcycle crash, Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC is here to help 24/7. Our legal team has over 70 years of combined legal experience.

We work hard for the injured, and we will work hard for you, too.

Call us at (866) 675-4427 or contact us online to get started today.

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