Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements in Wisconsin
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Before you're allowed to take your cycle on the streets, you need to show that you meet the minimum financial responsibility requirements mandated by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).
Accidents can be costly, and can cause financial destruction to those involved. So, the state needs to have some sort of assurance that you have the means of dealing with the possible expenses. Most cyclists choose vehicle liability insurance to meet this requirement.
Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility
There are three acceptable ways of proving to WisDOT that you're financially responsible enough to ride your bike throughout the state:
- Carrying a liability policy that includes bodily injury and property damage coverage.
- Posting a bond issued by an insurance company.
- Placing a cash deposit of $60,000 with WisDOT.
Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined
Trying to figure out if a cycle qualifies as a motorcycle under Wisconsin's complex laws can be confusing. You can always call WisDOT at (608) 266-2353, though, for help with this.
Here's a summary of some pertinent vehicle definitions:
- Type 1 Motorcycle―A motor vehicle that has a power source as an integral part of the vehicle, can travel over 30 mph, has two wheels in tandem, and is built for one rider.
- Type 2 Motorcycle―A motor vehicle designed to have at least three wheels, and that weighs less than 1,500 pounds (such as a golf cart).
- Motorbike ―A bicycle with a power unit added that can't reach speeds of 30 mph.
- Moped ―A vehicle that has a seat for the operator, a power source as an integral part of the vehicle, and can't travel at over 30 mph.
Please see the state's Motorcyclists' Handbook for more complete definitions.
If you choose to meet your financial obligation by going the insurance route, you must have at least the following types and levels of protection:
- $25,000 of bodily injury coverage for injuries or death to one person in a single accident
- $50,000 of bodily injury coverage for injuries or deaths to more than one person in a single accident
- $10,000 of property damage coverage for damages occurring in a single accident
Although meeting these standards allow you to conform with the state's requirements, most financial professionals advise having much more extensive insurance protection than this. Please refer to our Types of Coverage section to learn why, and to read about the different coverages available.
How Coverage Affects Helmet Requirements
Unlike some states, Wisconsin doesn't relax the financial responsibility standards for those who wear a helmet while riding.
Remember, if you're younger than 18 years old or you only have an instruction permit, you must a wear helmet when riding.
WisDOT may not automatically hear from your insurance company about your coverage. Some insurers will send your insurance information electronically to the WisDOT; others will simply give you a completed SR-22 form, which you need to show whenever required to do so.
What happens if you have no proof of insurance when involved in an accident or are pulled over for a traffic violation?
You'll have the opportunity later to prove that you were covered by insurance at the time of the incident. However, if you can't provide such proof, you could face license and registration suspension.
If that happens, you'll need to provide proof of current insurance (and do so for the next three years), and pay at least $50 in reinstatement fees to get your license and registration back.
In This Section
Other Topics in This Section
- Auto Insurance Requirements
Wisconsin car insurance information center. What insurance to buy in Wisconsin, how to decide, compare policies, purchase WI car insurance.
- Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements
WI financial responsibility requirements for your moped, atv, scooter or motorcycle. Protect your bike and your liability in Wisconsin by purchasing motorcycle insurance.
- Commercial Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements
Commercial vehicle insurance requirements in WI. Protect your rig or your fleet by maintaining proper financial responsibility on your commercial vehicles in Wisconsin.
- Penalties For Driving Without Insurance
Learn More On Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In Your State. No Insurance Violations Vary By State. Avoid Allowing You Car Insurance Policy To Lapse.
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