New Resident Guide for Motorcycle Riders

By: Kathy Teel July 9, 2012
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When you relocate to a new state, one of the first things you have to do is learn about the differences in traffic laws. Motorcycle riders especially need to be aware of how they might be affected by motorcycle laws in their new home state.

While many people will move easily from one state to another, it is not uncommon for a state to require someone to retake their motorcycle driving test, or to retrofit their bikes to meet new state specifications.

Motorcycle Laws in Different States

Motorcycle laws differ from place to place. Below are some questions to ask about motorcycle laws when you move from one state to another:

  • Does my new state accept the motorcycle license/endorsement from my old state?
  • If not, are motorcycle practice tests and road sign practice tests available to help me study for the driving test?
  • Is eye protection required under current motorcycle laws?
  • What is the maximum handlebar height allowed in this state? What is the minimum?
  • Are there restrictions on the use of helmet speakers?
  • Does my new state have a list of acoustical criteria? (In other words, how loud can my motorcycle be and not get a ticket?
  • Are two motorcycles allowed to operate abreast in the same lane?
  • How often must I have my motorcycle inspected?
  • What are the motorbike insurance requirements?
  • What is the minimum operator age?
  • At what age may a person get a motorcycle permit?
  • Must I have rider education certification in order to operate my motorcycle?
  • Is a safety helmet required for passengers under the age of 18?
  • Are turn signals, mufflers, and side mirrors required?
  • How long do I have after moving to a new state to register my motorcycle?
  • Once I have a motorcycle license issued from my new state, how long do I have before I have to renew it?

Moving your Motorcycle to a New State

When you move to a new state, make sure to check with your local DMV about your new state’s requirements for driving a motorbike. You should also check out your new state's motorcycle manual for traffic laws, road signs and safe-riding tips. Motorcycles can be fun and efficient, and if you meet all the guidelines, you can drive yours for years to come.

Are you a biker who's recently moved to a new state? How did you learn your new home's motorcycle laws and other requirements?

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