Get to Know Massachusetts Motorcycle Laws

Massachusetts Motorcycle Laws

As a motorcyclist, you must ensure that you understand and adhere to the motorcycle laws in the state in which you’re riding. Any time you ride your motorcycle in Massachusetts, you will need to abide by the state’s unique motorcycle laws. Otherwise, you risk receiving a ticket, license suspension, or fine. 

Here are the Massachusetts motorcycle laws you need to know:

Massachusetts Helmet Laws

Every state determines the helmet laws for riders within that state. In Massachusetts, every motorcycle rider and passenger must wear a helmet. 

Your helmet must meet requirements from the U.S. Department of Transportation. All helmets that meet these requirements contain a DOT sticker on the interior. 

You must also ensure that your helmet is secured adequately while riding. 

Motorcycle Equipment Laws

Your motorcycle must contain several pieces of safety equipment to be street legal in Massachusetts. These parts include the following:

  • Rearview mirrors
  • Fenders
  • Mufflers
  • Brakes
  • Headlights
  • Brakelights
  • A seat

Additionally, the handlebars cannot rise above your shoulders while properly seated on the motorcycle. 

If your motorcycle does not have a windshield or protective screen, you must wear eye protection while riding, such as eyeglasses, goggles, or a helmet with a shield. 

Licensing Requirements

In Massachusetts, you must obtain a Class M motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license to operate a motorcycle legally. The first step in this process is getting a motorcycle permit, which allows you to ride your bike under strict conditions. You’ll need to pass a written knowledge test to qualify for a permit. 

After you receive your permit, you will need to take an on-bike skills test to obtain your full motorcycle endorsement. 

Insurance Laws

Massachusetts motorcycle laws state the amount of insurance coverage you must hold as a motorcycle rider. Before you can legally operate your motorcycle on the road, you must have at least the following liability insurance coverage:

  • $20,000 bodily injury per person
  • $40,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $5,000 property damage

You must also have uninsured bodily injury motorist coverage, which would provide funds if another driver hit you and did not have insurance. These minimums are as follows:

  • $20,000 per person
  • $40,000 per accident 

While meeting these minimums can keep you legally compliant, you’ll probably want to go beyond these requirements if you can afford to. A severe accident can leave you with much more than $20,000 in medical bills. Additionally, these coverages do not provide any funds for your own injuries and damages in an at-fault accident. 

Lane Splitting Laws

Lane splitting is riding your motorcycle between two lanes of slowed or stopped vehicles moving in the same direction. This practice is illegal in Massachusetts.

Motorcycle Inspection Laws 

Massachusetts requires all vehicles to undergo an annual inspection. This law also applies to motorcycles. 

You will receive a notice in the mail with your annual registration containing details about where you can take your motorcycle for an inspection. The price for a motorcycle inspection is usually $15. 

Additionally, when you purchase a new motorcycle, you must take it for an inspection within seven days of registering it. These inspection laws are in place to ensure that all vehicles meet emissions and safety standards. 

Once your motorcycle passes an inspection, you will receive a sticker with the inspection date. If your bike fails the inspection, you cannot legally ride it in Massachusetts unless you fix the stated issues. 

Now that you know Massachusetts motorcycle laws, you can ride your motorcycle with confidence. If you ever become a motorcycle crash victim, Law Tigers can help. Contact our motorcycle accident attorneys today at 1-88-863-7216 to schedule your free consultation.