Minnesota Motorcycle Laws

Minnesota Motorcycle Laws

If you’re planning to operate a motorcycle in Minnesota any time soon, you’ll want to be aware of Minnesota motorcycle laws. Every state has slightly unique motorcycle laws. Understanding the laws in your state can ensure that you remain compliant as you ride and help you prevent accidents. 

Read on to learn the Minnesota motorcycle laws you should know. 

Minnesota Helmet Laws

Each state across the U.S. has different laws about wearing helmets while riding a motorcycle. In Minnesota, all riders under 18 must wear a DOT-approved helmet while riding a motorcycle. Additionally, all riders holding a permit must wear a helmet. 

Even though helmets are not required for every rider in Minnesota, we highly recommend wearing one. Motorcycle fatalities are all too common in Minnesota, but wearing a helmet can significantly decrease your risk of dying in a motorcycle crash. 

Minnesota Motorcycle Passenger Laws

You may bring a passenger with you on your motorcycle under certain circumstances. Here are Minnesota’s passenger laws:

  • All passengers must have a designated seat on the motorcycle.
  • Passengers 18 and younger must wear a helmet while riding. 
  • Passengers must be tall enough to reach the footrests while riding. 
  • Passengers and operators must face toward the front of the bike with one leg on each side. 

Motorcycle Insurance Laws

All motorcycle riders must be insured in Minnesota. Additionally, you must carry minimum amounts of liability insurance according to Minnesota law:

  • $30,000 bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $10,000 property damage per accident

However, we recommend obtaining other types of insurance coverage to expand your policy. 

For example, comprehensive coverage can protect your motorcycle against damage caused outside of an accident. Meanwhile, uninsured or underinsured coverage can give you funds when you experience damage from an accident that was an uninsured driver’s fault. 

Motorcycle Equipment Laws

For a motorcycle to be street-legal in Minnesota, it must have all of the following at a minimum:

  • A rearview mirror
  • A horn
  • A muffler
  • One or two headlights with a high and low beam
  • A red tail light
  • A brake light
  • At least one brake

Motorcycle Licensing Laws

Minnesota residents who wish to operate a motorcycle must go through the state’s Class M endorsement process. This endorsement attaches to a regular driver’s license and allows carriers to operate motorcycles. 

To obtain a Class M endorsement, you must pass a written knowledge test and either take an on-bike skills test at the Department of Vehicle Services or pass a Basic Rider Course. We recommend taking the Basic Rider Course, as it can teach you valuable information about riding a motorcycle. 

You must already have a valid Minnesota driver’s license to obtain a Class M endorsement. After you take the knowledge test, you can choose to obtain a permit or continue with the rest of the licensing process. Your permit will allow you to operate your bike under certain conditions and practice maneuvering before taking the skills test. 

Riders under 18 must complete a few extra steps to receive a motorcycle license. You can learn more on the Department of Public Safety website

Lane Splitting Laws

Lane splitting is the practice of riding your motorcycle between lanes of stopped or slowed traffic. Lane splitting is currently illegal in Minnesota. Only police officers may ride between lanes of traffic or in the same lane as another vehicle. 

Headphones Laws

If you want to wear headphones or earphones while riding your motorcycle, you may only wear them in one ear at a time. 

Now that you know Minnesota motorcycle laws, you can ensure that you operate your motorcycle lawfully in the state. If you ever become an accident victim, contact our Law Tigers team at 1-888-863-7216 for a free consultation and sign up for our free Rider’s Benefit Kit.