Missouri’s Motorcycle Laws – What Riders Need to Know

Red colored motorcycle, parked  in Missouri road.

All motorcyclists who ride in Missouri must know the state’s unique motorcycle laws. Understanding these laws can ensure that you stay safe and compliant while traveling on your motorcycle. Additionally, they can help you be a predictable rider, which can allow other drivers to avoid accidents as well. 

Read on to learn more about Missouri’s motorcycle laws, then contact our team at Law Tigers for more information. 

Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Missouri has stricter helmet laws than many other states. According to Missouri law, all motorcycle riders must wear a DOT-compliant helmet.

However, in 2020, lawmakers introduced an exception to this law. Now, motorcyclists who are 26 and older can choose not to wear a helmet while riding as long as they have adequate health insurance to cover injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident. 

All motorcycle passengers must still wear helmets under this law. While the police are not authorized to stop non-helmet-wearers to verify their ages and insurance coverage, you could still receive a ticket for failing to meet the requirements in this law. 

Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Laws

Before taking your motorcycle on the road, you must have sufficient motorcycle insurance coverage to protect other drivers if you are at fault in an accident. Missouri requires motorcyclists to have the following liability insurance coverage at a minimum:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $10,000 property damage liability per accident

Your insurance company can ensure that you obtain adequate motorcycle coverage when you begin your new policy. 

Lane Splitting Laws

Some states allow motorcyclists to split lanes or ride between stopped traffic in the same lane. While Missouri’s motorcycle laws do not explicitly prohibit lane splitting, they also do not expressly permit it. 

Because Missouri law is unclear regarding lane splitting, we recommend avoiding this practice. Researchers have found that lane splitting can be dangerous, as drivers often do not anticipate motorcyclists sharing their lanes. Acting predictably is essential to maintaining your safety on the road. 

Motorcycle Equipment Laws

Your motorcycle must contain a few essential pieces of equipment to be safe to take on public roads. Specifically, Missouri law states that all motorcycles must have the following:

  • Headlights
  • Taillights
  • Horns
  • Mufflers
  • Brake lights
  • Front and rear brakes

These elements are essential to improve your safety while riding and ensure that other drivers see you. 

Motorcycle Licensing Laws 

You must obtain a motorcycle license or Class M license endorsement to operate a motorcycle in Missouri. Individuals who are 18 and older can get a Class M motorcycle endorsement by taking a written exam and passing a skills test. 

You can take the written exam at a Missouri DMV. Then, you can either take an on-motorcycle skills test at the DMV or pass a motorcycle safety training course through an approved organization in your area. 

Laws for Drinking and Operating a Motorcycle 

Missouri upholds the same drinking and driving laws for motorcyclists as for drivers of other motor vehicles. As such, your blood-alcohol concentration cannot be over 0.02% if you are under 18 or over 0.08% if you are over 18. 

Failing to adhere to these policies could lead to a license suspension, fines, or even jail time. 

Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol can severely impair your judgment, reaction time, and overall ability to ride a motorcycle. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident with a drunk driver, you may be able to receive compensation. 

Law Tigers is Here for Missouri Riders

If you ever find yourself in need of a motorcycle accident injury attorney, be sure to contact the Law Tigers team at 888-863-7216 to schedule a free case evaluation.