Understanding Montana’s motorcycle laws are essential if you plan to ride within the state at any point. Failing to abide by these laws could leave you vulnerable to a dangerous accident. At the very least, not sticking to these laws could leave you with a ticket and a license suspension, preventing you from enjoying your favorite hobby.
Read on to learn the Montana motorcycle laws you need to know.
Montana Helmet Laws
Every state has unique laws about helmet use. Montana’s helmet law states that motorcycle riders under 18 must wear helmets while riding. If you are 18 or older, helmet use is optional in Montana.
However, we highly recommend wearing a helmet every time you ride your motorcycle, regardless of age. Wearing a helmet is the single most crucial step you can take to avoid a severe injury in a crash. If you value your health, you’ll want to wear a helmet whenever you hop on your bike.
Motorcycle License Process
In Montana, you must obtain a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license to operate a motorcycle on a public road. You can receive this Montana motorcycle license endorsement if you:
- Are at least 16 years old (15-year-olds can first complete a driver’s education course to become eligible to apply)
- Have or obtain a valid Montana driver’s license
- Complete written and road tests
- Pay a $0.50 fee each year
If desired, you can complete a motorcycle safety course instead of the road test.
Montana has no specific laws surrounding riding your motorcycle with a passenger. However, you’ll want to make sure your passenger has their own seat and footrests to maintain their stability on the bike. Your passenger should also feel confident riding with you and wear all of the proper safety gear during the ride.
You must use a proper muffler with your motorcycle to suppress the sound of the motorcycle engine. Additionally, Montana has a noise limit of 96 decibels at 20 inches from the exhaust. Your local area may have additional noise restrictions.
Motorcycle Equipment Laws
Your motorcycle must be equipped with the proper gear to be road-legal. These requirements include the following:
- At least one headlamp that illuminates at least 500 feet
- A brake light visible at least 100 feet in the daylight
- A reflector and tail light are visible at least 500 feet away
- A rearview mirror showing at least 200 feet behind the bike
- At least one foot or hand brake
- Footrests for passengers
- A license plate light
- A horn audible at least 200 feet away
Daytime Headlight Laws
In Montana, your motorcycle headlights must be turned on any time you ride — day or night. Keeping your headlights on can improve your visibility to other drivers. Motorcycles can be easy to overlook, and your headlights provide one extra safety measure to prevent a crash.
Minimum Insurance Requirements
According to Montana motorcycle laws, you must carry motorcycle insurance to operate your motorcycle. Additionally, you must show proof of this insurance before registering your bike.
While Montana law does not explicitly state the minimum coverage you must hold, we recommend having the following liability coverage amounts at a minimum:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $10,000 property damage liability per accident
Adding coverage on top of liability insurance can ensure that you have the necessary insurance to pay for medical bills and property damage you incur in an accident. However, if you have experienced an accident with an uninsured driver, you may be able to receive compensation through a lawsuit.
And if you ever find yourself in need of a motorcycle accident injury attorney, be sure to contact Law Tigers at 1-888-863-7216 to schedule a free case evaluation.