Table 2-5: Helmet Use Laws: 2015
|State||Motorcycle riders covered by helmet law||Bicycle riders covered by helmet law|
|Alabama||all riders||15 and younger|
|Alaska||17 and younger1||no law|
|Arizona||17 and younger||no law|
|Arkansas||20 and younger||no law|
|California||all riders||17 and younger|
|Colorado||17 and younger and passengers 17 and younger||no law|
|Connecticut||17 and younger||15 and younger|
|Delaware||18 and younger2||17 and younger|
|District of Columbia||all riders||15 and younger|
|Florida||20 and younger3||15 and younger|
|Georgia||all riders||15 and younger|
|Hawaii||17 and younger||15 and younger|
|Idaho||17 and younger||no law|
|Illinois||no law||no law|
|Indiana||17 and younger||no law|
|Iowa||no law||no law|
|Kansas||17 and younger||no law|
|Kentucky||20 and younger4||no law|
|Louisiana||all riders||11 and younger|
|Maine||17 and younger5||15 and younger|
|Maryland||all riders||15 and younger|
|Massachusetts||all riders||1-16 (riding with children younger than 1 prohibited)|
|Michigan||20 and younger6||no law|
|Minnesota||17 and younger7||no law|
|Mississippi||all riders||no law|
|Missouri||all riders||no law|
|Montana||17 and younger||no law|
|Nebraska||all riders||no law|
|Nevada||all riders||no law|
|New Hampshire||no law||15 and younger|
|New Jersey||all riders||16 and younger|
|New Mexico||17 and younger||17 and younger|
|New York||all riders||1-13 (riding with children younger than 1 prohibited)|
|North Carolina||all riders||15 and younger|
|North Dakota||17 and younger8||no law|
|Ohio||17 and younger9||no law|
|Oklahoma||17 and younger||no law|
|Oregon||all riders||15 and younger|
|Pennsylvania||20 and younger10||11 and younger|
|Rhode Island||20 and younger11||15 and younger|
|South Carolina||20 and younger||no law|
|South Dakota||17 and younger||no law|
|Tennessee||all riders||15 and younger|
|Texas||20 and younger12||no law|
|Utah||17 and younger||no law|
|Vermont||all riders||no law|
|Virginia||all riders||no law|
|Washington||all riders||no law|
|West Virginia||all riders||14 and younger|
|Wisconsin||17 and younger13||no law|
|Wyoming||17 and younger||no law|
1Alaska's motorcycle helmet use law covers passengers of all ages, operators younger than 18, and operators with instructional permits.
2In Delaware, every motorcycle operator or rider age 19 and older must carry an approved helmet.
3In Florida, the law requires that all riders younger than 21 years wear helmets, without exception. Those 21 years and older may ride without helmets only if they can show proof that they are covered by a medical insurance policy.
4In Kentucky, the law requires that all riders younger than 21 years wear helmets, without exception. Those 21 and older may ride without helmets only if they can show proof that they are covered by a medical insurance policy. Motorcycle helmet laws in Kentucky also cover operators with instructional/learner's permits.
5Motorcycle helmet laws in Maine cover operators with instructional/learner's permits and operators in their first year of licensure. Maine's motorcycle helmet use law also covers passengers 17 and younger and passengers riding with operators who are required to wear a helmet.
6In Michigan, the law requires that all riders younger than 21 wear helmets, without exception. Those 21 and older may ride without helmets only if they carry additional insurance and have passed a motorcycle safety course or have had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years. Motorcycle passengers who want to exercise this option also must be 21 or older and carry additional insurance.
7Motorcycle helmet laws in Minnesota cover operators with instructional/learner's permits.
8North Dakota's motorcycle helmet use law covers all passengers traveling with operators who are covered by the law.
9Ohio's motorcycle helmet use law covers all operators during the first year of licensure and all passengers of operators who are covered by the law.
10Pennsylvania's motorcycle helmet use law covers all operators during the first two years of licensure unless the operator has completed the safety course approved by PennDOT or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
11Rhode Island's motorcycle helmet use law covers all passengers (regardless of age) and all operators during the first year of licensure (regardless of age).
12Texas exempts riders 21 or older if they can either show proof of successfully completing a motorcycle operator training and safety course or can show proof of having a medical insurance policy. A peace officer may not stop or detain a person who is the operator of or a passenger on a motorcycle for the sole purpose of determining whether the person has successfully completed the motorcycle operator training and safety course or is covered by a health insurance plan.
13Motorcycle helmet laws in Wisconsin cover operators with instructional/learner's permits.
SOURCE: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, Motorcycle and bicycle helmet use laws, available at www.iihs.org/iihs/topics#statelaws as of June 2015.