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Maryland Motorcycle Laws


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This page will answer the most common questions we receive about motorcycle laws and licensing requirements in Maryland.

Continue reading to find your answer and follow links to explore some of these topics in greater depth. 

Motorcycle Helmet Law in Maryland

Motorcycle helmets are required for all riders.

Additionally, eye protection like a face shield or goggles is required unless the motorcycle has a windshield.

A motorcycle helmet is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment. Wearing one can greatly reduce your chances of being seriously injured or killed if you are involved in a motorcycle crash

Read more about motorcycle helmet laws and safety.

Maryland Motorcycle Noise Restrictions & Exhaust Requirements

A proper muffler is required.

Noise limits are imposed based on year of manufacture:

  • 83 decibels for bikes made before 1988.
  • 80 decibels for bikes made after 1988.

Noise restrictions may be enforced by local law enforcement or during periodic inspections. 

Local jurisdictions may have their own ordinances regarding motorcycle noise limits.

Motorcycle Safety Inspections and Equipment Requirements

Period safety and equipment inspections for motorcycles in Maryland are required for title transfers.

Some of the equipment requirements for Maryland motorcycles include:

  • Rearview mirrors on both sides.
  • Fender on the rear wheel.
  • Handlebars no more than 15” above the seat.
  • Turn signals.
  • Two brakes.
  • A headlight.
  • A red tail like.
  • A red brake light.
  • A license plate light.
  • A horn.
  • Footrests for the operator and passenger.

Motorcycle Passenger Laws in Maryland

There are no passenger restrictions for motorcycles in Maryland.

Whenever you ride with a passenger:

  • Be sure to give them instructions on what they’ll need to do. 
  • Make sure they can comfortably reach the passenger handholds and footrests. 
  • Make sure that they are wearing all of the necessary motorcycle safety equipment.

Learn more about riding with passengers on your motorcycle.

Requirements for Daytime Running Lights for Motorcycles in Maryland

Using daytime headlights is not required for motorcycles in Maryland.

Using headlights during the day can help to increase your visibility to other drivers. 

This is a smart thing to do regardless of whether the law requires it. 

Maryland Lane Splitting Laws

Lane splitting is pending legislation in Maryland.

A motorcyclists cannot overtake another vehicle driving in the same lane or drive between two lanes.

However, 2 motorcycles may share a lane along side of one another.

There are some nuances to lane splitting, lane filtering, and lane sharing. 

Learn more about lane splitting.

Motorcycle Title Laws & VIN Verifications

The state of Maryland issues titles to all motorcycles.

If you buy a motorcycle without a title or are moving from a state that doesn’t issue titles, the registration documents and the Bill of Sale should serve as proof of ownership.

Learn more about motorcycle registration and title requirements in Maryland.

Find some helpful tips for when you buy a motorcycle.

Minimum Motorcycle Insurance Coverage in Maryland

Motorcycle insurance is required in Maryland, the minimum coverage limits are:

  • $20,000 bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $40,000 bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • $10,000 property damage coverage per accident. 

Remember, the minimum liability requirements kick in during the event of a collision with another vehicle. If you need more coverage for things like theft, single vehicle collisions, and other types of damage you’ll need to get a policy with comprehensive and collision coverage as well. 

Compare quotes for free, and find cheaper motorcycle insurance

Learn more about motorcycle insurance in Maryland.

Motorcycle Safety Course Requirements & Details

An approved motorcycle safety course is required for riders under 18 years old to get a motorcycle license in Maryland.

Completing the course will waive the requirements for the skills test and knowledge exam.

A motorcycle safety course is a great way to get familiar with the basics of riding, learn about the most important motorcycle laws, and become a safer, smarter rider. No riding experience is necessary to complete a course.  

Learn more about motorcycle safety courses and Basic Rider Training programs.

Is a Driver’s License Required to get a Motorcycle Endorsement in Maryland?

Before you get a Maryland motorcycle license, you will not need to already have a standard driver’s license. 

Motorcycle Permit & Licensing Requirements in Maryland

A motorcycle instruction permit is required for riders who do not complete a motorcycle training course.

If required, you’ll need to hold the learner’s permit and practice riding for at least 14 days before getting an unrestricted motorcycle license. 

In order to get the permit, you’ll need to pass a written test.

The motorcycle knowledge test consists of 25 questions.

You must score an 85% or higher to pass.

In Maryland, motorcycle permit restrictions include no passengers other than a supervising rider.

The permit is valid for up to 6 months, and cannot be renewed.

Learn how to get a motorcycle license in Maryland.

Maryland Motorcycle License Age Requirements

The minimum age to begin the Maryland motorcycle licensing process is 18 years old without training or 16 ½ years old if you complete a motorcycle safety course. 

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