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Motorcycle Laws in Massachusetts


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

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

Motorcycle Helmet Law in Massachusetts

Motorcycle helmets are required for all riders.

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

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.

Massachusetts Motorcycle Noise Restrictions & Exhaust Requirements

A proper muffler is required.

Noise limits for motorcycle include:

  • No more than 82 decibels when traveling under 45 mph.
  • No more than 86 decibels when traveling over 45 mph.

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 Massachusetts are performed along with each registration renewal.

Some of the equipment requirements for Massachusetts motorcycles include:

  • Left side mirror.
  • Fenders on each wheel.
  • Hand grips no higher than shoulders.
  • Turn signals.

Motorcycle Passenger Laws in Massachusetts

There are no passenger age restrictions for motorcycle in Massachusetts.

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 Massachusetts

Using daytime headlights is not required for motorcycles in Massachusetts.

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. 

Massachusetts Lane Splitting Laws

Lane splitting is illegal in Massachusetts.

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 Massachusetts issues titles to all motorcycles, except bikes that are older than model year 1980 and were purchased before November 26, 1990.

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 Massachusetts.

Find some helpful tips for when you buy a motorcycle.

Minimum Motorcycle Insurance Coverage in Massachusetts

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

  • $20,000 bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $40,000 bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • $5,000 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 Massachusetts.

Motorcycle Safety Course Requirements & Details

An approved motorcycle safety course is required for riders under 18 years old to get a motorcycle license in Massachusetts. If you fail the skills test twice, you’ll also be required to complete a training course.

Completing the course will waive the requirements for the motorcycle road test.

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 Massachusetts?

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

Motorcycle Permit & Licensing Requirements in Massachusetts

A motorcycle instruction permit is required.

If required, you’ll need to hold the learner’s permit and practice riding for at least 6 months if you are under 18 years old before getting an unrestricted motorcycle license. 

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

In Massachusetts, motorcycle permit restrictions include:

  • No passengers.
  • Daytime riding only.

The permit is valid for up to 2 years, and cannot be renewed.

Learn how to get a motorcycle license in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Motorcycle License Age Requirements

The minimum age to begin the Massachusetts 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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