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Motorcycle Laws in New York


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

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

Motorcycle Helmet Law in New York

Motorcycle helmets are required for all riders.

Additionally, eye protection like a face shield or goggles is also required.

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.

New York Motorcycle Noise Restrictions & Exhaust Requirements

A proper muffler is required and can be no louder than 82 decibels.

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 New York are performed each year with registration renewals.

Some of the equipment requirements for New York motorcycles include:

  • Rearview mirror.
  • Handlebar grips no higher than rider’s shoulders.
  • Turn signals.

Motorcycle Passenger Laws in New York

There are no motorcycle passenger age restrictions in New York.

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 New York

Using daytime headlights is required for motorcycles in New York.

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. 

New York Lane Splitting Laws

Lane splitting is illegal in New York.

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 New York issues titles to all motorcycles, except bikes that are older than model year 1973

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 New York.

Find some helpful tips for when you buy a motorcycle.

Minimum Motorcycle Insurance Coverage in New York

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

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $50,000 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 New York.

Motorcycle Safety Course Requirements & Details

An approved motorcycle safety course is not required to get a motorcycle license in New York.

Completing the course will waive the requirements for the motorcycle skills 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 New York?

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

Motorcycle Permit & Licensing Requirements in New York

A motorcycle instruction permit is required.

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

In New York, motorcycle permit restrictions include:

  • Daytime riding.
  • Supervised riding.

The permit is valid for up to 1 year if you have a valid driver’s license or 5 years if you do not.  It can be renewed once if you hold a NY driver’s license.

Learn how to get a motorcycle license in New York.

New York Motorcycle License Age Requirements

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

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