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Motorcycle Laws in North Carolina


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

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

Motorcycle Helmet Law in North Carolina

Motorcycle helmets are required for all riders.

Additional eye protection like a face shield or goggles is not required, but is a good idea.

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.

North Carolina Motorcycle Noise Restrictions & Exhaust Requirements

A proper muffler is required.

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 North Carolina are performed with each registration period.

Motorcycle Passenger Laws in North Carolina

There are no passenger age restrictions in North Carolina.

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 North Carolina

Using daytime headlights is required for motorcycles in North Carolina.

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. 

North Carolina Lane Splitting Laws

Lane splitting is not specifically illegal or legal in North Carolina.

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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina.

Find some helpful tips for when you buy a motorcycle.

Minimum Motorcycle Insurance Coverage in North Carolina

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

  • $30,000 bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $60,000 bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • $25,000 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 North Carolina.

Motorcycle Safety Course Requirements & Details

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

Completing the course will waive the requirements for the road test and written 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 North Carolina?

Before you get a North Carolina motorcycle license, you will need to already have a standard driver’s license. 

Motorcycle Permit & Licensing Requirements in North Carolina

A motorcycle instruction permit is not required.

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

In North Carolina, motorcycle permit restrictions include no passengers.

The permit is valid for up to 18 months, and can be renewed once.

Learn how to get a motorcycle license in North Carolina.

North Carolina Motorcycle License Age Requirements

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

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