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Tennessee Motorcycle Laws


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

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

Motorcycle Helmet Law in Tennessee

Motorcycle helmets are required for all riders.

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

Tennessee 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 Tennessee are not performed.

Motorcycle Passenger Laws in Tennessee

There are no passenger age restrictions for motorcycles.

However, your motorcycle must have a passenger seat and passenger foot rests.

Motorcycle passengers are required to wear an approved helmet as well.

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 Tennessee

Using daytime headlights is required for motorcycles in Tennessee.

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. 

Tennessee Lane Splitting Laws

Lane splitting is illegal in Tennessee.

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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee.

Find some helpful tips for when you buy a motorcycle.

Minimum Motorcycle Insurance Coverage in Tennessee

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

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • $15,000 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 Tennessee.

Motorcycle Safety Course Requirements & Details

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

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 Tennessee?

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

Motorcycle Permit & Licensing Requirements in Tennessee

A motorcycle instruction permit is not required, but is available for new riders who are at least 15 years old.

If required, you’ll need to hold the learner’s permit until you are at least 16 years old before getting an unrestricted motorcycle license. 

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

In Tennessee, motorcycle permit restrictions include:

  • No passengers.
  • Freeway restrictions.
  • Daytime riding only.
  • CC restrictions.

The permit is valid for up to 1 year or until the rider turns 16, and can be renewed as needed.

Can you drive a motorcycle without a motorcycle license in Tennessee?

No, you will need a valid motorcycle permit or motorcycle license to legally ride a motorcycle in Tennessee.

Riding without a proper license can lead to fines and penalties along with having the bike you were riding impounded.

Learn how to get a motorcycle license in Tennessee.

Tennessee Motorcycle License Age Requirements

The minimum age to begin the Tennessee motorcycle licensing process is 16 years old without training or 15 years old if you complete a motorcycle safety course. 

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