Motorcycle Laws in New Jersey
Because riding a motorcycle is significantly more dangerous than riding in a traditional vehicle, there are several rules and laws governing who can ride a motorcycle and how to safely operate a bike.
Our New Jersey personal injury lawyers recommend that all riders familiarize themselves with a few important motorcycle laws in the state.
Who Can Ride a Motorcycle?
In order to legally drive a motorcycle, New Jersey residents must obtain a motorcycle license or earn a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license. New Jersey honors out of state residents with motorcycle licenses from other states.
Obtaining a Motorcycle Learner’s Permit
To earn a New Jersey motorcycle license, motorists must meet certain qualifications. They must:
- Be 17 years of age or older
- Pass a written test and a vision test
Once these steps are complete, a learner’s permit is issued that is valid for 90 days. During this time, you can practice and ride with licensed motorcyclists.
Motorcycle License Road Test
A road test must be taken and passed before earning a New Jersey motorcycle license. The test can be scheduled 20 days or more after earning a motorcycle learner’s permit.
However, in lieu of taking the road test, riders can complete the Motorcycle Safety Education Program Basic Rider Course. All riders under the age of 18 must complete this course.
This three-day course is given in numerous locations throughout the state. Upon completion, instructors will validate the rider’s permit, which will allow him or her to obtain a license.
Obtaining a Motorcycle Endorsement
If you already have a New Jersey driver’s license and are seeking to obtain a motorcycle endorsement, you can simply take the Motorcycle Safety Education Program Basic Rider Course and submit your course completion certificate, along with a vision exam, to obtain your endorsement.
If you do not take the course, you must pass the knowledge test, the written test and the vision test to obtain a permit first.
New Jersey Motorcycle Helmet Law
New Jersey requires all drivers and passengers wear helmets while riding motorcycles in the state (New Jersey Revised Statutes 39:3-76.7).
Helmets must be secure and sized appropriately for the rider. Neck or chin straps must be used, and the helmet must have reflective material. The helmet must be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Helmet laws are in place to protect motorcyclists in the event of an accident – helmetless riders are three times more likely to experience a fatal head injury than those wearing helmets.
Eyewear and Face Protection
In addition to helmets, New Jersey law also mandates motorcycle drivers wear protective goggles or a face shield. In lieu of goggles or a face shield, an approved wind screen can be installed on the motorcycle.
Additional Motorcycle Requirements
Just as there are laws about who can ride a motorcycle and what he or she must wear to protect himself or herself, there are also laws to ensure the safety of the motorcycle.
Handle Bar Height
According to New Jersey Revised Statutes 39:3-76.3, the handle bar height on a motorcycle cannot be higher than the shoulder height of the driver while seated.
All motorcycles must have at least one working headlight, but not more than two, along with a tail light, brake light, license plate light and at least on rear reflector. Turn signals are not required, but are always a good idea.
Motorcycles in New Jersey must have at least one rear-view mirror. This is important for ensuring you can see all of the vehicles and potential motorcycle road hazards around you.
Compliance with NHTSA
All motorcycles in New Jersey must be manufactured in compliance with the Federal Motor Safety Standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Do I Have to Buy Motorcycle Insurance in New Jersey?
Proof of insurance is required to register a motorcycle in New Jersey. The state law requires a minimum of $15,000 in liability insurance, $30,000 for total body injury for multiple people and $5,000 for property damage. Insurers provide many policies offering riders different levels of coverage.
Following these laws and rules can help ensure you are doing everything you can to stay safe while riding a motorcycle. However, despite your best efforts, motorcycle accidents still occur.
If you have been injured while riding a motorcycle due to someone else’s negligence, The Lynch Law Firm, PC’s personal injury attorneys in Hasbrouck Heights can help you determine your legal options for holding the liable party responsible for the harm he or she caused. We will work to obtain the maximum compensation you need after an accident.