Guide to Motorcycle Laws in Florida

Florida Motorcycle Laws | 🏍️ Florida Helmet Law, Motorcycle Endorsement, and More

Last Updated on: 29th March 2024, 09:10 am

Are you thinking of hitting the open road on your motorcycle in the Sunshine State? Before you do, you should research Florida motorcycle laws to ensure you know what to expect. Florida is a great place to enjoy the open road, but it has several motorcycle laws that you should be aware of before you make your journey.

Whether planning a long-term relocation or just visiting temporarily to add one of the awesome bike events in Florida, you’ll want to wear a helmet and practice proper motorcycle safety. Here is everything you need to know about motorcycle laws in Florida.

You Must Have a Motorcycle Endorsement

First, you should look into getting your Florida motorcycle endorsement. Florida law does not require a separate driver’s license to become a motorcycle rider. However, you must get a special enhancement on your normal driver license. You must obtain the endorsement to operate any two or three-wheeled motorcycle in Florida with a 50cc engine or larger.

How to obtain your Florida motorcycle endorsement:

  • Have a valid Class-E driver’s license.
  • Complete a Basic Rider Course or Basic Rider Course Updated authorized by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
  • Obtain your motorcycle endorsement within a year of completing the Basic Rider Course.
  • Visit your local driver’s license office or tax collector and pay the required motorcycle endorsement fees to have your license updated.

For those who do not have a valid Class-E driver’s license and still want to ride a bike, you can also get a motorcycle-only license.

You must pass the Basic Rider Course or another requisite course approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Applicants should also be above the age of 16 and pass the same knowledge test required when taking the Class E driver’s license test. If you are under 18, you’ll also need to have a valid learner’s permit for at least a year without a noncriminal traffic infraction. Learn more about getting your motorcycle license in Florida by reading our complete guide.

Florida’s Helmet Law

Ok, now you have your endorsement, you’re ready to hit the road, right? Not so fast. You’ll also want to abide by the Florida helmet law. Florida law requires all motorcycle riders under the age of 21 to wear a helmet when operating a two or three-wheeled motor vehicle.

For adult riders over the age of 21, choosing to wear a helmet is up to you. However, if you ride without protective headgear, you must have at least $10,000 in medical benefits coverage. That way, the insurance policy will cover your injuries if you don’t like to wear helmets but get into a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle Helmet with tools

Does Florida Law Require Mandatory Eye Protection?

Florida law not only requires some riders to wear helmets, but you’ll also need protective eyewear. All motorcycle riders are required to wear eye protection regardless of their age. That means you must wear goggles or some other eye-protective device when riding. No amount of medical benefits coverage can get you out of wearing eye protection, so make sure to obtain the necessary equipment before you hit the road.

Insurance Requirements for Motorcyclists in Florida

Now you have your endorsement and the proper safety equipment. Is it time to ride?

Almost, just make sure you understand the insurance requirements first. Florida law does not require motorcycle operators to have a specific insurance policy unless you choose not to wear a helmet (then you’ll still need at least $10,000 in medical benefits). Unlike regular drivers, you don’t need proof of insurance when you register your motorcycle.

However, be aware that you can be held financially liable if you are found negligent in a motorcycle crash. That means you may be required to pay for the financial recovery, medical care, and other damages of any other motorists for injuries incurred during a collision that was your fault.

Florida law does require drivers of motor vehicles with 4-wheels to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, also known as “no-fault” insurance. These policies help pay for some of the expenses, medical bills, and lost wages experienced by the policyholder in the event of a car accident, regardless of who was at fault.

While PIP coverage is not available for motorcycle riders, other policies can protect you in the event of a crash. So, even if you aren’t required to have coverage, it isn’t a bad idea.

Motorcycle ride by the coast

Other Motorcycle Laws in Florida

Those are the basic motorcycle laws everyone should know before riding in Florida. Although there are plenty of other important laws you should know about to keep yourself safe and avoid getting a ticket. Here are a few other traffic laws regarding motorcycle operations.

Lane Splitting is Illegal in Florida

Is lane splitting illegal in Florida? Yes, lane splitting is illegal under Florida Statutes 316.209. Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist rides through the same lane as other vehicles that are stopped or slowed down due to traffic. While some states allow lane splitting, Florida laws prohibit the practice.

The statute states, “All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane” and “the operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.”

The penalty for lane splitting is a noncriminal traffic infraction, classified as a moving violation. Moving violations carry fines, and the rider may be liable in the event of a motorcycle accident.

No More Than Two Motorcycles Riding Abreast

Florida Statutes 316.209 also makes it illegal for two motorcycles to occupy a single lane. So you can’t ride in a big group with multiple bikers side by side. Even if both riders consent to ride alongside one another, state law prohibits it. So, all occupied lanes can only contain one rider at a time, or you could face a moving violation.

Florida Laws Regarding Passengers

What if someone wants to ride along with you to enjoy the view? Passengers are allowed, but they must have their own designated seat.

For motorcycles to be approved as passenger vehicles in Florida, they must have a seat that can hold both the operator and the guest and not impair their ability to drive. The designated seat must also have footrests for the passenger. So don’t think you can have someone just hold onto your back while you’re riding down the highway.

Motorcycle ride in the woods

Motorcycle Riders Must Use Daytime Headlights

Florida law requires all motorcycles to be equipped with headlights that automatically turn on when you operate the vehicle to improve highway safety and prevent motorcycle accidents.

Not only does your motorcycle need to be equipped with operational headlights, but you’re also required to leave them on at all times. It can be difficult for other vehicles to see your motorcycle without the headlights on, especially after dark. So make sure to keep them on whenever operating a motorcycle.

Motorcycles Must Have Mirrors, a Horn, and a Red Reflector

Motorcycles are also required to have mirrors so you can see the occupied lanes behind you. The mirror must allow the driver to see at least 200 feet behind them.

If you plan on taking your motorcycle out on the highway, you must also have a working horn. The horn must also be able to emit sound audible to other drivers from a distance of 200 feet.

All motorcycles and motor-driven cycles must also carry a red reflector, either as part of the tail lamp or as a separate fixture.

No Wheelies and Other Illegal Stunts

If you’re riding your motorcycle to Florida to try out some stunts, you may want to think again. Traffic laws place the appropriate restrictions on wheelies and other stunts to protect public safety and prevent accidents.

The law states that drivers must remain in the seat with both wheels on the ground while operating a motorcycle. That means riding on just your rear tire to perform a wheelie is against the law.

Listening Devices Cannot Obstruct the Ability to Hear

Many motorcycle riders like to listen to music on their phones or listening devices while they’re riding. However, Florida law prevents motorcycle riders from wearing a headset, headphones, or other listening devices that would obstruct their hearing. Hearing aids and other medical instruments are permitted. You can’t completely block out the surrounding noise. Otherwise, it could become a safety hazard.

If you still want to listen to music or other media, you could consider riding with only one headphone in. Doing so is permitted as long as the sound does not block out the surrounding noise and obstruct your hearing completely.

Not that you know everything you need to know about motorcycle laws in Florida, but you’re ready to hit the road. If you need help getting there, the reliable team at Federal Motorcycle Transport is here to help. Contact us today for a free motorcycle shipping quote.


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