Table 2-5: Helmet Use Laws: 2013

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State Motorcycle riders covered by helmet law Bicycle riders covered by helmet law
Alabama all riders 15 and younger
Alaska 17 and younger1 no law
Arizona 17 and younger no law
Arkansas 20 and younger no law
California all riders 17 and younger
Colorado 17 and younger and passengers 17 and younger no law
Connecticut 17 and younger 15 and younger
Delaware 18 and younger2 17 and younger
District of Columbia all riders 15 and younger
Florida 20 and younger3 15 and younger
Georgia all riders 15 and younger
Hawaii 17 and younger 15 and younger
Idaho 17 and younger no law
Illinois no law no law
Indiana 17 and younger no law
Iowa no law no law
Kansas 17 and younger no law
Kentucky 20 and younger4 no law
Louisiana all riders 11 and younger
Maine 17 and younger5 15 and younger
Maryland all riders 15 and younger
Massachusetts all riders 1 to 16 (riding with children younger than 1 prohibited)
Michigan 20 and younger6 no law
Minnesota 17 and younger7 no law
Mississippi all riders no law
Missouri all riders no law
Montana 17 and younger no law
Nebraska all riders no law
Nevada all riders no law
New Hampshire no law 15 and younger
New Jersey all riders 16 and younger
New Mexico 17 and younger 17 and younger
New York all riders 1 to 13 (riding with children younger than 1 prohibited)
North Carolina all riders 15 and younger
North Dakota 17 and younger8 no law
Ohio 17 and younger9 no law
Oklahoma 17 and younger no law
Oregon all riders 15 and younger
Pennsylvania 20 and younger10 11 and younger
Rhode Island 20 and younger11 15 and younger
South Carolina 20 and younger no law
South Dakota 17 and younger no law
Tennessee all riders 15 and younger
Texas 20 and younger12 no law
Utah 17 and younger no law
Vermont all riders no law
Virginia all riders no law
Washington all riders no law
West Virginia all riders 14 and younger
Wisconsin 17 and younger13 no law
Wyoming 17 and younger no law

1Alaska's motorcycle helmet use law covers passengers of all ages, operators younger than 18, and operators with instructional permits.

2In Delaware, every motorcycle operator or rider age 19 and older shall have in their possession a safety helmet approved by the Secretary.

3In Florida, the law requires that all riders younger than 21 years wear helmets, without exception. Those 21 years and older may ride without helmets only if they can show proof that they are covered by a medical insurance policy.

4In Kentucky, the law requires that all riders younger than 21 years wear helmets, without exception. Those 21 years and older may ride without helmets only if they can show proof that they are covered by a medical insurance policy. Motorcycle helmet laws in Kentucky also cover operators with instructional/learner's permits.

5Motorcycle helmet laws in Maine cover operators with instructional/learner's permits and operators in their first year of licensure. Maine's motorcycle helmet use law also covers passengers 17 years and younger and passengers if their operators are required to wear a helmet.

6In Michigan, the law requires that all riders younger than 21 years wear helmets, without exception. Those 21 years and older may ride without helmets only if they carry additional insurance and have passed a motorcycle safety course or have had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years. Motorcycle passengers who want to exercise this option also must be 21 or older and carry additional insurance.

7Motorcycle helmet laws in Minnesota cover operators with instructional/learner's permits.

8North Dakota's motorcycle helmet use law covers all passengers traveling with operators who are covered by the law.

9Ohio's motorcycle helmet use law covers all operators during the first year of licensure and all passengers of operators who are covered by the law.

10Pennsylvania's motorcycle helmet use law covers all operators during the first two years of licensure unless the operator has completed the safety course approved by PennDOT or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

11Rhode Island's motorcycle helmet use law covers all passengers (regardless of age) and all operators during the first year of licensure (regardless of age).

12Texas exempts riders 21 years or older if they can either show proof of successfully completing a motorcycle operator training and safety course or can show proof of having a medical insurance policy. A peace officer may not stop or detain a person who is the operator of or a passenger on a motorcycle for the sole purpose of determining whether the person has successfully completed the motorcycle operator training and safety course or is covered by a health insurance plan.

13Motorcycle helmet laws in Wisconsin cover operators with instructional/learner's permits.

SOURCE: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, Motorcycle and bicycle helmet use laws, available at www.iihs.org/laws/HelmetUseCurrent.aspx as of April 2013.