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Texas motorcycle laws in 2023

Posted in Motorcycle Accidents on August 7, 2023

Texas motorcycle laws in Texas include the following key regulations:

  1. Helmet Law: Texas requires all motorcycle riders and passengers under the age of 21 to wear a helmet. If you are 21 or older, you are not required to wear a helmet if you have completed a motorcycle safety course or have sufficient health insurance coverage.
  2. Eye Protection: While riding a motorcycle, all riders must wear eye protection, unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen.
  3. Headlight Usage: Motorcycles must have their headlights on at all times while being operated.
  4. Handlebar Height: The handlebars of a motorcycle cannot be higher than the shoulder height of the operator while seated on the motorcycle.
  5. Lane Splitting: Lane splitting (riding between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic) is illegal in Texas.
  6. Passenger Footrests: If you carry a passenger on your motorcycle, the bike must be equipped with footrests for the passenger’s use.
  7. Insurance Requirements: All motorcycles operated in Texas must be covered by liability insurance. The minimum liability coverage required is $30,000 for bodily injury to one person, $60,000 for bodily injury per occurrence involving two or more people, and $25,000 for property damage per occurrence.
  8. Exhaust Noise: Motorcycle exhaust systems must meet certain noise level restrictions outlined by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
  9. Inspection and Registration: Motorcycles must pass an annual safety inspection, and owners are required to renew their vehicle registration each year.
  10. Lane Use: Motorcycles are entitled to the full use of a lane, and no other vehicle is allowed to deprive a motorcycle of the full use of a lane.

Please note that motorcycle laws can change over time, and it is essential to stay updated on the current regulations from official sources such as the Texas Department of Public Safety or consult with a legal professional for the most current information. Additionally, local ordinances may vary in different municipalities within Texas.


Because of the pleasant weather and wide-open landscapes, Texas draws motorcycle riders from all over the United States. This empowering sense of freedom comes with a matching obligation to be knowledgeable about and follow traffic laws that apply to motorcycles, including parking restrictions. While riding a motorbike in Texas can be an exciting adventure, it’s important to keep informed about the state’s motorcycle laws, carry the proper safety gear, and develop safe riding habits. Motorcyclists can have a safe, secure, and fun ride by following these rules.

For rider safety and to avoid fines, troubles with parking tickets, or other legal repercussions, it is essential to understand these laws and regulations. Motorcyclists can better protect themselves and confidently handle the roadways by being aware of these variables.


Sadly, the potential of accidents still looms big on the horizon despite the excitement and pleasure of riding a motorbike in Texas and the restrictions imposed by the state’s motorcycle laws. In Texas, there are a number of possible reasons why motorcycle accidents happen, each with its own set of risks and hazards. The Law Firm of Aaron Herbert is a fierce advocate for motorcycle riders and is well aware of the special difficulties that they encounter on the road. With the right understanding and caution from riders and drivers of all types of vehicles, many of the major causes of motorcycle accidents can be avoided.

Driving when distracted and speeding 

In Texas, distracted driving poses a serious risk to motorcycle riders. We implore all motorists to maintain their attention on the road and to steer clear of distractions while driving, such as using cell phones or texting. Another significant factor in motorcycle accidents is speeding, so we urge all motorists to adhere to posted speed limits and travel at a reasonable speed.

DUI (driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs)

Driving while intoxicated is never acceptable and puts everyone on the road, including motorcycle riders, in grave danger. We support initiatives to stop drunk and drugged driving and work to bring those responsible for accidents they cause accountable.

Lane splitting and a lack of experience

Even though less experienced riders might not have the skills and knowledge needed to ride a motorbike safely, we think that with the right instruction and education, riders of all levels can travel freely in safety. Although lane splitting can be contentious, it can give motorcyclists a way to move through traffic more quickly when done properly and responsibly.

Road Situation

Finally, we acknowledge that motorcycle riders may potentially be at risk from poor road conditions and low visibility. All motorcyclists are urged to drive defensively, pay attention to their surroundings, and take the necessary precautions to reduce the likelihood of accidents.


If you ride a motorcycle, you should be aware that riders must have a license class M. Before driving a car in Texas, all motorcycle drivers must have a current Class M license. Mopeds are included in this category as well.

Anyone who wants to ride a motorcycle on Texas roadways legally and safely must have a motorcycle license. With a few notable exceptions, earning a motorbike license in Texas is the same as getting a vehicle or truck license. The procedures for obtaining a motorbike license in Texas are as follows:

Complete a motorcycle safety course as a first step.

Before the skills test, taking a motorcycle safety course is the first step. Texas offers the Basic RiderCourse from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), which is approved by the Department of Public Safety. The MSF Basic RiderCourse is a great way to learn the foundations of operating a motorcycle as well as the abilities required to pass the DPS skills test.

Pass the motorcycle tests in step two.

Passing the written and skills tests given by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the next step. The written examination covers fundamental motorcycle operation and traffic law specific to motorcycles. The skills test serves as a practical assessment of your motorcycle safety driving skills.

Obtain a permit in Step 3

You will be given a motorcycle learner’s permit after completing the written and skills tests, enabling you to legally ride a motorcycle under the supervision of a licensed rider. You must possess the permission for at least six months and pass a road test before receiving a full motorbike license.

Please be aware that you are not need to pass the written and skills tests to get a motorbike license in Texas if you have a current driver’s license. You must, however, pass the motorcycle road test.


All motorcycle owners in Texas are required to complete the registration process in order to legally operate their vehicles. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) requires that all motorbikes be registered. Both in-person and online options are available at the TxDMV office and website, respectively. You must provide ownership documentation, such as the motorcycle’s title and insurance, in order to register a motorcycle. 

There is an additional registration fee that must be paid when registering a motorcycle. The fee varies depending on the sort of motorcycle, how old it is, how much it weighs, and where you live. Along with the registration fee, you might also be asked to pay a sales tax based on the motorcycle’s cost.

Registrations for motorcycles are only good for one year and need to be renewed every year. You will get a renewal letter in the mail with advice on how to renew your registration before it expires.


Texas requires that motorcycle owners test their vehicles once a year to ensure their safety and compliance with the law. A state-approved inspection station, typically a car shop or a TxDOT vehicle inspection facility, must do the inspection. This yearly safety evaluation includes a visual inspection of the following:

• brakes

• lights

• horn

• tires

Extra protective gear

When submitting your motorbike license in good standing, proof of insurance, and registration. When you bring your motorcycle in for inspection, the inspector will look at its safety features to make sure they meet the requirements set by the state. If the motorcycle passes inspection, a sticker indicating success will be applied to it.

Notably, the inspector will give you a list of adjustments that need to be made before the motorcycle can pass inspection if your motorcycle fails inspection. Prior to being able to legally operate the motorcycle on public roads, you will need to make the necessary repairs and have it inspected again.

Texas Motorcycle Emissions Law

Motor vehicle emissions in Texas are governed by various laws and rules. These regulations seek to clean up the state’s air and reduce pollution. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is the principal enforcement body for the Texas emission rules.

In some locations of Texas, certain car models & motorcycles must pass emissions testing. Particularly, annual emissions inspections are required for automobiles registered in select counties in the state, notably the Houston-Galveston and Dallas-Fort Worth regions. Pollutants such nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons are tested for. Before they can be registered or reregistered, vehicles that fail the emissions test must be repaired to satisfy the criteria established by the TCEQ.

Texas has implemented particular emissions criteria for new automobiles in addition to emissions testing. These requirements aim to lessen the quantity of dangerous pollutants that automobiles release into the air, and they are in line with the national standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Additionally, Texas has policies in place to encourage the use of low- and zero-emission automobiles. As an illustration, the state provides subsidies for the purchase of qualified electric and hybrid vehicles. Additionally, vehicles that run on alternative fuels, such as propane or compressed natural gas, may qualify for exemptions from the requirements for emissions testing. 


Helmets are shown to save lives, according to research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. One of the most important laws to follow is the Texas Motorcycle Helmet Law, which requires all Texas motorcycle riders to always wear helmets. Both drivers and passengers must follow this rule.

The goal of this rule is to safeguard riders from serious head injuries in the event of an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets can avoid brain injuries and motorcycle fatalities in around 67% and 37% of cases, respectively. This implies that using a helmet can greatly increase your likelihood of surviving a crash.

Texas requires that all motorcyclists who are not wearing full-face helmets wear eye protection in addition to the helmet law. This is due to the possibility that the wind from a motorcycle could irritate, dry out, or even harm the eyes. Wearing safety goggles can help to avoid these problems and improve rider visibility. These glasses should be:

• shatterproof

• sturdy construction

• Optical clarity

• impervious to impact and piercing

• avoid blocking peripheral vision.

The Texas Department of Public Safety oversees the enforcement of the helmet law. If riders are caught breaking the law, it may issue them with citations and fines. The fines could be between $25 and $250 depending on the type of violation. Repeat offenders may face additional punishments, including the suspension or cancellation of their motorcycle license.

It is significant to remember that the Texas helmet law has some exceptions. It is not necessary for riders to wear helmets if they have successfully completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course, have medical insurance that covers at least $10,000 for injuries received in a motorbike accident, and are at least 21 years old. Riders under the age of 21 are required to wear helmets, despite the aforementioned exceptions.


Motorcycle riders are not only reliant on their helmets for protection. Wearing fully protective clothes can prevent a motorbike accident and protect the rider from the inherent risks of motorcycling. Additionally, protective clothing can give warmth, comfort, visibility, and protection from the sun, wind, rain, dehydration, and cold.

• The ankle must be covered by low-heeled shoes without protruding rings or dangling laces. Foot pegs and good traction on the ground can be provided by footwear.

• Gloves should aid grip and control by protecting the hands from cuts, abrasions, blisters, cold, and wind.

• A rain suit should be worn in rainy weather.

• Wearing clothing that is brightly colored will make you more visible to other drivers, fit comfortably, and endure abrasions.


To prevent head injuries and screen the eyes from the wind and debris, headgear is crucial. The most effective type of headgear is a full-face helmet since it completely encloses the head and face, but three-quarter and half helmets are also available. It is crucial to confirm that the helmet satisfies the safety requirements established by the Department of Transportation (DOT).


Wearing eye protection is essential for Texas motorcyclists since it helps shield the eyes from wind, debris, and insects. Sunglasses can be useful, but for more effective protection, goggles or other types of protective eyewear are advised.


It is crucial to understand Texas’s motorcycle parking laws, which are outlined in Section 545 of the Texas Transportation Code. The code regulates where and how motorcycles may be parked, highlighting the requirement that they only be parked in spaces identified with a “Motorcycle Parking Only” sign. Parking in car or truck spots is prohibited and is punishable by fines.

Additionally, according to the regulation, motorbikes must be placed upright; hence, they cannot be parked on kickstands or up against other objects like buildings or other structures. By enforcing this law, motorcycles are parked securely and safely.

The ordinance also forbids motorbikes from being parked on sidewalks without the property owner’s consent, ensuring that pedestrians and people with disabilities have access to uncluttered pathways. Additionally, it prevents parking on a street or highway’s median as well as its lane or shoulder unless there is a sign permitting parking.

The last requirement is that all motorcycles must be registered and have a license plate under Section 545. Without a valid license plate, parking your motorcycle in a defined area may be illegal.

Motorcycles are defined as follows in Section 545 of the Texas Transportation Code:

• obligated to park in designated spaces

• must be parked upright.

• it’s against the law to park on a sidewalk, street median, or a road unless a sign specifically says it’s okay.

• need to be insured and have a working license plate

Texas’s policy for pursuing motor vehicles

The “no chase law for motorcycles” does not exist in Texas. However, pursuits involving motorcycles are permitted and governed by the same laws and rules as those involving other motor vehicles. To safeguard the security of all parties concerned, law enforcement officers must follow certain procedures when chasing a motorcyclist.

Officers in Texas are only permitted to begin a pursuit if they have a solid suspicion that the rider has committed a major offense, like a felony or violent crime. Officers must also assess the risks of pursuing the suspect against the necessity of doing so.

To guarantee everyone’s safety during a pursuit, cops are required to adhere to specific guidelines. Officers must, for instance, keep a safe distance from the pursuing motorcyclist, drive and maneuver with extra caution, and reduce the possibility of causing collateral damage or injuring bystanders.

For example, if the pursued biker is seen traveling in a way that endangers other people’s safety immediately, like going the opposite way of traffic on a one-way street or highway. Officers might then be permitted to stop the motorcycle rider with force, up to and including deadly force. 


It’s crucial to take certain actions to safeguard yourself and your legal rights if you are in a motorbike accident in Texas. The following actions should be taken in Texas following a motorcycle accident:

Stay at the scene: It’s critical to remain at the scene of a motorcycle collision until law enforcement comes. Legal repercussions for fleeing the scene of an accident can be severe.

Even if you feel good, it’s crucial to get medical assistance following a motorbike accident. Injuries may not be visible right away after an accident, but getting care right once can help avoid more serious issues down the road.

Contact the police: Dial 911 to report the collision and wait for the police to arrive. Next, assist them and provide truthful details about what occurred.

Take pictures of the accident area, your motorcycle, any other vehicles involved, and any injuries you may have incurred to properly document the collision. Note the names and contact details of any witnesses as well as the other involved drivers.

Contact your insurance provider: Inform your insurance provider about the collision as soon as possible. Tell them the truth about what happened and any injuries that were experienced.

Consult a personal injury lawyer: If you were hurt in the accident, it is recommended that you do so. A personal injury lawyer can explain your legal rights and choices to you. Additionally, a lawyer can assist you in negotiating with insurance providers and pursuing damages and injury claims.


Drive sensibly and safely. To ensure compliance and ensure the safety of both you and other road users, familiarize yourself with the new Texas motorcycle legislation 2023. Always wear a helmet, drive within the speed limit, and respect the law. Keep an eye on your surroundings, indicate appropriately, and keep your license and insurance up to date. Enjoy your freedom when riding, but never forget your duty. Happy two-wheeling and safe travels!

Is There A Helmet Law For Motorcycles In Texas?

Yes, there is a motorcycle helmet requirement in Texas. All motorcycle operators and passengers under the age of 21 are required by Texas law to wear helmets at all times. The use of a helmet is not required for motorcyclists over the age of 21 who have completed a motorcycle safety course or who have adequate health insurance. It’s crucial to remember, though, that a helmet is always advised for safety reasons. 

Aaron Herbert - Texas Injury Attorney
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