North Carolina Motorcycle Laws

nc motorcycle lawsMotorcycles are a transportation experience like no other. However, to safely enjoy North Carolina roadways, motorcycle riders should follow the rules of the road.

Because motorcycles leave riders less protected than passengers in cars, additional laws apply.

Bikers should know about these NC motorcycle laws before driving on North Carolina roads:

  • Motorcycle license requirements,
  • Motorcycle helmet laws, and
  • Motorcycle driving laws.

NC Motorcycle License Requirements

Motorcyclists in North Carolina must obtain a provisional, regular, or commercial driver’s license, just like any other North Carolina driver.

Then, motorcyclists must complete an additional step. NC motorcycle laws require motorcyclists to obtain a motorcycle learner permit or motorcycle endorsement.

To receive a motorcycle learner permit, the driver must pass motorcycle knowledge, road sign identification, and vision tests. Motorcycle learner permits last for 12 months, but the driver can renew a permit for up to 6 months.

Teen drivers who hold a provisional license must get a parent or guardian’s signature and complete a motorcycle safety course.

NC motorcycle laws approve motorcycle safety courses offered through N.C. Motorcycle Safety Education Program(NCMSEP) or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation(MSF). Motorcycle drivers younger than age 18 cannot carry passengers on their bikes.

To receive a motorcycle endorsement, a driver must pass both a North Carolina motorcycle laws knowledge and an off-street skills test. Drivers can make an appointment for a skills test on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, at certain NCDMV driver license offices.

Motorcycle License Costs

North Carolina drivers must pay the following fees to obtain a motorcycle license.

  • $20 for a motorcycle learner permit
  • $2.30 for a motorcycle endorsement

After receiving a motorcycle learning permit or endorsement, bikers can legally ride their motorcycles on North Carolina roads.

North Carolina Motorcycle Helmet Laws

All motorcycle drivers and riders must wear helmets on North Carolina roads. Helmets must comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218

The standard’s motorcycle helmet requirements include:

  • Passing acceleration and penetration tests
  • Providing specified peripheral vision clearance
  • Lacking rigid interior projections
  • Affixing a required label

NC motorcycle laws say motorcyclists must secure helmet chin straps when driving or riding a motorcycle. North Carolina law does not require motorcyclists to wear other protective clothing.

However, clothing such as leather pants and jackets, jeans, closed-toe boots, thick gloves, and goggles can offer further protection.

NC Motorcycle Driving Laws

Motorcyclists must follow all the driving laws that other automotive drivers follow. However, bikers should keep a few additional laws in mind.

  • Motorcyclists can share a lane with another motorcycle, riding side by side.
  • Motorcyclists cannot share a lane with an automobile.
  • There is no minimum age for motorcycle passengers, but a motorcyclist can’t carry more passengers than the bike’s designed capacity.

Motorcycle drivers following all NC motorcycle laws should still exhibit caution for other drivers. After all, cars sometimes neglect to look out for bikers, leading to deadly consequences.

Need Legal Advice for Your North Carolina Motorcycle Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident by a negligent driver, we can help you recover compensation. We have recovered millions for injured North Carolina families.

Call us for a free consultation. We’ll listen to your story, explain NC motorcycle laws, and offer you our best legal advice. If you decide to hire us, you’ll pay nothing until we win your case. That’s because Attorney Albritton works on a contingency fee in order to reduce your stress.

We fund the case through trial and advocate for you so that you can focus on recovery.

If you’re ready to claim what you’re owed, give us a call today


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