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Motorcycle Laws in Florida

Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A. Nov. 27, 2023

Florida tends to maintain warm temperatures throughout the entire year, which is why the Sunshine State is one of the best destinations for motorcyclists. Unfortunately, many people who drive through or live in Florida do not understand the state’s motorcycle laws. Not knowing the laws puts you at a much greater risk for preventable accidents on the road.  

At the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A., we’re committed to educating both Florida residents and tourists about the state’s motorcycle laws to help foster safety and legal compliance. If you or someone you love has been involved in a motorcycle accident in Fort Lauderdale or surrounding areas in Florida, our attorneys can help you explore your options for compensation. We serve clients in Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Hollywood, Davie, Weston, and Sunrise.  

9 Motorcycle Laws to Know When Riding in Florida

1. Motorcycle Endorsement

Having a driver’s license is not enough to lawfully operate a motorcycle in the state of Florida. The law requires you to obtain a motorcycle endorsement to be permitted to ride any two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine capacity of 50cc or bigger.  

Under Florida law, individuals aged 16 or older who have a valid driver’s license must pass the Basic Rider Course (BRC) and obtain a motorcycle endorsement within a year. Those who do not have a driver’s license can complete the knowledge test and the BRC to have a license limited to motorcycle operation.  

2. Helmet Law 

Unlike some other states, Florida does not require all riders and passengers to wear helmets when operating motorcycles. In the state, only riders and passengers under the age of 21 are legally required to wear an approved helmet.  

For riders and passengers aged 21 and older, helmet use is optional as long as they have a minimum of $10,000 in medical benefits coverage, which ensures that they have adequate insurance coverage to pay for medical care in the event of accidents.  

3. Eye Protection 

Florida has separate laws regarding helmets and eye protection for motorcycle riders. While statutes permit adult riders to not wear helmets if they have sufficient medical benefits coverage, these rules do not apply to eye protection. Riders cannot lawfully operate motorcycles if they do not wear any form of protective eyewear such as goggles. 

4. Lane Splitting 

Lane splitting, which is a term used to describe the practice of riding a motorcycle between two occupied lanes of traffic, is not permitted in the state of Florida. Statutes prohibit motorcycle riders from passing and overtaking other vehicles between occupied lanes of traffic. While lane splitting is illegal in Florida, the law permits two motorcycles to ride side-by-side in one lane.  

5. Illegal Stunts 

Florida law prohibits motorcycle riders from operating motorcycles in any manner that would endanger others on the road. This includes stunts such as wheelies, in which the front tire of the bike comes off the ground while the rear tire remains on the ground.  

6. Passengers 

Motorcycle riders can absolutely ride with passengers unless their bikes lack a designated seat for the passenger to sit on. In addition to a designated seat, a motorcycle must have footrests for passengers. If the bike is not equipped with either a designated seat or footrest, it’s considered unlawful to ride with passengers in Florida.  

7. Listening Devices 

Florida law prohibits motorcycle operators from using listening devices while riding due to their potential to obstruct the rider’s ability to hear surrounding noise and react to hazards promptly. The only exception is when the rider wears an earpiece connected to their cellphone in one ear, while the other ear can hear surrounding noise.   

8. Headlights 

Many collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles occur because drivers are not able to see motorcyclists on the road. For this reason, Florida makes it mandatory for motorcycles to always have headlights on to make them more visible to other drivers on the road. To comply with the law, headlights on your motorcycle must automatically turn on whenever you start the engine.  

9. Mirrors 

Last but not least, Florida law requires all motorcycles to be equipped with mirrors that allow the rider to see for a distance of no less than 200 feet. The law exists for a reason; mirrors increase the motorcycle operator’s awareness of what’s going on around them, which can be effective in reducing the likelihood of collisions.  

Don’t Face Legal Challenges Alone – Contact Us 

Unfortunately, obeying all these motorcycle laws may not always be enough to avoid accidents. After all, riders are at the mercy of other motorists who may disregard traffic rules. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, our attorneys at the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A., are here to help. Reach out to our office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to discuss your case and options for recovery.