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Laws Every Motorcycle Rider Needs to Know in Florida

April 11, 2023 Legal Team

Motorcycles offer Floridians a fun and cost-effective way to enjoy the state’s many attractions. They can also be a reliable and stylish means of transportation for daily commutes to work or school.

However, operating a motorcycle in Florida requires more than holding a state driver’s license. There are specific licensing rules and operating regulations a motorcycle rider must abide by to operate their motorcycle legally within the state.

If you are interested in operating a motorcycle in Florida, pay special attention to the following and get a complete list of Florida’s motorcycle laws. Many states, including Florida, have unique rider regulations.

Obtain a Florida Motorcycle Endorsement

Before riding a motorcycle in Florida, a resident must obtain a motorcycle endorsement. A Florida motorcycle endorsement allows for the operation of any two or three-wheeled motorcycle having a 50cc or larger engine.

A motorcycle endorsement is wholly separate from a motor vehicle driver’s license.

Complete a Basic Rider Course

To get a motorcycle endorsement on their motor vehicle driver’s license, a person 16 or older must complete and pass the Basic Rider Course offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Those without a motor vehicle driver’s license can obtain a motorcycle-only operator’s license.

Wear a Helmet if Under 21 or…

Those riders under 21 must wear an approved helmet when operating a motorcycle. Those over 21 may choose not to wear a helmet if they have insurance with at least $10,000 in medical benefits coverage in the event of a crash.

Wear Eye Protection

Unlike helmets, approved eye protection is mandatory when riding a motorcycle in Florida regardless of age.

Ride with Headlights on

As with eye protection, headlights are required at all times.

Have Mirrors and Other Safety Equipment

Headlights increase safety as do the following devices required of all motorcycles in Florida:

  • A rearview mirror;
  • Turn signals;
  • Horn;
  • Brakes, front and back;
  • Working exhaust system;
  • Rear red reflector;
  • Stop lamp; and
  • A tail light.

For identification purposes, a Florida tag must be permanently attached to the exterior rear of the motorcycle that is incapable of being flipped.

No High Handlebars

Some equipment is mandatory, but others are disallowed. For example, modified handlebars or hand grips that are higher than the operator’s shoulders when seated are illegal.

No Headsets

Headsets separate from helmets are also illegal, but there are exceptions for hearing aids and listening devices.

No Lane-Splitting or Riding Abreast

Some states allow lane-splitting or riders riding sharing a lane in traffic. However, lane-splitting or riding abreast is not permitted in Florida.

No Stunts or “Wheelies”

Another dangerous practice, stunt riding is disallowed in Florida. This includes wheelies and other trick-riding.

No Passengers Without a Seat and Footrests

Finally, for rider and passenger safety, riders may only carry a passenger if their motorcycle is equipped with a designated passenger seat and passenger footrests.

Contact an Experienced Sarasota Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

By no means is this an extensive overview of the complex motorcycle laws in Florida. These are merely the highlights of a complicated area of state traffic regulation.

If you would like to learn more about Florida’s motorcycle laws or you were seriously injured after someone neglected to follow these laws, the Sarasota motorcycle accident lawyers at Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann may be able to help.

Call (941) 954-4000 or contact Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann now for a complimentary consultation and to learn about our personalized client services. Do not wait as Florida has strict time limits to file a motorcycle accident claim.