Minnesota Motorcycle Helmet Law

This list of Minnesota motorcycle helmet laws is a reference only and you should always refer to the Minnesota D.O.T. for current requirements.  Please e-mail us if you believe our Minnesota motorcycle helmet law information is out of date or otherwise incorrect.

Minnesota has helmet laws that exempt adult riders, riders over the age of majority -- 18 years old and over!

Minnesota Motorcycle Helmet Statue: 
Title 61. Motor Vehicles. Chapter 9. Vehicle Equipment. Part 4. Miscellaneous Regulations. Section 61-9-417. Headgear required for minor motorcycle riders. : 
"An operator and passenger under 18 years of age of any motorcycle or quadricycle operated upon the streets or highways of this state shall wear protective headgear upon the head. . . ."


Title 61. Motor Vehicles. Chapter 9. Vehicle Equipment. Part 4. Miscellaneous Regulations. Section 61-9-417. Headgear required for minor motorcycle riders. : 
". . . headgear shall meet standards established by the department of justice."

State Funded Rider Education
Available for all eligible applicants. 
Required under age 18. 

Eye Protection 
Required by law. 

Daytime Use Of Headlight 
Required by law. 
Modulating headlight permitted. 

Passenger Seat 
Required if carrying a passenger. 

Passenger Footrest
Required if carrying a passenger. 

Helmet Speakers 
Single earphone only. 

Required by law. 

Periodic Safety Inspection 
Random inspections, required by law. 

65 MPH Speed Limit 
In effect on designated rural interstate highways. 


Minnesota Statute Section 363.03(3) makes it a crime to deny the full and equal enjoyment of any public place of accommodation due to unfair and unconstutional discriminatory activity.
In addition, any person whose exercise or enjoyment of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States has been interfered with, or attempted to be interfered with may institute and prosecute a civil action for injunctive and other appropriate equitable relief, including the award of compensatory monetary damages. In the case of Cohen v. California 403 U.S. 15 (1971), the Supreme Court ruled that individuals have the constitutional right under the First Amendment, to wear clothing which displays writing or designs. A citizen has the right to move about freely and peaceably in public places, without fear of being discriminately removed therefrom. In addition, the right of an individual to freedom of association has long been recognized and protected by the United States Supreme Court Thus, a person's right to wear the clothing of his choice, as well as his right to belong to any club or organization of his choice ius constitutionally protected, and persons or establishments who discriminate on the basis of clothing or club membership are subject to lawsuit.

Minnesota Motorcycle Laws and Regulations 
A Resource for Motorcyclists

Motorcycle riders

1. All motorcyclists must:

- have a motorcycle instruction permit or a motorcycle endorsement.

- register their motorcycle and display a valid license plate.

- carry liability insurance for their bike and proof of insurance when riding.

- wear eye protection, either a face shield, goggles, or glasses. Windshields no longer meet legal requirements.

2. When riding on a motorcycle permit, riders:

- must wear a DOT-approved helmet.

- cannot carry passengers.

- cannot ride on interstate freeways.

- cannot ride at night. Motorcycle permits are valid for one year.

3. If you are under 18, you must:

- complete an approved motorcycle rider training course.

- wear a DOT-approved helmet.

Motorcycle equipment

For street-legal motorcycles:

- if the motorcycle has a passenger seat, it must also have passenger footrests.

- a rear view mirror, horn, and muffler are required equipment.

- the headlight must be on at all times when riding. Motorcycles are required to have at least one, but not more than two, headlights with both high and low beam. Headlight modulators are legal in Minnesota as an exception to FMVSS 571.108.

- a red tail light is required, including a brake or stop lamp. A "blue dot" on the tail light of up to one inch in diameter is legal.

- at least one brake is required, front or rear, which may be operated by hand or foot.

Motorcycle laws

- Motorcyclists are entitled to the full use of their lane and have all the rights and responsibilities of other drivers.

- Motorcyclists are permitted to use high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) carpool lanes.

- All laws regarding driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs apply to motorcyclists as well.

- Passengers must wear eye protection.

- Passengers under 18 must wear a DOT-approved helmet

- Motorcyclists may only ride on a permanent seat. Passengers may ride on a passenger seat or in a sidecar.

- Passengers must be able to reach both footpegs while seated on the bike.

- Operators and passengers must face forward with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.

- Motorcyclists must not carry anything that interferes with holding onto the handlebars.

- Splitting traffic is illegal. No one except on-duty police officers may ride between lanes of traffic or in the same lane with other vehicles. It is legal for two motorcyclists to ride side-by-side in the same lane if both riders agree to it beforehand.

Penalties for riding without a motorcycle endorsement or instruction permit include up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, and having the motorcycle towed and impounded.