Indiana Motorcycle Laws

Indiana Motorcycle Laws

Indiana Motorcycle Laws and Rules of the Road

Navigating the roadways on two wheels introduces a sense of freedom that many motorcycle enthusiasts cherish. However, with this freedom comes the responsibility of understanding and following the specific laws and regulations set forth by the state to ensure the safety of all road users. 

Understanding Indiana’s most important motorcycle laws ensures riders can pursue their passion for motorcycling while staying compliant and safe on the roads.

Licensing Requirements

To legally operate a motorcycle in Indiana, riders must have a standard Indiana driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. Individuals who possess a valid driver’s license can add a motorcycle endorsement by meeting specific criteria based on their age:

  • For Ages 16 ½ to 16 Years and 270 Days: Applicants must complete an approved driver education course and a motorcycle safety course as authorized by Ride Safe Indiana.
  • For Ages 16 Years and 270 Days and Older: Applicants are required to pass a motorcycle knowledge test, obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit, and successfully complete a motorcycle skills test authorized by Ride Safe Indiana. This route is necessary if the applicant’s license has been expired for more than 180 days.

Regardless of the path chosen, all applicants must pass a vision screening or present documentation of a recent vision screening. Minors under the age of 18 are required to have an Agreement of Financial Liability signed by a parent or guardian.

Insurance and Registration Requirements

In Indiana, carrying motorcycle insurance is a legal requirement for all riders, and proof of this insurance is necessary for motorcycle registration. The law stipulates that motorcycle insurance must adhere to the same criteria for financial responsibility as insurance for other types of vehicles. To meet these requirements, riders must have a policy that covers at least the minimum amounts for Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability (BI/PD). Specifically, policies should provide:

  • $25,000 coverage for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 coverage for total bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 coverage for property damage per accident

These figures represent the minimum legal coverage for personal injury and liability insurance. However, motorcycle riders have the option to select higher coverage limits, which, while increasing the premium, offer more comprehensive protection in case of significant accidents.

Helmet Requirements

In Indiana, the helmet regulation is particularly important. It mandates that all riders below the age of 18 and any rider with a learner’s permit must wear helmets. They also must wear protective glasses.

While helmets and eyewear are not required for adult riders, it’s important to acknowledge that wearing a helmet can greatly lower the chances of sustaining severe injuries.

Equipment Regulations

Indiana requires motorcycles to have certain safety features to protect riders and others on the road. These include:

  • Rear-view mirrors and turn signals
  • Brakes that work with hand or foot control
  • One or two headlamps that meet visibility rules
  • A speedometer
  • Handlebars no higher than 15 inches above the seat
  • Rear reflectors placed 20 to 60 inches off the ground, visible at night from 100 to 350 feet.

Note: Any motorcycle manufactured before January 1, 1956, does not need a speedometer, rear view mirror, or turn signals.

Motorcycle Safety Course

In Indiana, taking a motorcycle safety course is optional for most, but mandatory if you’re under 16 years and 90 days old. For others, passing a skills exam is all that’s necessary. Yet, considering a safety course could improve your driving skills, reduce risk of motorcycle collisions, and potentially reduce your insurance premiums, it’s a decision worth contemplating.


In Indiana, motorcycles designed for two people can legally carry one passenger. The passenger must sit on a seat intended for them, equipped with a footrest. They should be seated properly, ensuring they do not hinder the motorcycle driver’s control or operation of the bike.

Traffic Lane Usage

Motorcycles are entitled to occupy a full, single-traffic lane, and other vehicles must not block their access. It’s permissible for two motorcycles to ride next to each other in the same lane, provided both riders consent.

However, motorcycles cannot share a lane with passenger cars or other four-wheeled vehicles. These regulations are in place to safeguard motorcyclists and minimize accidents on Indiana roads. It’s vital for every rider, no matter their experience level, to understand and follow these laws to prevent a motorcycle accident.

Riding Safely

While adherence to state laws and regulations is critical, incorporating personal safety measures into your riding routine can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. Here are essential tips for riding safely:

Wear Appropriate Gear: Always wear protective gear, including a DOT-approved helmet, even if not mandated by law. Use gloves, jackets, and pants made from durable materials to protect against road rash. Consider wearing reflective gear for better visibility.

Conduct Pre-Ride Checks: Before each ride, perform a quick check of your motorcycle’s key systems, such as brakes, tires, lights, and fluid levels, to ensure everything is in working order.

Stay Visible: Use your headlamp, even during the day, and consider adding reflective strips to your bike. Avoid riding in drivers’ blind spots, and always signal your intentions clearly.

Practice Defensive Riding: Assume that you are not visible to other drivers and prepare for unexpected moves. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, and always have an escape route in mind.

Be Weather-Wise: Check the weather forecast before setting out and avoid riding in extreme conditions. Wet or icy roads and high winds can significantly impact your control over the motorcycle.

Keep Skills Sharp: Regularly participating in motorcycle safety courses can improve your skills, keep you abreast of new safety strategies, and sometimes even reduce your insurance premiums.

Avoid Distractions: Never use a phone or other electronic devices while riding. Stay focused on the road and your surroundings at all times.

Ride According to Your Abilities: Avoid pushing your limits on unfamiliar roads or in challenging conditions. Ride at speeds that allow you to react and stop safely.

Use the Proper Positioning in Lanes: Position yourself in the lane to maximize your visibility to drivers ahead and to give yourself the widest margin of safety.

Follow Traffic Regulations: Adhere to speed limits, traffic signals, and road signs. Safe riding involves respecting the rules of the road and the rights of other road users.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? You Deserve Justice

If you’ve sustained serious injuries from a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Indiana law supports victims of such unfortunate events, and seeking legal assistance can pave the way to recovering damages for your pain, suffering, medical expenses, and any loss of income resulting from the accident. Our team of expert lawyers is well-versed in motorcycle accident cases, and we are dedicated to fighting for your rights. Contact us for a free consultation, and let us help you in your pursuit of justice and a fair settlement.

Doehrman Buba Ring Will Fight For Motorcycle Accident Victims

At Doehrman Buba Ring, our commitment transcends mere representation; we champion the cause of motorcycle accident victims with unwavering dedication. Understanding the complexities and the profound impact these accidents have on individuals and their families, we strive to secure the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve. With a blend of expertise, compassion, and tenacity, we stand as fierce advocates for your rights, ensuring that your voice is heard and your recovery is paramount. Contact our legal team today for a free consultation.

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