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Operator Laws and Regulations

Check this list prepared by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Motorcycle Ohio Program to make sure both operator and motorcycle are in compliance with the Ohio Revised Code (R.C.) and the Ohio Administrative Code (O.A.C.). 

Motorcycle Operators

  • Must wear helmet first year of endorsement, or if under age 18. R.C. 4511.53
  • Must have a valid Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card (TIPIC) or a motorcycle endorsement on the driver license; R.C. 4510.12
  • Must register their vehicles and have a valid license plate; R.C. 4503.11
  • Must have and carry proof of insurance liability coverage for property damage and/or injury; R.C. 4509.101
  • Must wear eye protection (eyeglasses, goggles, or face shield on helmet) R.C. 4511.53
  • May use a windscreen or windshield, permanently attached to the motorcycle forward of the operator and of such height, construction, and durability as to actually protect the operator, as the eye protection required by R.C. 4511.53, (O.A.C. 4501-17-04)
  • Must comply with all permit restrictions (R.C.4511.53), if riding with a temporary motorcycle permit, including: 
    • No passengers;
    • Daylight hours only;
    • On any limited-access highway (or congested
      roadway eff. 1/1/17);
    • Helmet and eye protection required;
    • Permit is valid one year from date of issue.
  • Must comply with certain safety requirements, if under age 18, including: 
    • Taking an approved motorcycle basic rider training program; R.C. 4507.21(G)
    • Wearing approved protective headgear (helmet). R.C. 4511.53 

Motorcycle Equipment

  • Handlebars that do not rise higher than the shoulders of the operator when seated on the operator’s seat or saddle; R.C. 4511.53
  • A rearview mirror, horn, and muffler. R.C. 4513.21, 4513.22, and 4513.23
  • At least one and not more than two headlights with high and low beams. R.C. 4513.04
  • One red tail light, including brake or stop lamp. R.C. 4513.05, 4513.071
  • At least one brake, front or rear, which may be operated by hand or foot. R.C. 4513.20
  • Must have turn signals on motorcycles manufactured after 01/01/68. R.C. 4513.261 

Motorcycle Rules

  • The operator may ride only on a permanent, regular seat. R.C. 4511.53(B)
  • Passengers must ride upon a firmly attached seat or saddle. R.C. 4511.53(B)
  • Operator and passengers must face forward with one leg on either side of the motorcycle. R.C. 4511.53
  • Not more than two motorcycles may ride side-by-side in one lane. R.C. 4511.55(B)
  • Motorcycle operators are entitled to full use of the traffic lane and have all the rights and responsibilities of any driver.
  • All aspects of the law pertaining to driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol apply to motorcycle operators. R.C. 4511.19