Texas Motorcycle Laws

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Texas

By law, motorcyclists who are 20 years old or younger must wear helmets while riding, and according to the Texas Department of Safety, motorcyclists who are at least 21 years old must have proof of health insurance to operate a motorcycle without a helmet. However, by the same law, a motorcyclist can’t be stopped by the police for the sole purpose of determining if he has insurance coverage.

These laws apply to both motorcycle drivers and passengers, and all helmets must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards.


Motorcycle riders must have a valid motorcycle license (Class M license) to operate a motorcycle, moped, or motor-driven cycle in Texas. To obtain this license, motorcyclists must pass both a written test and road test.


Motorcyclists must:

  • be 16 years of age or older
  • be able to show proof of liability insurance
  • have passed the Department of Public Safety’s Basic Motorcycle Operator Training Course
  • have a valid unrestricted license (Class A, B, or C)

Minors between ages 15 and 17 must pass the Basic Motorcycle Operator Training Course and also be able to present an MSB-8 completion certificate from a course that meets the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s curriculum standards.


According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, for the safety of the rider and other people on the road, Texas laws require the following equipment for motorcycles and other motorized cycles in the state:

  • brakes
  • exhaust system
  • head lamp
  • horn
  • license plate lamp
  • mirror
  • motorcycle serial number or vehicle identification number
  • rear red reflector
  • steering
  • stop lamp
  • tail lamp
  • tires
  • wheel assembly