Which States Are Considering Changing Their Helmet Laws?


At the time of this publication, a number of US states are entertaining changes to their existing motorcycle helmet usage laws.  A brief listing of these states is provided in the section below of which you can scroll through to learn more. 

Missouri is the latest state to change from a universal helmet usage law to a law that allows exemptions.  It becomes one of the 10 states that require two factors for exemption and in Missouri’s case, those two factors are the motorcycle operator/passenger must be at least 26 years old and have medical insurance in order to have the right to legally decline to wear a motorcycle helmet. 


motorcycle helmet law age threshold infographic


It is worth noting that the 26 years of age threshold stands out as the highest age factor of all helmet laws with an age requirement for exemption.  The most common age requirement is 18 years of age (19 states use this criteria) and the second most common is 21 (7 states use this criteria).  Missouri joins a small but growing trend of states using medical insurance as one of the factors allowing an exemption to motorcycle helmet usage (there are currently 3 states that have a medical insurance requirement as one of the exemption factors – Texas, Florida, and now Missouri). 

As this topic is always changing, if you know of an additional change considerations at various states or if you know an actual enacted change or update to existing state motorcycle helmet usage laws, please contact us with this information by using our contact us section and form.  

west virginia flag motorcycle helmet law

West Virginia has long had a Universal Helmet Law requiring helmet usage for motorcycle drivers/passengers with no exemptions.  However, a recent effort labeled Senate Bill 77 (SB 77) would change this law and allow an exemption if the driver has 2-years motorcycle driving experience and if the driver is at least 21 years old.  The article below describe the effort.    


West Virginia is contemplating a change to its current helmet law 

nebraska flag - motorcycle helmet law

Another state that is contemplating changing their Universal Helmet Law requirement is Nebraska.  The proposed change would allow riders that are at least 21 AND have completed an authorized safety course.  If those two conditions are met, then the operator/passenger would have the choice to wear a helmet or not (eye protection is mandatory however)

Article discussing a potential upcoming change to Nebraska state law regarding motorcycle helmet usage

new hampshire flag motorcycle helmet laws

The only US state to never have had a motorcycle helmet law is the Granite State (aka New Hampshire).  In this regard the state is true to its motto – Live Free or Die.  Yet, there have been efforts over the years to revisit this issue and below is a link to an article describing such an effort. 


Article regarding efforts to establish motorcycle helmet usage law in new Hampshire

Additional Motorcycle Helmet related info

Just like every motorcycle rider is different, so are those riders’ head shapes.  And, as such, I’m sure you can imagine, if a helmet fits tighter on some areas of your head and looser on others resulting in unbalanced pressure points, that could negatively impact the safety benefits of using a helmet if that helmet (and head) is involved in a high energy impact event.  For this reason, the federal government has come up with a guide to help motorcycle riders – Choose the Right Motorcycle Helmet.

motorcycle helmet proper fit for different rider head shapes

Every responsible motorcycle rider knows, with riding motorcycles come added personal safety risks – they know that, they accept that.  Yet, those same riders often times don’t know or have simply forgotten those precious few motorcycle safety tips that could save their lives.  So, for those riders (which is just about all of us), take just a FEW MINUTES to look over this list of the Top 10 Motorcycle Safety Facts Every Motorcycle Rider Should Know … it could SAVE YOUR LIFE!!!

motorcycle helmet safety information

Updates and corrections welcome

The current state of motorcycle helmet laws across the 50 US states is something that changes over time and has nuances that often are not described well by available governing resources.  Therefore, if at any time you see something on this site that you feel is inaccurate we will welcome that information and take appropriate action if you will simply give us the information and the source(s) of motorcycle helmet law information you have.  We do ask that you provide us with an authoritative source of information such as a government website or government office we can contact as non-government sources can provide information that simply is not verifiable.  Either way, we hope you help keep this free and voluntary site of US motorcycle helmet law state information as valuable as possible. 

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