Riding a motorcycle can be hazardous in Georgia and elsewhere. For this reason, Georgia has a raft of motorcycle safety laws aimed at protecting riders.

In some cases, these laws go above and beyond those car drivers must comply with. Georgia’s motorcycle helmet law is a good example.

In Georgia, you can obtain a class M motorcycle license if you are at least 17-years-old. However, if you are under the age of 18, a parent, legal guardian or another responsible adult must sign the Form for Driver’s License/ID/Permit and complete the responsible adult affidavit. Riders under the age of 18 must present a Certificate of School Enrollment form, states the Georgia Motorcycle Operators Manual.

There are two ways to earn your motorcycle license. A Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program Course is highly recommended. Riders will learn how to handle a motorcycle. Bikes are provided at the centers. You will qualify for a license test waiver if you successfully complete the course. Given the dangers inherent in riding motorcycles, particularly for younger riders, we recommend this option.

If you received a test waiver, you can bypass the knowledge test and the skill test on a bike at a DDS Customer Service Center.

Alternatively, you can apply directly at a DDS Customer Service Center. To earn a license, you must first pass the knowledge test and skills test on your own machine. Applicants must also pass a vision test. If the vision test was administered and you passed it during the year along with another license issuance, the vision test requirement may be waived.

Applicants must pass a knowledge test. They must answer questions based on information, best practice, and ideas from the Georgia Motorcycle Operators Manual.

Applicants who have not completed a Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program Course must take and pass a rider skills test, a series of exercises intended to gauge your basic skills on a motorcycle.

Once you have earned your motorcycle license you must comply with the state’s laws for motorcyclists. A helmet is mandatory for all riders in Georgia. Any headgear must conform to the standards set by the commissioner of public safety. Eye protection is also required unless your bike is equipped with a windshield. All protective headgear must conform to the standards of the Board of Safety.

In Georgia, the handlebar of your bike must not exceed 15 inches above the seat, states Georgia Code, 40-6-314. Footrests are required under Georgia law if you are carrying a passenger.

Georgia’s motorcycle safety laws also require mirrors on all bikes. This is not a requirement if you are on an off-road dirt bike.

Under Georgia law, motorcyclists are not allowed to ride more than two abreast on the highways of the state. If you are carrying a passenger, you must have a dedicated seat on your bike.

Georgia’s motorcycle safety laws are important given the precarious nature of riding a motorcycle. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.