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North Carolina Motorcycle Laws

Each year, thousands of motorcyclists are injured in North Carolina, and each year, over 100 of these individuals succumb to their injuries. There are plenty of laws and safety requirements in place to prevent these accidents but, unfortunately, they still occur. Below is a brief overview of North Carolina’s motorcycle laws as they pertain to motorcycle drivers.

What is a Motorcycle?

Under North Carolina law, a motorcycle is any vehicle with a saddle and no more than three wheels that are used for transporting a rider. This can include motor scooters and even motor-driven bicycles but does not include things mopeds, which are classified separately.

How to Obtain a Motorcycle License in NC

To be eligible for a motorcycle license in North Carolina, all motorcyclists must first complete the following requirements:

  1. They must pay the required license fee
  2. They must pass a basic vision test as administered by the NCDMV
  3. They must a traffic sign identification exam
  4. They must pass a motorcycle knowledge test
  5. They must pass a motorcycle on-cycle skills test OR provided proof of completion of a North Carolina Motorcycle Safety Education Program Basic Rider Course, and Experienced Rider Course, or any course approved by the commissioner that is consistent with the instruction provided via the Motorcycle Safety Instruction Program (G.S. 115D-72)

Once the individual has taken the steps mentioned above, they can obtain one of the following motorcycle licenses:

  • A full provisional license with a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • A standard driver’s license with a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • A full provisional license with a motorcycle endorsement
  • A standard driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement

Motorcycle laws in North Carolina

Motorcycle Laws and Safety Requirements in North Carolina

On top of carrying their license with them whenever they are operating their vehicle, all motorcyclists in North Carolina must carry insurance to the tune of:

  • A minimum of $30,000 bodily injury/death for a single person for a single accident 
  • A minimum of $60,000 bodily injury/death for multiple people for a single accident
  • A minimum of $25,000 property damage for a single

Additionally, all motorcycle drivers and their passengers must wear a helmet that meets the following requirements:

  • A foam liner that is roughly one inch thick
  • A sticker showing the helmet is DOT compliant
  • A manufacturer’s label that shows the manufacturer’s name, manufacturing date, model, size, shell type, and list of materials the element is constructed out of
  • A label with instructions for proper helmet use, care, and cleaning

Finally, to be considered “street legal”, all motorcycles in North Carolina must be equipped with:

  • A license plate that’s visible from at least 50 feet away at night
  • A horn
  • Rear brake lights
  • Right and left rearview mirrors
  • A headlight that provides at least 200 feet of visibility in front of the vehicle
  • Right and left turn signals
  • A footrest for passengers

Motorcycle accidents can be truly terrifying. If you are ever involved in a motorcycle accident, make sure your first call is to 911 and your second call is to the team at Mulligan Attorneys at 910-763-1100. We can help you take the steps necessary to see to it that your rights are protected and may be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries and damages. Schedule your consultation now by clicking here.