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Motorcycle Laws in Nevada 2019

Posted on August 8, 2019 in Motorcycle Accident,Personal Injury

Nevada has the highest percentage of motorcyclist deaths compared to the total number of motor vehicle deaths. As of 2016, motorcyclist deaths made up 22.6% of the auto accident death total, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. It may not always be possible to avoid distracted and negligent drivers while on a motorcycle. Obeying the state’s latest motorcycle laws, however, could decrease your chances of getting into an accident. Nevada law states the following, motorcycle licenses are required, you must be at least 16 years-old to ride a motorcycle, you must wear a helmet, and motorcycles are permitted on all roads and highways. Lane splitting is not legal in Nevada, and you must have all the equipment needed on your bike before taking it out on the road. Each law is explained below.

Is a Motorcycle License Required in Nevada?

Yes, motorcyclists must have valid and active motorcycle licenses to ride in Nevada. You need either a Class M license from another state or in Nevada. New motorcyclists must either take written and riding tests at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or through another approved vendor. If you carry certification of completing a course by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, you do not need to pass the tests at the DMV. If you do not yet carry a regular Class C driver’s license, you will need to also pass the Class C written test in addition to the motorcycle classes.

How Old Do You Have To Be to Ride a Motorcycle in Nevada?

You must be at least 16 years old to ride a motorcycle in Nevada. Motorcyclists must carry valid driver’s licenses (Class M) to operate. You cannot be under 16 to receive this license. If you are under 18, you need an instruction permit to operate a motorcycle. With an instruction permit, you may only operate the motorcycle while under the visual supervision of someone 21 or older with a valid motorcycle license, who has had the license for at least one year. Permits are valid for one year and expire on a rider’s 18th birthday.

Do You Have to Wear a Helmet?

Yes, you must wear a helmet as a motorcyclist in Nevada. Nevada has a universal helmet law requiring all motorcycle riders and their passengers to wear approved, properly fitting helmets. An approved helmet will have a sticker from the Department of Transportation or Snell Foundation. The helmet must fit snugly on your head. Your helmet should also have a face shield, or else you must wear protective goggles while you ride. You do not need face or eye protection if your motorcycle has a windshield or windscreen.

If you were injured because your helmet malfunctioned or if you still received serious head injuries after an accident, contact Claggett & Syke’s experienced motorcycle accident attorneys and discuss your case details to get compensation for your injuries. 

Where Can You Ride in Nevada?

Motorcycles can travel anywhere other vehicles can in Nevada. They have full access to all public roads and highways. Motorcycles also have the right to take up full lanes. As a motorcyclist, you may share lanes with other motorcycles, but not with passenger vehicles. If a passenger vehicle tries to share a lane with you, the driver could be responsible for a subsequent accident. Drivers must keep a safe distance from your motorcycle at all times. You also have the same responsibilities as a typical driver. You must follow all road signs, traffic laws and related regulations.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Nevada in 2019?

Nevada has not legalized lane splitting as of 2019. Lane splitting or filtering refers to a motorcyclist riding on the line between two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. A study from Berkeley concluding that lane splitting is reasonably safe for motorcyclists in 2015 led to California dropping its law prohibiting lane splitting in 2016. Lane splitting remains illegal, however, in the neighboring state of Nevada. If you lane split in Nevada, you could receive a traffic ticket and a fine.

What Equipment Must Your Motorcycle Have?

Before you head out, your motorcycle must contain all the required equipment listed in Nevada Revised Statute 486.180. This includes at least one headlight (no more than two), a red taillight, a stop lamp, one rear reflector, front and rear brakes, turn signals (on motorcycles manufactured after 1973), rear view mirrors on each handlebar, fenders, passenger footrests, a horn, and a muffler. It is your responsibility to keep your motorcycle in safe and proper operating condition at all times. Negligent motorcycle maintenance could cause an accident.