An Overview of Missouri Motorcycle Laws

Missouri Motorcycle Laws

Just like other states, Missouri has motorcycle laws in place regarding motorcycle safety, equipment, and procedures. These laws are intended to keep public roadways safer and reduce fatality rates. Under Missouri revised statutes, section 302.020.1, a person must have a Class M motorcycle license or permit, or a driver license with the M endorsement to be eligible to operate a motorcycle on Missouri public roadways.  The license or permit proves that the holder passed all tests and examinations to operate a motorcycle.

A person who operates a motorcycle on public roadways in Missouri without a valid license or permit is in violation of the law and such person shall be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a potential jail term of up to one year and/or fines of up to $1000.  Furthermore, the law requires all motorcycle operators and passengers to wear state-approved protective headgear while the motorcycle is in motion. Failure to wear state-approved protective headgear while the motorcycle is in motion is considered an infraction for which a fine not exceeding $25 may be imposed. Besides, the law stipulates that no demerit points shall be assessed against such person’s license and no court costs shall be imposed upon any person due to such violation. However, a person who is found guilty of violating motorcycle headgear laws or operating a motorcycle on Missouri roadways without a valid license or permit for a third or subsequent time shall be charged with a Class D felony.

Missouri motorcycle laws also prohibit any person from operating a motorcycle with a license or an instruction permit issued to another person. A motorcycle owner who knowingly permits another person who does not have a valid license or instruction permit to operate his or her motorcycle shall also be held liable of violating section 302.020.1 of Missouri laws and such person shall be charged with a Class C misdemeanor.

Motorcycle riders or operators in Missouri are required by law to get adequate insurance coverage before considering riding on the roadways.  Typically, a motorcycle operator required to have the following insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 –Bodily injury one person
  • $50,000- Bodily injury all persons
  • $10,000- Property damage
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)

Depending on the circumstances, operating a motorcycle in Missouri without insurance could lead to serious penalties, loss of license and fines.

Persons under 18 years of age are eligible to apply for a temporary motorcycle instruction permit upon attaining fifteen and a half years (15 years and 182 days). In order to be issued with the permit, you have to successfully complete an approved motorcycle rider training course, pass Class F and Class M written, vision and road sign tests, and have the written consent of a parent or guardian.

In Missouri, there are certain restrictions which apply to motorcycle instruction permit holders that are under 16 years of age. The restrictions include:

  • The operator shall not carry any passengers.
  • The operator shall not travel at any time from a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise.
  • The motorcycle may not have an engine with a displacement exceeding 250 cc.
  • The operator shall travel within 50 miles from their home address.

If you’re facing charges in Missouri regarding violation of motorcycle laws, it’s advisable to consult with a professional defense attorney as soon as possible. Whether you’ve been cited for not wearing protective headgear, operating a motorcycle without a valid license, involvement in an accident, or any other violation of Missouri’s motorcycle laws, you need a qualified and reputable defense attorney on your side. A knowledgeable and experienced defense attorney in Missouri will devise ways to mount a solid defense that will certainly get you off the hook.

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