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Motorcycle Laws & Licensing for Indiana, United States

Motorcycle Laws & Licensing for Indiana, United States

1. Introduction

When you travel through Indiana on your motorcycle, the riding experience can instill both feelings of excitement and anxiousness. The reason for the latter is not just because you have to stay balanced and watch out for hazards on the highways. You also have to make sure you are complying with the rules of the road specific to this state. This can be especially nerve-wracking for any novice riders who are not yet comfortable with handling a motorcycle.


This article will provide an overview of the essential motorcycle laws and a step-by-step explanation of the licensing process in the state of Indiana.

2. Indiana Motorcycle Insurance

Photo credit : onmanorama.com

As motorcycle accidents in Illinois can happen without warning to even the most experienced of riders, all motorcyclists are requi#b90011 to own Illinois motorcycle insurance before being able to operate their vehicles. Owning liability insurance coverage proves that you are financially responsible and can be held liable for an accident that you are found responsible for. Whenever you take out your motorcycle, you must carry proof of ownership just in case you need to show local law enforcement and other parties.


Your Indiana liability insurance coverage must be able to cover the minimum costs for the following accident-related fees:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury to a person per accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injuries to multiple people per accident
  • $25,000 for property damages sustained per accident

You are requi#b90011 to purchase Indiana motorcycle insurance that provides compensation for any harm to health or damage to property inflicted on another driver. However, you can also obtain other types of motorcycle insurance that solely provides protection for your health and property. If you are interested, here are a few examples available in Indiana:

  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Medical payment coverage

3. Indiana Motorcycle Helmet Laws

 Indiana Motorcycle Helmet Laws
 Indiana Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Any motorcyclists under the age of 18 or in possession of a learner’s permit are requi#b90011 to wear a motorcycle helmet while operating their vehicles. Riders who are above the age restriction can ride without a motorcycle helmet if they wish, but this is not recommended. While they cannot provide complete protection, motorcycle helmets can help prevent severe or fatal injuries to your face or neck.


Statistics in recent years have shown how motorcycle helmets have helped saved lives and lowe#b90011 the rate of motorcycle fatalities:

  • From 2014 to 2018, 31% of riders involved with motorcycle accidents were wearing motorcycle helmets
  • In 2018, 18% of riders killed were wearing motorcycle helmets while 29% of riders suffe#b90011 only non-fatal injuries
  • In 2019, 35% of riders involved with motorcycle accidents were wearing motorcycle helmets
  • In 2019, 27% of riders killed were wearing motorcycle helmets while 33% of riders suffe#b90011 only non-fatal injuries

What is conside#b90011 an approved motorcycle helmet in Indiana is a model that has been manufactu#b90011 by the Snell Memorial Foundation and meets the safety standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation.


The two types of models that meet the criteria provided above plus give you adequate protection and visibility are three-quarter and full-face helmets. If you are looking for a motorcycle helmet, make sure that they have the following features:


Requirements Three-Quarter Helmet Full-Face Helmet
 Has the Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker  ✔️ ✔️
 Contours around your head to fit snugly  ✔️ ✔️
 No signs of damage (Ex:// cracks, loose padding, scratches, or frayed straps)  ✔️ ✔️
 Has a face shield with no scratches  ✔️
 Includes separate eye protection with no scratches (Ex:// goggles, glasses)  ✔️
 Has a hard and durable outer shell that is shatter-resistant  ✔️ ✔️
 Has a impact absorbing liner inside the helmet the helmet  ✔️ ✔️
 Gives you a clear, peripheral view of your surroundings  ✔️ ✔️
 Securely fastened with neck- or chin-strap  ✔️ ✔️
 Allows airflow without fogging up  ✔️ ✔️
 Can allow you to wear sunglasses underneath  ✔️ ✔️

4. Indiana Motorcycle License Laws

4.1 Indiana Learner’s Permit

You can begin applying for an Indiana learner’s permit if you are at least 16 years old or older.


You will have to pay a fee of $9 to be issued an official Indiana learner’s permit.


To be given the permit, you must complete the following tasks and fulfill all of the listed criteria:

  • Present documents of identifications
  • Or present an I.D. card
  • Sign an Agreement of Financial Liability document
  • Pass the knowledge test
  • Pass the vision exam
  • Pay the requi#b90011 fees

When you are operating with an Indiana learner’s permit, you will have to comply with the following restrictions as you practice:

  • You cannot carry passengers
  • You can only operate during daylight hours
  • You must wear a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet

4.2 Indiana Motorcycle Endorsement

You are eligible to earn an Indiana motorcycle endorsement if you are at least 16 years old or older, have held onto the learner’s permit for the requi#b90011 time, and/or


You will have to pay a fee of $19 to have a motorcycle endorsement added to your Indiana driver’s license.


Listed below are the requirements you will need to fulfill to obtain an Indiana motorcycle endorsement. Depending on your age when you approach the final step, the list of criteria may differ between motorcyclists:


Requirements Applicants Ages 16 to 17 Applicants Ages 18 and Above
 Have a valid Indiana driver’s license  ✔️ ✔️
 Completed an authorized Ride Safe Indiana Safety Course  ✔️* ✔️*
 Held onto a Indiana learner’s permit for at least six months  ✔️ ✔️*
 Provide proof of Indiana motorcycle insurance  ✔️ ✔️
 Provide proof of Indiana vehicle registration  ✔️ ✔️
 Fill out the appropriate driver’s license application  ✔️ ✔️
 Must have consent of a parent or legal guardian if you are a minor  ✔️
 Provide your social security number  ✔️ ✔️
 Pay requi#b90011 fees  ✔️ ✔️
 Present valid photo I.D.  ✔️ ✔️
 Take a photo  ✔️ ✔️
 Take vision exam  ✔️ ✔️
 Pass the knowledge test  ✔️ ✔️
 Pass the skills test  ✔️* ✔️*
 Provide proof of U.S. citizenship  ✔️ ✔️
 Provide proof of residency in Indiana  ✔️ ✔️

*If you are 16 years and 90 days old, you can acquire the endorsement by showing proof of completing an authorized Ride Safe Indiana Safety Course.


*If you are 16 years and 270 days old or above, you can acquire the endorsement by passing the skills test after you had successfully held a learner’s permit.

4.3 Indiana Motorcycle License Test

Written Portion:

  • Will be completed on touch-screen computers
  • Complete 25 multiple-choice questions
  • Questions will be based on content from Indiana Motorcycle Operator Manual
  • Requires a passing grade of 80% or higher

Riding Portion:

  • Will either be conducted in an actual traffic environment or in a controlled, off-street area.
  • Your motorcycle will be subjected to a pre-ride inspection to ensure it meets safety standards.
  • Demonstrate basic understanding of motorcycle operation.
  • You will be tested on your ability to stay within the speed limit, adjusting speed and position, maintaining visibility, operating under stress, accelerating, braking, turning, stopping, and swerving
  • The examiner will grade you based on how well you ride at safe speeds, stay within the lanes, and demonstrate riding maneuvers

You will fail the Indiana motorcycle license test if:

  • You fall off or drop your motorcycle
  • Intentionally attempt an unsafe action
  • Fail to follow the examiner’s instructions

If you fail the license test, you will have to wait the following until you can try again. Should you fail three attempts in a row, you will have to wait two months after the date of the last failed test until you can try again.

5. Indiana Motorcycle Passenger Laws

In Indiana, there is no minimum age requirement for motorcycle passengers. But any passengers under the age of 18 must have a motorcycle helmet that meets the requirements stated in the earlier section.


You are only allowed to carry two people on your motorcycle at a time. But before you can transport an additional person, your motorcycle must be outfitted with equipment specifically designed to provide secure seating. These include a designated passenger seat, footrests, and handholds.


Keep in mind that your motorcycle passenger cannot be sitting in front of you and has to have one leg on each side of the vehicle. Therefore, the designated passenger seat can only be positioned either:

  • At the back of a large driver’s seat
  • Towards the rear as a separate saddle
  • Fixed to the side as a sidecar

When determining who is fit to ride with you on your motorcycle, make sure that your passenger has the following qualities:

  • Your passenger must be able to reach the footrests
  • Your passenger must wear an approved motorcycle helmet
  • Your passenger cannot be carrying any packages
  • Your passenger must be able to understand and follow your directions
  • Your motorcycle should only be able to transport one other person

6. Indiana Lane Splitting Laws

Motorcyclists are not allowed to practice lane splitting in Indiana. Since lane splitting involves maneuvering in ways four-wheel vehicles cannot, it could take other drivers by surprise. As all forms of lane splitting are forbidden, riders will be penalized if they attempt any of the following:

  • Riding on top of the dividing lines between lanes
  • Riding in between adjacent rows of vehicles that are stopped
  • Overtaking another vehicle in the same lane
  • Lane sharing with another vehicle in the same lane

While there are restrictions placed on motorcyclists in Indiana, they are still legally entitled to make full use of the entire space within the lane they are currently traveling in.

7. Indiana Motorcycle Safety Features

When you can spare the time, make sure to examine the condition of your motorcycle. The buildup of debris, the passage of time, and overuse can put a strain on the primary components. Ideally, you should conduct periodic inspections of your motorcycle frequently or at least every time before you decide to head out. It is responsible to ensure your motorcycle runs smoothly to ensure the safety of the other drivers sharing the road with you.


Listed below is the requi#b90011 equipment your motorcycle must be outfitted with and needs to be kept in working order. They are integral to your vehicle’s visibility and performance when riding through Indiana:

  • Horn
  • Wheels
  • Tires
  • Handlebars
  • Front and Rear Brakes
  • Controls
  • Headlight
  • Taillight
  • Brake Light
  • Exhaust system
  • Muffler
  • Rearview mirrors

8. Sources

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