Long Island Motorcycle Accident Laws and Regulations


Motorcyclists are at greater risk of serious injury in traffic collisions because of their direct exposure to the force of impact and relative lack of protection. Consequently, the State of New York has established laws and regulations that apply specifically to motorcycles. Let’s explore these New York motorcycle laws in detail.

motorcyclist graphic

Motorcycle License Requirements in Long Island, New York

To get a motorcycle license in New York, you must be at least 16 years old and already have a motorcycle learner permit. You can apply for a permit online or in person at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office.

After you’ve taken your online permit test, you will need to schedule a road test. It is best to have at least 30 hours of practice before taking it. If you pass the road test, you will receive a Class M (motorcycle) license – or a Class MJ (motorcycle junior) license if you are under 18.

New York Motorcycle Helmet Law

The NY motorcycle laws regarding helmets have been in effect since 1967. New York was the first state to adopt what’s become known as the universal motorcycle helmet law after Congress passed the Highway Safety Act of 1966. Among other things, this law outlined minimum performance requirements for motorcycle helmet manufacturers.

New York’s helmet law has changed several times. The law now requires all motorcycle operators and passengers to wear a protective helmet that meets the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Motorcycle Eye Protection Law in Long Island, NY

Anyone driving a motorcycle must also wear goggles or a face shield, even if they have a windshield. This equipment must meet standards defined in the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) Z-87.1. The eye protection law is contained within the text of the universal helmet law.

A motorcycle with a windscreen must also have a permanent manufacturer’s label indicating that the windscreen and its brackets are approved for highway use.

Motorcycle Insurance Law in New York

New York State motorcycle laws require you to register your motorcycle with the DMV before driving it on public roads and highways. You will also need proof of the following minimum insurance coverages before you can register your bike:

  • $10,000 for property damage per accident
  • $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for the death of a person in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for the death of two or more people in an accident

Insurance companies will recommend purchasing the most extensive liability coverage you can afford. They will also suggest you invest in the following optional coverages:

  • Collision insurance pays for damage to your bike regardless of who was at fault, including single-vehicle crashes.
  • Comprehensive insurance provides coverage for loss caused by theft, weather, or animals.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance steps in if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough to cover your bills.

 NY insurance laws specify the coverage must be from a company licensed by the NY State Department of Financial Services and certified by the NY State DMV. It must also be in the name of the vehicle registrant at all times while registered – even if you aren’t using the motorcycle.