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FAQs About Motorcycle Laws in New Jersey

Do You Need a Motorcycle License in New Jersey?

You must have a motorcycle license or a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license to operate a motorcycle in New Jersey. If you are from another state and are riding through New Jersey on your motorcycle, a motorcycle license from your home state is valid. The licensing process generally involves a written, vision, and road test.

Can You Get a Motorcycle License Without a Driver’s License?

Yes. Apply for a permit at your local motor vehicle agency. You must be at least 17 years old, and you need a parent or guardian’s permission if you are under 18. You must then pass knowledge and vision tests and practice ride for six months if you are under 21 or three months if you are over 21. You can then take the basic rider course and eventually work your way toward the full license after a period of probationary driving privileges and additional road tests.

How Do You Register a Motorcycle in New Jersey?

Your motorcycle must be titled and registered in the state and align with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency standards, but the state does not require an inspection. You should still ensure your motorcycle is up to standards, as law enforcement can issue citations for not meeting compliance standards or failing to repair faulty parts. 

Bring your title and insurance card to the DMV to register. Registration costs $65.

Do You Have to Buy Motorcycle Insurance?

You must have proof of insurance to register your motorcycle in New Jersey. Minimum requirements are $15,000 in liability, $30,000 for total body injury, and $5,000 for property.

One key factor in motorcycle insurance is that personal injury protection insurance does not apply to motorcycle accidents. You could consider purchasing underinsured/ uninsured motorist insurance that could cover additional damages if the other driver’s insurance policy does not cover the bills and you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident.

Is a Helmet Required by Law?

Yes, and you can be fined if you do not wear one. The helmet must have a neck or chin strap and be reflectorized on each side. 

Riding a motorcycle is significantly more dangerous than a car, and motorcycle riders who are not wearing a helmet are three times more likely to die from a head injury than those with a helmet. It is important to take every practical step you can for a safe ride.

What are Other Requirements for Motorcyclists?

Mirrors: You must have at least one rear-view mirror.

Headlights: The state requires at least one headlight but no more than two, plus a tail light, license plate light, brake light, and a rear reflector. Turn signals are not required but can increase safety for everyone on the road.

Eyewear: You must have protective eyewear or a windscreen.

Hand grips: Hand grips on the handlebars cannot be higher than your shoulder.

Can You Drive With a Passenger?

There are no restrictions about age or height for passengers, but they must have seating and wear a helmet. If the seat is not designed to carry an additional person, you cannot have a passenger. It is recommended the passenger hold on to your hips and lean the same direction as you.