Laws and Statutes for Motorcycle Riders in North Carolina

Posted on behalf of The Nye Law Group on Apr 24, 2017 in Motorcycle Accidents

motorcycle ride at sunsetNorth Carolina has several laws governing the use of motorcycles on our state's roadways.

You should review them before you hit the road to make sure you are not engaging in any illegal conduct.

Following these laws can also help prevent motorcycle accidents that could result in death or severe injury.

Motorcycle License Requirements

All North Carolina motorcyclists are required to have a motorcycle endorsement on their regular, commercial or full provisional license before riding in the state. Motorcyclists must pass four tests to earn this endorsement:

  • Motorcycle knowledge test – This is a knowledge test that covers safe driving practices and traffic laws.
  • Traffic sign test – This is a test where you identify traffic signs by color and shape and explain the meaning of each sign.
  • Vision test – You have to have your vision checked to ensure it meets certain standards. If you have to wear corrective lenses to bring your vision up to required standards, you must wear them every time you ride your motorcycle.
  • Motorcycle on-cycle skills test Once you pass the other tests, you have to demonstrate your motorcycle-riding abilities. You will have to perform basic maneuvers to show that you can operate a motorcycle safely in traffic.

Motorcycle Learner Permit

Motorcyclists may obtain their learner permit for 12 months prior to taking the required tests to obtain an endorsement on their license. You will have to successfully complete the vision test, traffic signs test and motorcycle knowledge written test to acquire your permit.

Permits may be renewed for a period of six months.

North Carolina's Motorcycle Helmet Law

It is illegal for anyone to ride a motorcycle on a North Carolina highway or public vehicular area without wearing a helmet that complies with testing and labeling requirements in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218, according to North Carolina General Statute 20-140.4.

Under FMVSS 218, helmets should have the U.S. Department of Transportation symbol permanently displayed on the back. Helmets should also have the model, size, year of manufacture, and type of shell materials sewn or glued into the interior of the helmet.

North Carolina law also requires that the chin strap of your helmet be securely fastened.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmets saved approximately 1,630 lives in 2013. The CDC also found that helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69 percent and reduce the risk of death in a motorcycle crash by 37 percent.

Motorcycle Lane Splitting and Sharing

North Carolina law states motorcycles are entitled to the full use of a traffic lane. No other vehicle shall obstruct the motorcycle’s full use of the lane, other than another motorcyclist riding two abreast in a single lane.

The statute also says that:

  • No more than two motorcycles may ride side-by-side in a single lane.
  • Motorcycles are permitted to use state-designated high-occupancy vehicle lanes during stated hours, such as during rush hour.

Street-Legal Motorcycles

Any motorcycle driving in or through North Carolina must be street legal by the state’s standards. This means that motorcycles must be equipped with:

  • One, but not more than two, headlamps
  • Rear lights plainly visible from 500 feet to the rear
  • One working brake operated by hand or foot
  • Turning signals
  • Functioning horn
  • Rearview mirror providing clear, undistorted view at least 200 feet behind you
  • Exhaust system in good working order in compliance with emissions control standards

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call The Nye Law Group for assistance. We may be able to pursue compensation for the damages you have suffered.

Call 855-856-4212 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form today.


About Nye Law Group

The personal injury lawyers at The Nye Law Group have a strong reputation of standing up for the rights of those who have been injured throughout Georgia and South Carolina.

We are committed to fighting for justice and compensation for injury victims who have suffered because of another’s negligence in auto accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and many other situations.

We offer personal injury victims a free consultation to discuss their legal options. YOU OWE US NOTHING UNLESS WE RECOVER COMPENSATION FOR YOU.

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