In the state of Alabama, motorcycles are registered vehicles with two or three wheels and a seat for the driver. Motorcycles are distinctive from “motor-driven cycles,” which have limited horse-power and are smaller than a motorcycle. At 16-years-old, an individual can apply for a class “M” motorcycle license. Individuals who are 14-years-old can earn a restricted class “M” that permits them to drive motor-driven cycles, but not motorcycles.
Motorcycle License Requirements
- Proof of school enrollment
- Written motorcycle test
- Motorcycle skills test
- Vision screening
- Parental permission (if under 18)
- Permit, held for six months prior
In the state of Alabama, motorcycle drivers must meet motorcycle insurance requirements. At a minimum, motorcyclists much have liability insurance. They must have coverage of $25,000 liability for the bodily injury or death of another person and $50,000 for the bodily injury or death of more than one person. The motorcyclist must also have at least $25,000 insurance coverage for property damage. These are further elaborated in the Alabama Code. All drivers must carry proof of insurance in their vehicles, motorcycles or otherwise, at all times. The motorcycle insurance policy must be issued by motorcycle insurance companies, with two exceptions. These exceptions are:
- Liability Bond– No less than $50,000 filed with the Department of Revenue, to be used as liability insurance.
- Deposit of Cash – Cash deposit of no less than $50,000 filed with the Department of Revenue.
In both cases, drivers must carry a copy or certificate to proof they are insured.
Motorcycle insurance premiums are affected by a variety of factors. Alabama motorcycle insurance agents look at age, amount driven, gender, marital status, and your driving record to determine to where your motorcycle insurance prices average out. The younger you are and the better model of a car that you drive, the more expensive your premium will be. Unmarried individuals have been shown in studies to have more accidents, and therefore have higher premiums. A history of accidents and traffic tickets will lead to higher insurance costs as well. In extreme cases, it may prevent you from getting insurance at all, at which point you may need to consider a liability bond or deposit of cash.
It is important for all drives to follow the laws of the road, no matter the vehicle they drive. There are, however, specific laws regarding motorcycle safety and the use of motorcycles on the road. These are outlined below.
- Safety helmets are required by law and must adhere to certain standards.
- The daytime use of headlights has some restrictions.
- When carrying a passenger, passenger seats are required.
- When carrying a passenger, passenger footrests are required.
- Left and right mirrors are required for all motor vehicles.
- Handlebars cannot be higher than 15″ above the seat.
- Motorcycles can operate abreast in the same lane.
- Lane splitting is not permitted.