According to Texas state law, a motorcycle is defined as “a motor vehicle, other than a tractor, that is equipped with a rider’s saddle and designed to have when propelled not more than three wheels on the ground.” Motorcyclists in Texas are required to have a class M license. To apply for this license, an individual must be at least 16 years old and pass a vision, knowledge, and road test. Motorcyclists can apply for their permit at 15 years old, but all individuals under the age of 18 must obtain parental consent, whether applying for a permit or a license. In addition to holding the appropriate license, Texas state law requires riders to carry a valid motorcycle insurance policy at all times while operating a vehicle.
Motorcycle License Requirements
- At least 16 years of age
- If under 18, parental consent is required
- If under 18, completion of a driver’s education course and a Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE) form are required
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence
- Proof of identity
- Proof of social security number
- Fee of $31 if under 18, or $40 if over 18
- Vision test
- Knowledge test
- Motorcycle skills test
For applicants over the age of 18, the motorcycle skills test may be waived with a competition certificate from a Motorcycle Safety Course (MSB-8 or MSB-8R).
In terms of motorcycle insurance, Texas requires all operators to maintain proof of financial responsibility. The state’s compulsory motorcycle insurance requirements are 25/50/25. This means motorcycle operators must maintain $25,000 of bodily injury coverage for injuries or death for a single individual in an accident, $50,000 of bodily injury coverage for injuries or death for multiple individuals in an accident, and $25,000 of coverage for property damage. Riders must carry proof of their financial responsibility at all times while operating the vehicle in order to comply with state motorcycle insurance laws. For those seeking motorcycle insurance, Texas requirements stipulate the following paths for coverage:
- Buy Insurance – Riders can purchase the required or desired policy from an insurance broker or agent. This typically requires a monthly payment towards a yearly motorcycle insurance premium.
- Bond – Texas motorcyclists can demonstrate financial responsibility by securing a bond through a surety company licensed in the state. This typically requires the individual seeking coverage to leverage cash or real estate as insurance.
- Deposit – This requires the individual seeking coverage to deposit $55,000 in cash or securities with the state comptroller to demonstrate financial responsibility.
- Self-insurance – Individuals who own more than 25 motor vehicles may be eligible to self-insure by demonstrating their financial responsibility and applying for a certificate of self-insurance with the Department of Public Safety
If you are trying to estimate your motorcycle insurance cost, it is essential to note all the factors that can impact the quote you receive. Your age, gender, marital status, specific vehicle, the city you live in, and how far you travel on a daily basis are all things motorcycle insurance companies consider when calculating your premium. Those considered part of high-risk demographics, such as young, unmarried males, those who live in high crime areas, own an expensive vehicle, or have a history of traffic incidents, can expect to pay higher insurance rates. In addition, due to the increased risk of operating this type of vehicle, motorcycle insurance prices average more than standard car insurance.
To ensure your own personal safety and the safety of others on the road, it is important to follow all traffic laws and regulations in your state. Motorcyclists who fail to follow equipment and traffic regulations could potentially be subjected to traffic fines, increased insurance costs, personal injury, and even the loss of their license. Some important Texas laws for motorcyclists are listed below:
- Helmets are required for riders under the age of 21.
- Rearview mirrors are required for all motorcycles.
- Handlebars cannot be more than 15 inches above the seat.
- An operator cannot carry a passenger unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one individual.
- Lane splitting is prohibited.