As a motorcycle rider in Oklahoma, it is your duty to comply with state law whenever you ride. At McGuire Law Firm, our legal team is proud to fight for justice for motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers who have been involved in a crash. We want to make sure that you have the knowledge and resources to protect your rights and your interests. Here, our Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyer provides a comprehensive guide to the motorcycle laws in Oklahoma. 

Motorcycle Licensing Requirements in Oklahoma

Can any person with a driver’s license lawfully operate a motorcycle in Oklahoma? The answer is “no”—you need a proper motorcycle license. In order to be licensed to operate a motorcycle in Oklahoma you need to get an “L” endorsement in your license. If you have a valid Oklahoma driver’s license, you can get an “L” endorsement on that license. However, if you lack an Oklahoma license—meaning you do not have a license at all or you have a driver’s license from another state—you will need to apply for a motorcycle-specific permit before you can get an Oklahoma motorcycle license. You can apply for a motorcycle license once you turn 16. 

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Oklahoma

What are the motorcycle helmet laws in Oklahoma? It is not a universal motorcycle helmet state. In effect, this means that motorcyclists are not always required by state law to wear a DOT-approved safety helmet. In Oklahoma, a motorcycle helmet is only required for riders and passengers who are 18-years-of age and under. Adult riders are not required to wear a helmet. 

That being said, every motorcyclist should wear a helmet every time they ride in Oklahoma City or elsewhere in the state. The data is overwhelming: Motorcycle helmets prevent brain injuries and save lives. The risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a motorcycle crash is approximately 70 percent lower when a rider wears a properly fitted motorcycle helmet. 

Motorcycle Equipment Regulations in Oklahoma

Oklahoma law requires motorcyclists to meet certain conditions to be street-legal (47 OK Stat § 47-12-609). The regulations are designed to protect not only motorcyclists but also other road users, including motorists and pedestrians. Key motorcycle equipment requirements include: 

  • Mirrors: A motorcycle must have at least one mirror.
  • Lights: A motorcycle must have a working headlight, taillight, and stoplight.
  • Handlebars: Handlebar height must not exceed the eye level of the rider when seated.
  • Footrests: There must be a footrest for the motorcyclist and the passenger. 

Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Laws in Oklahoma

Lane splitting—or as it is sometimes referred to, white-lining—is the practice where a motorcycle rider moves between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. Most often, the motorcyclist will be going at a higher speed than the surrounding vehicles. The maneuver allows motorcyclists to navigate through traffic jams. It is a permissible practice in a few U.S. jurisdictions—most notably, California. With that being said, motorcycle lane-splitting is not allowed in Oklahoma. If a motorcyclist is lane-splitting in our state, he or she can be pulled over and cited for a traffic violation. Further, if a crash happens, the lane-splitting rider may be found at fault. Lane-splitting could make it challenging for an injured motorcyclist to recover financial compensation. 

Motorcycle Insurance Regulations in Oklahoma

Similar to any other motorists, there are minimum mandatory insurance coverage requirements for motorcyclists. The Oklahoma Insurance Department explains that motorcyclists in our state are required to have at least as much as the following in liability coverage: 

  • $25,000 of bodily injury protection per person; 
  • $50,000 per motorcycle accident; and
  • $25,000 of property damage protection.

A motorcyclist who lacks sufficient insurance coverage could face a citation for improper operation as an uninsured or underinsured rider. Of course, a motorcyclist may opt to obtain additional motorcycle accident insurance coverage to ensure that they have a greater level of protection. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Top-Tier OKC City Motorcycle Crash Lawyer

At McGuire Law Firm, our Oklahoma City motorcycle accident attorney is standing by, ready to protect your legal rights. If you have any questions about motorcycle laws, we can help. Give us a phone call now or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation. We fight for the best interests of injured motorcyclists in Oklahoma City and throughout the region, including in El Reno, The Village, Mustang City, Moore, Norman, Midwest City, Guthrie, and Wart Acres.