FAQs Explained on Motorcycle Laws in NJ

Do I Need a New Jersey Motorcycle License to Ride in NJ?

If you are a New Jersey resident, you must have a valid NJ motorcycle license or an “M endorsement on your automobile or commercial driver’s license. If you are an out-of-state resident with a motorcycle license that has been issued in another state, it will be honored in New Jersey. All New Jersey motorcycle laws apply – including our strict helmet laws. All bikers must wear a helmet when riding in New Jersey at all times.

What are the Qualifications Needed to Get a Motorcycle License in New Jersey?

Obtaining a motorcycle license in New Jersey is similar in most respects to getting a regular driver’s license. You must be at least 17 years old. You must pass a vision and written test. Learn more about the information on the written test here:

Then, you fill out an application for a motorcycle learner’s permit at any NJ Motor Vehicle Commission location.

After presenting identification that meets New Jersey’s 6 Point ID Verification Program, you will pay $5 for a permit that is valid for 90 days. During this time you can practice and ride with licensed motorcyclists.

At the time you get your permit, you will be able to schedule a road test. However, note, you must wait at least 20 days to take your road test from the day you get your license. You can flatbed or trailer your bike to your test location or you can bring a licensed rider with you. Once you pass the test, you will pay $24 for a four-year license. If you have a basic NJ driver’s license, you can pay $18 for a motorcycle endorsement.

Do I Have to Take a Road Test to Obtain My NJ Motorcycle License?

There is an alternative to taking the road test. Once you obtain your motorcycle permit, if you complete a Motorcycle Safety Education Program (MSEP) Basic Rider Course (BRC), you can get a waiver for the road test. If you enroll in and fully attend this three-day course, which is given in several places throughout New Jersey, instructors will validate your permit, give you a stamped waiver form and a completion card. You take these three items and your six points of identification back to the MVC center. You will then be able to pay for your license without having to take a road test.

How Do I Register My Motorcycle in New Jersey?

You must obtain motorcycle insurance in New Jersey to register a bike here. Bring your insurance card and the title for the motorcycle to a DMV location and pay $65. You will get one license plate and a registration sticker for your plate; these must be visible on the motorcycle when riding at all times. After your bike passes inspection, you will also get a valid inspection sticker to affix to the plate, as well.

Probably not. Most people who own motorcycles assume they have full coverage just because they have collision coverage in case their motorcycle is damaged. The most important coverage provided in your motorcycle policy is your Uninsured / Underinsured (UM/UIM) motorcycle coverage. This is the coverage that pays you when you are injured in a motorcycle accident in which the other driver was at fault but they don’t have insurance coverage or only a minimum amount of coverage.

Do I Have to Buy Motorcycle Insurance in New Jersey?

It’s not a question of whether or not you should obtain insurance; you are not permitted to register a motorcycle in New Jersey until you’ve obtained at least the minimum amount of motorcycle insurance required by New Jersey Law which is $15,000 in liability. Most insurance carriers sell policies for up to $250,000 of coverage for both liability (when you are at fault) and UM/UIM (when you are injured and not at fault). Some will sell even larger policies. We recommend that you buy the most insurance you can possibly afford. In fact, when you learn that it costs less than a dollar a day, in most cases, more to buy a $250,000 liability insurance policy vs. the minimum policy, you realize that you cannot afford not to be completely covered.

What Does UM/UIM Mean?

Underinsured Motorist/Uninsured Motorist is an important aspect of motorcycle coverage that isn’t required by NJ law but it’s critically important all bikers have it. Here’s why: Let’s say you are in an accident and it’s the other person’s fault. They have no insurance or the minimum amount of $15,000 of liability. When you sue them, their insurance company will pay no more than $15,000. Rest assured, $15,000 won’t go very far when you’ve been seriously injured in a bike crash. UM/UIM insurance allows you to sue your own insurance carrier for the additional amount of money – up to the maximum of your policy. So, $15,000 or $250,000…which would you want if you were injured and facing bills and lost wages? Don’t make the mistake of trying to save a few dollars by not maxing out your UM/UIM coverage.

Do I Need to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in New Jersey?

Absolutely. New Jersey has strict helmet requirements. If you don’t wear one when riding – either as the driver or passenger of a motorcycle – you will face stiff fines. The truth is, motorcycle accidents can be deadly. Riders who do not wear helmets are three times more likely to suffer fatal head injuries in an accident than those who wear helmets, according to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

What Else Do I Need to Know to Legally Operate a Motorcycle in New Jersey?

New Jersey does not have regulations regarding the level of sound emitting from a motorcycle. For off-road use, however, a working muffler is required. While you must wear a helmet, there are no laws against helmet speakers in NJ. A working daytime headlight must be used when riding at all times. The handgrips of the handlebars must sit below the rider’s shoulder height. Every motorcycle must have at least one mirror, mounted on either the right or left side of the bike. Turn signals are not required but riders are encouraged to use hand signals for safety.

What are NJ’s Laws Regarding Motorcycle Passengers?

Safety first: adding a passenger means adding extra weight. Make sure you are prepared to deal with the different way your bike handles with the extra person on board. You must have an appropriate seat for the passenger. This means, as the driver, you must be able to share the seat while still sitting comfortably as you would without a passenger. You will need a second set of footpegs for the passenger. Lastly, the passenger must wear a helmet. Also, it is advisable to instruct your passenger to hold your hips or belt, keep feet on the pegs, lean in the same direction as the driver and avoid making unnecessary moves.

There are no age or height restrictions regarding motorcycle passengers in New Jersey. However, even small children need to wear appropriately fitting helmets, as per state law.

Are There Laws Regarding Carrying Cargo on a Motorcycle in NJ?

Yes, but this is a question of safety. Motorcycles are not designed to carry cargo; they are made for people. You can ride with a small load if you secure it properly to the bike. Use saddlebags if possible, forward of the rear axle. Check your load during stops to make sure nothing has shifted that would change the bike’s center of gravity.

Contact the Knowledgeable Attorneys at Team Law in Clark, Orange, Jersey City and throughout New Jersey for a Free Consultation about Motorcycle Insurance or an Accident

There are many causes for motorcycle accidents in Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, and Union counties and across North Jersey. One thing is for sure: if you are in a crash you need to contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Team Law to make sure you are able to secure maximum compensation for your injuries. We will hold the negligent parties who caused your accident responsible for their careless driving and get you the justice you deserve.

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