Georgia's Motorcycle Laws: What You Need to Know
Motorcycles are fun to ride and relatively cheap to insure, but Georgia places strict requirements on residents who wish to obtain a valid motorcycle license.
Permit Requirements for a Motorcycle License in GA
A Class MP motorcycle instruction permit teaches you how to operate a motorcycle safely. To receive a permit, you must be at least 16 years of age. The permit allows you to operate a motorcycle in daylight hours, with no passengers and no traveling on limited access roadways.
When you apply for a permit, you’ll be asked to provide permission from a parent or guardian if you are under 18 years of age. The person signing the application can revoke permission for the permit at any time before you turn 18. Proof of school enrollment is also required.
A vision exam and written knowledge test are required for all permit applicants. Applicants who are 16 years of age must also comply with Joshua’s Law by successfully completing a certified Georgia driver training course.
Georgia Motorcycle Licensing Requirements
To legally operate a motorcycle on Georgia roads, you must have a valid Class M license. To receive this license, you must be at least 17 years of age. If you are under 18, your parent or guardian is required to sign your license application and can revoke permission for your license at any time until you are of legal age.
Documents required for a motorcycle license must prove:
- Social Security number
- Citizenship or lawful U.S. residency
- School enrollment or proof of a high school diploma or GED, if under 18 years of age
Testing requirements include:
- Vision test
- Road skills test
- Written knowledge test covering information in the state’s Motorcycle Operator’s Manual
Applicants must furnish a motorcycle that passes a safety inspection before they will be allowed to complete a road test. The road skills test and written knowledge test can be waived if you complete a Georgia motorcycle safety program basic course and present the 90-day license test waiver to the nearest customer service center.
Motorcycle Helmet Requirements: All Riders Must Wear Helmets
Motorcycle helmets provide a vital layer of protection in the event of an accident. Georgia has had a universal helmet law since 1969. All riders, regardless of their age, experience, or level of insurance coverage, must wear a helmet that follows standards established by the commissioner of public safety. If a helmet comes equipped with speakers, the speakers are to be used only for communicating with passengers or other riders and can’t be used for entertainment purposes such as listening to music.
DOT-approved eye protection, in the form of goggles or a visor on the helmet, is also legally required. There are no guidelines mandating the use of protective clothing, although research strongly supports investing in leather outerwear and boots that protect the feet and ankles.
Valid Insurance Is Required to Operate a Motorcycle
Motorcyclists are required to carry valid insurance that meets state-specified minimums. Georgia requires:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person when a crash occurs
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of at least two people in an accident
- $25,000 in coverage for property damage
Your Right to Compensation Following a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists are often characterized as being reckless with their personal safety, but according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), over 50% of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle, and usually, the driver of the car or truck is responsible for the accident. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another party’s negligence, you’re entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you were partially at fault for the accident, Georgia’s modified comparative negligence law allows you to seek damages as long as you are less than 50% at fault. However, your recovery will be limited by your stated percentage of fault.
The best way to protect your rights after being involved in a motorcycle accident is to retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. The dedicated legal team at Champion Firm, P.C., can help you evaluate your options for compensation. Please call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review.