Do You Have To Wear A Motorcycle Helmet In Illinois?

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While riding a motorcycle without a helmet can be a thrilling experience, it comes at the cost of increased risk in the event of an accident, as chances are the injury that you could have tanked with the presence of a helmet could prove to be fatal.

Some people do not care about the risks and just want to drive their motorcycle freely, which is why many motorcyclists in Illinois ask, “do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Illinois” and are met with the exciting news that their state does not require the motorcycle drivers or passengers to wear helmets.

This news alone may be good enough to make you want to take your motorcycle out for a spin without a helmet but be warned as you run a lot of different risks while doing so, which is why you wear a helmet and a good one at that, which is one of the many topics I will mention in this article.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws And Rules In Illinois

Is a helmet required for motorcycles in Illinois? Read my guide to find out

Very simple and easy to understand, Illinois has no law or rules related to motorcycle helmets.

This means that regardless of your age and whether you are a passenger or a motorcycle driver, you are not required to wear a helmet.

Just because you are not required to do so does not mean you should avoid helmets entirely, as they are good practice for those daily motorcycle riders who want to protect themselves from harm and accidents.

While you are free to not wear a helmet, you are unfortunately required to wear proper eye protection as dictated by the state of Illinois.

This means that you need to equip yourself with the proper eye when riding, whether you are a passenger or a driver.

This can be done in the form of goggles, face shields, and glasses, but the simplest way is to just use your helmet’s visor.

Since no laws force motorcyclists to wear a helmet, there is no need for any rules to be made that exempt people from not wearing a helmet.

If you do not want to wear a helmet, you can simply choose not to wear one, and no one will hold it against you. This may be a poor choice as this will open you up to more fatal injuries.

Motorcycle Helmet Requirements In IL

As mentioned above, since you are not required by law to wear a helmet in Illinois, the state also did not deem it necessary to have certain requirements for their helmets.

If you end up wearing a helmet, you should ensure that it is at least safe and protective. On the other hand, if you want to go for a flashy helmet with protrusions that other states would normally not allow, you can also opt for that.

The main thing you should worry about as a motorcyclist in Illinois when it comes to helmet laws is the protection you are supposed to give to your eyes.

Granted, helmets with visors can allow this, but if you are not willing to wear a helmet, you should at least equip yourself with proper eye protection. The state has requirements for eye protection which I will go over later in the article.

If you decide to wear a helmet, you should typically get one DOT approved. These helmets usually weigh less than 3 pounds and have an inch of polystyrene foam inside them with minimal protrusions and sturdy straps.

The color and aesthetic does not matter and is all up to you, but these are the most basic requirements that any helmet should abide by.

Penalties/Legal Consequences

Since the law allows users to ride their motorcycles without helmets, there should be no reason for police officers to stop you or pull you over if you are not wearing a helmet.

While there can be various reasons the authorities may have pulled you over, a helmet should not be one of them. As such, Illinois has no legal fine or punishment for not wearing a helmet.

While there may not be a fine for not wearing a helmet, there can be some trouble, as in the case of an accident that goes to court, you may be held liable for your faults and injuries by not wearing a helmet.

This can lead to reduced compensation and is the main point raised in motorcycle accident cases.

Now that I have talked about helmets, you should know that there is a fine for abiding by the rules and regulations for eye protection.

If caught without proper eye care, you can be asked to pay a fine of $100. This will become a class B misdemeanor the second time around and a class A misdemeanor for the 3rd strike.

Eye Protection Requirements In Illinois

Since there are no helmet requirements in Illinois, I decided that it was best to educate you on the eye protection requirements the state has set in place so that you can avoid any fines. Contact lenses do not count as eye protection.

If you are wearing glasses, they must be made of shatter-resistant material. If you opt for goggles, they should protect the front and sides.

Transparent shields or motorcycle windshields may also be used and must also be made of shatter-resistant material that is easy to wipe and extends above the eyes of the driver.

Get In Touch With Experienced Motorcycle Attorneys In Illinois

In an accident, you may be eligible for some compensation, but to access this compensation, you will need the help of a capable team of attorneys, which is why I have provided some here for your convenience.

1. The Kryder Law Group

Attorneys at the Kryder Law Group understand how painful motorcycle accidents can be, which is why they try their best to make sure the legal process and experience you need to go through to overcome the motorcycle accident goes over as smoothly as possible, offering a stellar service like no other.

Phone Number: +1 872 204 1904

2. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC

As the name suggests, a top-rated law firm, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, has lawyers who have had a lot of experience with motorcycle accidents, which is why they have earned a lot of respect and name in the legal community when it comes to dealing with motorcycle accidents.

Phone Number: (888) 424-5757

3. Abels & Annes, P.C.

The personal injury lawyers at Ables & Annes have helped many motorcycle accident victims get their compensation after suffering various injuries, rather through their own mistakes while riding a motorcycle or through the mistake of others. If you are looking for a talented firm, Ables & Annes is for you.

Phone Number: +1 312 924 7575

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is It Ok To Wear An Open Face Helmet In Illinois?

The short answer is yes, it is perfectly fine for you to wear an open-faced helmet in Illinois as the rules do not force you to wear any helmet at all, so wearing a helmet is optional and a good thing to do when riding a motorcycle on public roads.

Q2. How Much Is The Fine For Not Wearing A Motorcycle Helmet In Illinois?

Illinois has not set a fine for not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle, as there are no rules that force you to wear a motorcycle helmet in the first place.

Alternatively, you are forced to wear eye protection which is much up to the state’s requirements; otherwise, you may be fined a hundred dollars.

Q3. When Did Motorcycle Helmet Become Law In Illinois?

In 1968, Illinois adopted legislation that established a motorcycle helmet law, but this was soon overturned.

Now the state has no laws regarding motorcycle helmets and instead focuses on eye protection, allowing motorcyclists to ride without a helmet but not without eye protection.

Q4. Should Passengers Wear A Helmet In Illinois?

It is not required for passengers to wear a helmet as the state of Illinois has not set any rules regarding helmets for either the driver or the passenger, so legally speaking, you don’t need to wear a helmet, but from a practical standpoint, you should as it offers a lot of protection.

Q5. Are Moped Drivers Required To Wear A Helmet In Illinois?

No requirements exist for any motorcycle driver or passenger to wear a helmet. This translates to moped drivers and passengers who can also drive the roads freely without wearing a helmet. They must, however, use proper eye protection.

You may also be interested in my article: How To Get A Motorcycle License In Illinois


The answer to “do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Illinois” may not have been the one you expected as usually, this question is answered with a slew of rules and regulations, but in the state of Illinois, this is not the case, and people are allowed to ride their motorcycles without any requirements for helmets whatsoever.

This may seem like a blessing for a lot of people, but in actuality, this is a very risky stance, and you should always drive your motorcycle with a helmet equipped as it will give you the necessary protection and safety you need while riding a motorcycle.

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