Do You Have To Wear A Motorcycle Helmet In Indiana?

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Even some of the most experienced motorcycle riders agree that driving a motorcycle comes with risks.

So, whether or not you are required to wear a helmet by law, it is a good idea to wear one. This is because your safety should be your top priority on the road.

One question does pop up, however. That question is, “Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Indiana?” The answer depends on your age as a factor. You only need to wear a helmet if you are under 18.

That is the bare minimum you need to know if you are planning on riding a bike in Indiana. However, I have provided a lot more information regarding this law, so make sure you read the article in full.[

Motorcycle Helmet Laws And Rules In Indiana

Wondering what the motorcycle helmet guidelines in Indiana are? Find the answer through my in-depth guide

Originally, Indiana followed the guidelines, which made it mandatory for every state to have a motorcycle helmet law that made every motorcycle rider wear a helmet while driving.

However, following the removal of this mandate by Congress in the year 1976, the state of Indiana appealed to have its universal motorcycle helmet law revised. The law was revised a year later and was set for learners only.

If you are living in Indiana and are a motorcycle rider, you need to wear a helmet and protective glasses, goggles, or a transparent face shield, if you are under 18 years old.

Other than that, people under 18 need a learner’s permit to drive a motorcycle.

Hence, since 1977 Indiana has had the law, code 9-19-7-1 to be exact, for anyone under 18. Failure to follow these rules may get you into trouble with local law enforcement.

If you are over 18, though, the choice of whether to wear or not to wear a motorcycle helmet is left up to you.

Regardless of your decision, you will need to have a driver’s license with an endorsement for motorcycle driving if you want to not get in trouble with the police.

This endorsement can be received from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which requires you to give some tests, which include a motorcycle driving test, a vision screening test, and a motorcycle knowledge test.

Motorcycle Helmet Requirements In IN

The requirements for the right motorcycle for a certain state are set based on the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Generally, a motorcycle helmet that is right by FMVSS 218 standards will have the DOT sticker.

However, you should not entirely depend on the DOT sticker as some manufacturers put counterfeit DOT stickers on their produced helmets.

To ensure that your motorcycle helmet complies with FMVSS 218, please check whether it has the following. The helmet must have at least a 1-inch thick inner foam layer, and it should have solid rivets and a sturdy chin strap.

It must weigh at least 3 pounds. And lastly, no helmet features should extend beyond 2/10 of an inch from the helmet’s surface.

If you buy a helmet that meets American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or Snell standards, it will automatically comply with FMVSS 218.

Do not go for a novelty helmet, as that might get you in trouble with law enforcement and provide you with little to no protection should you be involved in an accident.

Most helmets these days come with face shields. However, if your one does not have it, you must wear eye protection glasses or goggles.

Penalties/Legal Consequences

It is clear that if you are under 18, you must wear a helmet; there are no ambiguities there. However, even though you are allowed not to wear a helmet otherwise, it is advisable to wear one anyway.

First and foremost, it protects you from head injuries in the unfortunate case that you do get involved in a motorcycle accident. Secondly, you can save money.

Since the state of Indiana has a modified comparative fault system, an insurance company can get out of paying your claim by blaming the injuries to be your fault.

This is because in Indiana, if you are found to be 51% or more liable for your injuries, you can be barred from recovering any damages in a personal injury lawsuit.

You might still be able to recover some damages. However, they will be reduced based on what percent of the fault was assigned to you.

So if you are unfortunately involved in an accident, and not wearing a helmet contributed to 20% of your injuries, the insurance company will have to pay you 20% less than what they would have to owe you were you wearing a helmet.

For example, if you have suffered damages of $100,000 and were not wearing a helmet, the insurance company will cover only $80,000.

Protection Measures Aside From Motorcycle Helmets

Although most helmets nowadays come with preinstalled visors, many people are not fans of visors which is where open-face helmets come in.

These helmets do not have visors but are otherwise compliant with FMVSS 218. As mentioned previously, you would have to use eye protection goggles or glasses with these helmets.

If you are going for glasses, you will have to; first of all, get ones that are adjusted to your prescription glasses if you wear any. Look for glasses that have polarized lenses, as these will help you drive better in harsh sunlight.

For goggles, you should wear ones that are the right fit for you and are padded so they are comfortable to wear because a fit that is too tight can cause a headache.

No one wants a headache when driving their motorcycle, so it is integral that you avoid equipment that can contribute to it.

Get In Touch With Experienced Motorcycle Attorneys In Indiana

Luck is not always on our side, and unfortunate accidents happen. Especially when it comes to riding motorcycles, in case you get into an accident, you may need an attorney to represent you if it gets to a lawsuit.

Here are some of the best in Indiana

1. Sevenish Law Firm

By far, the most experience when it comes to an understanding the law on motorcycle accidents is the Sevenish Law Firm.

This is because the lawyers who handle these cases are motorcycle riders themselves. This makes them the perfect fit for a motorcycle accident lawsuit.

Phone Number: 317-666-4344

2. Hurst Limontes LLC

Hurst Limontes LLC is a law firm that speaks via its results. They are very well experienced with motorcycle accident cases, and their most recent result was a $6.2 million success.

Phone Number: (317) 636 0808

3. Keller & Keller

The law firm by the name Keller & Keller is one that is known to be able to successfully maximize their client’s recovery.

They are well vested in the law around motorcycle accidents, so they are another very good option to consider should you need an attorney.

Phone Number: 1 800 253 5537

Frequently Asked Questions

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

If you are over the age of 18, you can choose not to wear a helmet at all. However, under 18, you are required to wear one.

An open-face helmet works as long as you wear either a face shield or eye protection glasses, or goggles along with it.

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

If you are caught by local law enforcement for driving without a helmet under the age of 18, it is considered a Class C infraction. In this case, you are liable for a fine of $500.

Q3. When Did Motorcycle Helmet Become Law In Indiana?

Before 1977, the motorcycle helmet law was universal across all states, including Indiana.

However, after the removal of the mandate by Congress in 1976, Indiana’s law was changed to be only for motorcycle riders who are under the age of 18.

Q4. Should Passengers Wear A Helmet In Indiana?

Passengers that are under the age of 18 years old, like riders, are required to wear helmets as stated in the law for the state of Indiana.

Passengers over the age of 18 have to wear protective goggles or glasses but are not required to wear a helmet.

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

As it stands, there are no specific requirements on the type of motorcycle which can be a factor in whether or not a rider should wear a motorcycle helmet in Indiana.

The only factor is whether or not the rider is under the age of 18. So, to answer the question, moped drivers are required to wear a helmet case that they are under the age of 18 years old.

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


In the end, I would personally say that the law surrounding motorcycle helmets in the state of Indiana is quite relaxed.

So, do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Indiana? Not really, only riders who are under the age of 18 are required to wear one.

However, even if you have the choice to not wear a helmet, it can be beneficial for you to wear one.

Not only because of the obvious safety that it provides but also because of the fact that it can help you legally as well if you need to recover damages from an insurance company.

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