Do You Have To Wear A Motorcycle Helmet In New Hampshire?

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It is well known that many motorcycle-related accidents occur daily, leading to a major loss of life. This is something not all states agree on.

Many states have decided that the best way to mitigate the fatalities in these accidents is by setting up helmet laws.

While most of the states have some degree of laws on Motorcycle helmets, New Hampshire remains an outlier.

If you have ever wondered, “Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in New Hampshire?” you will be surprised to find out that New Hampshire has had a bold reputation for not having Motorcycle helmet laws for a long time, with new updates changing this.

New Hampshire was one of three states that did not have any helmet requirements and went against 47 other states.

This has changed with revised statues related to protective headgear, and I will be discussing them all in this article.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws And Rules In New Hampshire

Wondering about how old you have to be to not wear a helmet in New Hampshire? Read my guide to find out

As has been the case for most states, New Hampshire got its statute revised back in 2015 and has since some of its no helmet laws reputation. Even this is limited to some extent.

The major changes introduced were in statutes 265:122 & 265:123, the rules and regulations related to protective headgear and eye protection.

The biggest change was that no person less than 18 was allowed to drive a motorcycle without a helmet.

This revision also mentioned certain helmet requirements and that this rule also applied to passengers on motorcycles below 18. The next statute did not have that big of a change regarding helmets but promoted their use.

It made it a requirement that motorcycle operators use eyeglasses, goggles, or face shields. This only applies if there is no windshield or screen to protect the driver’s face.

Apart from this, if you are 18 and above, there are no helmet-related laws that you need to follow. You will be subject to eye protection laws, but when it comes to helmets, there are no rules at all.

Motorcycle Helmet Requirements In NH

As mentioned above, statute 265:122 specified requirements of the helmets which must be used by people that are under 18.

Firstly, the headgear the motorcycle operator wears must be approved by the director. The director then opted to deploy the rules related to approving headgear that had to meet certain specifications.

These specifications have not been mentioned in the statute or by the director. It should be safe to assume that the protective headgear you should use should be DOT Approved and up to the mark in most states.

With the vague set of specifications, it is up to you to get the safest and most suitable helmet you can buy if you are below 18 and driving a motorcycle in New Hampshire.

Furthermore, you can opt to buy a full-faced helmet and avoid dealing with the eye protection requirements.

Of course, this is just a recommendation, and you can buy an open-faced helmet if you want. You will, however, have to deal with the eye protection laws accordingly.

Penalties/Legal Consequences

If you are 18 or above 18 then you are not going to be penalized for not wearing a helmet in the state of New Hampshire.

While this will come with safety risks, it is completely legal and will not lead you to get pulled over by the police.

This is not the case if you are below 18. If you are below 18 and caught riding your motorcycle while not wearing a helmet, you will be fined $43.20.

This fine remains the same if you violate the eye protection laws. If you are pulled over and the officer notices that you do not have proper eye protection, you will be fined.

This is likely to occur regardless of age, so it is in your best interest to abide by these laws.

From a legal standpoint, not wearing a helmet should not be a major issue in the state of New Hampshire. While it is illegal to not wear one if you are below 18, it should end in the fine mentioned above and not reach court.

In an accident, your insurance company may reduce your insurance based on your not wearing your helmet. This is another reason you should wear a helmet regardless of age and the laws.

Why Are There No Helmet Laws In New Hampshire?

When it comes to not wearing helmets in New Hampshire, the biggest reason people bring up is that it infringes on their rights and freedom.

While it is easy to label these people as children, it does not change the fact that many people think so.

Many people say it should be their choice not to wear a helmet, and no law should dictate otherwise. These people are usually a liability to themselves and those around them.

Many people see the government trying to set up viable safety measures as a means of control. They see required motorcycle helmets as nothing more than the government telling them how to live their lives.

This is one of the major reasons why government officials have not been able to gather major support for such plans.

Get In Touch With Experienced Motorcycle Attorneys In New Hampshire

Getting into an accident can pause your entire life, and chances are that the matter will reach court.

If this happens, you should have one of the few attorneys that I have listed below by your side. This will help you to get the best legal representation in New Hampshire.

1. Tenn And Tenn New Hampshire Lawyers

Providing the standards and resources of large firms to people involved in motorcycle accidents, the attorneys at Tenn And Tenn have made millions in settlements regarding motorcycle accidents.

Phone Number: +1 603-624-3700

2. Cohen & Winters, PLLC

The entire focus of the people at Cohen & Winters is to help the unfortunate souls that have ended up in a motorcycle accident, providing dedicated services to the community and their clients.

Phone Number: (603) 945-7873

3. Buckley Law Offices, P.C.

With more than 30 years of experience, the talented people at Buckley Law Offices professionally handle their clients’ cases, especially concerning motorcycle accidents, making them very dependable and committed.

Phone Number: +1 603-595-8801

Frequently Asked Questions

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

There are no specific rules on motorcycle helmets, especially if you are above 18. If you are below the age of 18, you only need to be worried about if your helmet is up to the standards set by the director. This can include open-face helmets, so wearing one should not cause trouble.

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

You will only be fined for not wearing a helmet in New Hampshire if you are caught doing so while being under 18.

The fine you will be asked to pay will be $43.20. This is the same amount you will be asked to pay if you are not abiding by the eye protection laws.

Q3. When Did Motorcycle Helmet Become Law In New Hampshire?

There have been several attempts to pass helmet laws in the state of New Hampshire, and the one which led to the revisions mentioned in this article occurred in 2015.

Other than that, there have been no helmet laws in New Hampshire. Any attempts to set them up before the revisions in 2015 have failed and have not been implemented.

Q4. Should Passengers Wear A Helmet In New Hampshire?

If your passenger is 18 years old or above, there is no legal reason for them to wear a motorcycle helmet. If they are below 18, they are legally required to wear a helmet.

This is a set rule by the state of New Hampshire and violating it will lead to the fine mentioned above.

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

There has been no mention of mopeds in the rules and regulations regarding the state of New Hampshire.

If you look at the laws that are currently in place, it is safe to say that moped operators will not be required to wear helmets unless they are below the age of 18. Passengers below 18 are also required to do so.

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


I can understand why many people think to ask, “Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in New Hampshire?”

The state has always shown itself as a state where motorcycle drivers can ride freely, but obviously, this is not the case. Minors are required by state law to wear helmets until they reach 18, which also apply to passengers below 18.

Apart from this and the eye protection laws, you are not required to wear helmets in the state of New Hampshire.

This is especially the case if you are 18 and above. However, this should not be the case as motorcycle helmets are an integral piece of safety equipment.

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