Do You Have To Wear A Motorcycle Helmet In Pennsylvania?

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Helmets have proven time and time again to be an effective way to reduce motorcycle accident fatalities. This has been determined by various studies which have shown how helmets have a direct result towards this conclusion.

This is one of the main reasons why many states have varying degrees of helmet laws. When it comes to the state of Pennsylvania, many people may not know the rules on motorcycle helmets.

They often ask, “Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Pennsylvania?”. The answer to this mirrors other states quite well. Pennsylvania requires all riders to wear state-approved helmets if the rider is under 21 years of age. Furthermore, you must wear it if you have less than two years of experience.

You should already have a good idea about this set of rules as it has been set many times in other states.

That being said, Pennsylvania also has its unique laws, which I will discuss in this article. It is recommended you read up on those as well.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws And Rules In Pennsylvania

When did Pennsylvania change the motorcycle helmet law? Read my blog to find out

Being underage locks you out of a lot of fun and interesting things. In the state of Pennsylvania, helmets are not one of them.

You are required to wear a helmet if riding a motorcycle under the age of 21. This is a common rule in multiple states, although the age may differ.

More often than not, states usually set it to 18 but having it set to 21 is a safer bet. Additionally, if you are a passenger below the age of 21, you must also wear a helmet.

The next rule is to have at least two years of licensed riding experience before you can go around without wearing a helmet.

This rule is mainly in place to ensure that inexperienced people do not drive around without a helmet.

Another thing to note is that this and the above law must be followed. You must wear a helmet if you have two years of licensed experience driving a motorcycle but are still under 21.

On the other hand, if you are 21 years old but have 0 experience driving motorcycles, you will need to wear a helmet for at least two years.

While many people might think this is unfair, it is a good idea. It prevents inexperienced people from driving without a helmet.

It also prevents confusion when it comes to officers and pulling people over. There is, however, a way you can avoid the two-year experience period. More on this later.

Motorcycle Helmet Requirements In PA

The helmets you wear in Pennsylvania need to be approved by the United States Department of Transportation.

You can figure out if your helmet has been approved if it has a DOT sticker. This should be visible on the back of the helmet’s outer shell.

There are a lot of specifications that need to be fulfilled if you want to get your helmet DOT Approved.

Along with those specifications, the helmet must also have a permanent label that must be readable. This label must have the manufacturing date, size, and precise model designation.

The rest of the specifications affect the helmet itself, such as any protrusions, the inner lining, and the helmet’s weight.

Penalties/Legal Consequences

Breaking the laws brings with them various punishments. In the case of motorcycle helmet laws, it is usually fine.

The amount set by the state of Pennsylvania is currently $25. This may not seem like much, but with court costs, it can easily add up to a lot.

This can easily drain you of your capital which is why you should try and avoid breaking the laws as much as possible. This is not even the worst of the consequences.

The state of Pennsylvania has a 51% comparative negligence rule. This is a very important thing, as if you get into an accident and is at least 51% at fault; you will not be able to recover damages.

This prevents you from seeking compensation for the damages making you pay out of your pocket.

This is another major reason you need to wear a helmet every chance. It reduces negligence on your part, preventing you from losing your recovery chances.

How To Skip The Two-Year Experience Period

There can be many reasons why you would want to skip the two-year experience period. You may believe that you are old enough to drive without a helmet.

You could also have more than two years of experience driving a motorcycle, but none of it might be with a license.

These cases make it very frustrating to be forced to wear helmets. The law has your best interest and is set to ensure you don’t get into a fatal accident.

Knowing this, you must wear a helmet if you are required to do so. Even if you are not required to do so, it is a good habit and may save your life.

If you still do not want to wear a helmet, then what you can do is take a safety course. The Department should approve this course from Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

By taking this course and acing it, you can opt out of wearing a helmet. This can help you immensely as you do not have to use illegal means and break the law.

You also learn valuable tips that will help make your journey much safer.

Get In Touch With Experienced Motorcycle Attorneys In Pennsylvania

Getting roped up to court over an accident can be a major headache, especially if you do not know what to do.

If you are ever in this position, you should take the time to call one of the few amazing law firms I have listed below. They will surely get you out of a jam.

1. Morgan & Morgan

The lawyers at Morgan & Morgan believe that if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you deserve fair and speedy justice.

They are lawyers who care and will work diligently, no matter the accident, to trial more than any other personal injury firm.

Phone Number: 877-537-0246

2. Kwartler Manus, LLC

The talented attorneys in this wonderful law firm have helped a lot of motorcycle accident victims.

They have recovered millions for their clients and will do the same for you if you give them a chance. This makes them a great firm to choose from.

Phone Number: 267-961-7228

3. Silver & Silver

With over 40 years of experience, the extraordinary lawyers at Silver & Silver are experts at motorcycle accidents.

They handle their clients with respect and care. These professional attorneys ensure you give the best legal representation you deserve.

Phone Number: 610-753-4211

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Open-faced helmets are perfectly fine to wear in Pennsylvania as long as they are approved by the state.

This means that they need to abide by the specifications mentioned above. They need to be DOT approved and adhere to the eye protection laws as well.

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

While it can be scary to hear about getting fined, the fine set in the state of Pennsylvania is relatively small. This fine is set at $25 and is much smaller than most other states.

This might not actually be the amount you end up paying, though. Adding up court costs can eventually push this close to $100.

Q3. When Did Motorcycle Helmet Become Law In Pennsylvania?

Motorcycle helmet laws were introduced in Pennsylvania back in 1968. They stayed relatively the same, requiring everyone to wear a helmet.

The big change came in 2003 when the current laws became the norm. This was a major change that really appealed to a lot of people who were tired of wearing helmets.

Q4. Should Passengers Wear A Helmet In Pennsylvania?

The passengers are required to wear a helmet in the state of Pennsylvania. This is a set law that applies to all motorcyclist passengers that are below 21.

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

It is not explicitly said that moped users are required to wear a helmet. When you take a closer look at the rules, you can make out that even moped drivers are required to wear a helmet.

This also applies to passengers. If you are below 21 and don’t have experience, you’ll need to wear a helmet.

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


The laws set by the state of Pennsylvania are tailor-made to promote motorcycle safety without causing too much anger.

They appeal to a lot of people, allowing people not to wear helmets if they are above 21 and have adequate experience.

This is why many people have to ask, “Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Pennsylvania?”. Since only the inexperienced and minors are required to wear it, it can obviously raise some confusion.

This, combined with the currently low fine, makes it easy to say that Pennsylvania motorcycle helmet laws are quite lenient. For your safety, however, you should follow them to the letter.

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