Do You Have To Wear A Motorcycle Helmet In Tennessee?

Beast Riders is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Helmet laws have been a hot topic of debate for a while now. The pros and cons are well-known, but the impact of helmet laws on individuals and society is still being studied.

The most important thing to remember when considering helmet laws is that helmets do not prevent accidents from happening. They only reduce the severity of those accidents in the case of an accident. Still, they are pretty important.

The helmets being reducing the chances of fatalities, and serious injuries are more than enough for states to implement their helmet laws. One of them is Tennessee.

Many people have asked, do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Tennessee? All motorcyclists, regardless of their age, are required to wear one.

It may seem like Tennessee has a universal helmet law in place. But that is not the case. There are some age-based restrictions, so the state has formulated a proper law regarding motorcycle helmets.

Stick around to find out exactly how the state tackled this issue.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws And Rules In Tennessee

Is a helmet required for motorcycles in Tennessee? Let's find out

All people are required to wear a helmet in the state of Tennessee. If you reach the age of 21, the helmet should meet some specifications. The next section will cover all of them, so don’t skip over it.

There are three exceptions to this rule:

  1. Riders who are riding in an enclosed cab attached to the motorcycle.
  2. The one who are riding autocycles, which are motorcycles that have three wheels and handlebars that steer the front wheel.
  3. People who are participating in parades at speeds less than 30 mph and if they’re above 18 years old.

The state of Tennessee did put proper thought into its helmet laws before revealing them to the public.

The fact that it requires all people, regardless of their ages, to wear one means that its fatality and injury levels should be one of the lowest in the entire United States.

Even this law has not been very popular. People have tried a lot to change it because they think it strips away their freedom. I don’t agree with this.

Motorcycle Helmet Requirements In TN

If you have reached the age of 21, you must ensure that your helmet meets the proper specifications. Helmets must be approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and provide adequate ventilation.

When purchasing a helmet, check the sticker inside to make sure it is certified by the Snell Memorial Foundation or American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and Southern Impact Research Center (SIRC).

The outer shell should not be continuous or smooth; it should also provide protection above, below, and around the head.

The helmet should fit snugly but comfortably on top of your head so that only one finger can fit between it and your scalp.

This final one is not a law but is something to take care of when buying a new helmet.

Penalties/Legal Consequences

Wearing a helmet is required by law in Tennessee, and it’s a good idea too. You must ensure that you are prepared for the worst possibility, which could result in serious injuries or even death.

Yes, that is indeed true. If you are caught riding a motorcycle without a helmet, you could be charged with a class C misdemeanor and face a $50 fine or up to 30 days in jail.

In some cases, both! The state has properly implemented this law, so no one will try to be smart and ride without wearing one.

Tennessee And Its Multiple View Points On Helmet Laws

In Tennessee, motorcyclists are required to wear helmets. But despite this requirement, the state is still debating whether or not people should have the right to choose if they want to be safe.

It’s been a legislative battle for years. Some people think that motorcyclists have the right to choose whether or not they want to wear a helmet.

While others think that safety is mandatory and that riding without a helmet should be illegal.

The law has been challenged and changed in the past. But currently, Tennessee has allowed motorcyclists over 21 to ride without helmets.

As this is a sensitive topic in the state, there will surely be more legal battles. Only the future will tell if motorcyclists get their choice back, as for some, helmets can affect their riding capability.

Get In Touch With Experienced Motorcycle Attorneys In Tennessee

Are you wondering what to do if you are caught in a motorcycle accident? I believe you should hire a professional attorney so you can get compensated for your injuries.

Let me share some of the top attorneys available in this state.

1. Stillman & Friedland – Car, Truck, & Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

This firm has been helping victims of motorcycle accidents for over many years and has won millions of dollars for its clients. It offers free case evaluations and the chance for you to speak with their attorneys about your case.

Plus, they will work directly with your insurance providers so that you don’t have to worry about dealing with them independently.

They are proud to be one of the best options in the state of Tennessee for motorcycle injury attorneys—and always look forward to helping clients get the justice they deserve!

Phone Number: (615) 433-5784

2. Hartsoe Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have been in an accident, the last thing you want to do is go through the process of proving negligence on your own.

You need a personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling the motorcycle accident cases. Hartsoe Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers is a great firm to consider.

The founder, Mark C Hartsoe, has 33 years of experience in the legal industry, so he knows exactly what he’s doing when it comes to helping his clients get what they need.

His firm has recovered millions of dollars for clients over the years, which is impressive if you ask me.

The firm also offers free consultations with their lawyers so that you can get an idea of how much compensation you might get if you hire them as your legal representative.

Phone Number: (865)-524-5657

3. Hughes and Coleman Injury Lawyers

If you have been in a motorcycle accident in Tennessee and are looking for one of the reliable motorcycle injury attorneys, then look no further.

Hughes and Coleman Injury Lawyers is here to help you get back on your feet and get the compensation. They are dedicated to helping clients that have been in road accidents.

According to them, their lawyers have a combined experience of over 35 years, so you can be sure that they will do everything possible to win your case.

The firm also offers free consultations with no obligation, so if you want to meet with them first before hiring them, you can do so without any issue!

Phone Number: (800)-800-4600

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The law states that helmets should not have a smooth round surface, which is common in open-face helmets. So, in a way, they are illegal in the state.

But if you can find one with ridges on the surface and one with a DOT branding on it, then you may be able to wear it.

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

Not wearing a helmet or a non-certified one is considered a misdemeanor, so the state can give you a maximum fine of $50.

Moreover, they can also give you 30 days in jail if you are under 21 and are not complying with the law. So make sure that you wear the correct one at all times.

Q3. When Did Motorcycle Helmet Become Law In Tennessee?

They implemented their helmet laws in 1967. At that time, like most states, this one introduced a universal helmet law. Changes have been made to it in recent years, but it is still the same.

Q4. Are Moped Drivers Required To Wear A Helmet In Tennessee?

Although mopeds do not touch high speeds, they are still two-wheelers. So, the same helmet and motorcycle laws apply to them too.

If you are on a moped, you should wear a DOT-approved helmet. It will keep you safe as falls from low speeds can also be dangerous.

Q5. Should Passengers Wear A Helmet In Tennessee?

Yes, as a passenger, you must wear a helmet on the road. If you are above 21, then you should wear a DOT-approved one.

This will allow you to remain safe and secure, and the chances of head injury or death will significantly decrease.

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


So, there you have it, a detailed look into Tennessee’s helmet laws. There were many things to talk about, and I can safely say that everything you needed to know has finally been covered.

So, if you are still wondering, ” Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Tennessee?” yes you do.

I hope you found this article interesting to read, and everything about helmet laws is clear to you. You can safely ride around the state’s streets and not worry about being fined or arrested. Have a safe and fun riding experience!

Recent Posts