Ohio Laws - ABATE of Ohio

Ohio Laws

This is a summary of select laws and regulations affecting motorcyclists in Ohio.  These are drawn from the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative Code.  These laws and regulations were current at the time of publishing.  For more detailed information go to codes.ohio.gov.


  • US DOT-approved helmets must be worn by:
    • Novice riders (first year after obtaining a motorcycle endorsement).
    • Riders under the age of 18.
    • Passengers under the age of 18.
    • Any passenger (regardless of age) when the operator is required to wear a helmet.
  • Must have a valid Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card or a motorcycle endorsement on the driver's license.
  • Must have and carry proof of insurance liability coverage. Minimum coverage in Ohio is 25/50/25, explained below.
  • Must wear eye protection. (eye glasses, goggles or a helmet face shield or windshield permanently attached of such height to actually protect the eyes of the operator)
  • If under age 18, must successfully complete an approved motorcycle basic rider training program.
  • If riding with only a Temporary Instruction Permit, the following restriction apply:
    • No passengers allowed
    • Daylight hours only
    • Cannot ride on limited access highways or heavily congested roadways
    • Helmet and eye protection required
    • Permit is valid for one year from date of issue
  • If a rider has a two-wheeled motorcycle endorsement, he or she may operate a two or three-wheeled motorcycle.
  • If a rider has a three-wheeled motorcycle endorsement, he or she may only operate a three-wheeled motorcycle.



  • The operator may ride only on a permanent, regular seat.
  • Passenger must also ride on a firmly attached seat.
  • Operator and passenger must face forward with one leg on either side of the motorcycle.
  • Not more than two motorcycles may ride side-by-side in one lane.
  • Motorcycle operators are entitled to full use of the traffic lane and have all the rights and responsibilities of any other driver.
  • All aspects of the law pertaining to driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol apply to motorcycle operators.
  • Handlebars may not rise higher than the shoulders of the operator when seated on the motorcycle.
  • Mandatory Equipment
    • Rear view mirror, horn & muffler
    • At least one and not more than two headlights with high and low beams.
    • One red tail light, including brake or stop lamp.
    • At least one brake, front or rear, which may be operated by hand or foot.
    • Turn signals for motorcycles manufactured after 1/1/68.


In Ohio, it is illegal to drive any motor vehicle without insurance or other financial responsibility coverage. Insurance coverage must show liability insurance of at least:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident (two or more people)
  • $25,000 property damage

When you apply for a driver's license or permit or register a motor vehicle, you must sign a statement affirming you have insurance or financial responsibility coverage and will not operate or permit operation of the motor vehicle without financial responsibility coverage.

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