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Exploring Kansas City Motorcycle Laws and Regulations

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Kansas Motorcycle Laws


Not all motorcyclists have an understanding of Kansas motorcycle laws. There are different types of motorcycle laws in Missouri, the laws for motorcycles vary even for Kansas City. According to the best motorcycle lawyers in Kansas City, many pedestrians suffer accidents due to the negligence of motorcyclists to observe Missouri motorcycle laws. In this article, we will discuss are motorcycle mirrors required by law, what are Kansas motorcycle license requirements, do motorcycle need insurance, and do you need a motorcycle license in Missouri. Learn about Missouri motorcycle licens requirements, insurance, and other key regulations for riding legally with our motorcycle accident attorneys.

Motorcycle Licensing Requirements (Statute, Penalties)

Under section 302.020 of Missouri Revised Statutes 2005, driving without a license is punishable by class D felony. The license requirements are different for each age in Missouri. For underage (below 16 years), it is essential to complete a motorcycle rider training course and class M to be eligible for a temporary permit to drive a motorcycle in Missouri, but there are some limitations. It is permitted to drive in daylight without any passengers, and the maximum distance allowed from home is 50 miles. Consent from parents or guardians is also a prerequisite. However, for those above 16 years of age, MRTC is not required, but a class M or class F test is essential to pass to obtain a motorcycle license, with some limitations.

Motorcycle Road Rules and Regulations (Statute, Penalties)

All riders must observe the same traffic rules as everybody else on the road. However, motorcycle riders should take extra caution because motorcycles are susceptible to accidents more than regular vehicles. According to the statistics, motorcycle fatalities comprise 14% of the total accident fatalities in Missouri. Motorcyclists are obliged to observe the following rules while on the road:

  • Avoidance of speeding
  • Traffic light rules 
  • Avoiding switching lanes and overtaking 
  • Wearing helmet 
  • Not engaging in reckless driving, drowsy driving, or DUI
  • Not riding under 25 without an instruction permit 
  • No violation of equipment 

The penalty for violation of motorcycle rules and regulations in Missouri can be a felony in some offenses.

Lane-Splitting Law in Missouri (Statute, Penalties)

Driving side-by-side in the same lane can be very dangerous and there is no specific provision in the Missouri motorcycle laws about the prohibition of lane-splitting. The laws neither expressly forbid nor allow such an action by the motorcyclists. However, it is important to note that lane-splitting can increase the comparative negligence of the rider in the event of an accident and it can impact the insurance claim to the extent of your fault in the accident. Since there are no clear provisions in Missouri motorcycle laws about lane-splitting, there are no penalties for lane-splitting.

Missouri Motorcycle Helmet Law (Statute, Penalties)

The first helmet law in Missouri was implemented in 2019, however, this law is revised and the latest helmet law has categorized the riders who are required to wear a helmet by law. All riders outside these categories are not required to wear a helmet by law if they prove they have sufficient health insurance coverage in the event of an accident. Missouri helmet laws apply to riders of two categories. The first is a rider below the age of 25 years, and the second class is the motorcyclist on an instruction permit. There is no age restriction in the second class. Moreover, anyone above the age of 25 who has adequate health insurance for accident coverage is not required to wear a helmet. According to the new helmet law passed in recent years in Missouri. A violation of helmet laws is punishable by fines in Missouri.

Motorcycle Equipment Requirements 

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation presents certain requirements for all states to follow. However, it is noted that in Missouri, the motorcycle laws are silent about some of these requirements. They are as follows:

  • Safety Helmet: It is required to comply with helmet requirements under FMVSS2018.
  • Rearview Mirror: No legislation 
  • Fenders: No legislation 
  • Handlebar Height: No legislation 
  • Passenger Footrests: Maximum of 15” above the seat
  • Passenger Handhold: No legislation 
  • Headphones prohibited: No legislation 
  • Turn Signals: No legislation 
  • Speedometer/Odometer: No legislation 
  • Daytime Headlight Use: No legislation 
  • Periodic Inspection: Brake light may display varying brightness for not more than 5 seconds when applied, and auxiliary lighting including amber & white illuminations, standard bulb running lights, or LED pods/strips may be added as specified in law.

Insurance Requirements for Motorcyclists 

According to the Insurance Information Institution, there are several types of motorcycle insurance you can choose from. The type of coverage will depend on certain factors like your age, motorcycle type, your state of residence, type of license, etc. A motorcyclist can choose:

  • Liability insurance covers the compensation for any accidents that happen due to the fault of another person.
  • Crash insurance: Some insurance companies cover crashes, that is when your motorcycle crashes into another motorcycle or a vehicle and damage is caused to it.
  • Comprehensive insurance covers damages that can happen to you or your motorcycle due to some natural or weather conditions, or by unforeseen events. 
  • UM/UIM insurance: UM/UIM insurance covers any damage to you or your motorcycle by another rider who does not have any insurance coverage, or whose insurance cannot sufficiently cover the damages. This happens when the accident compensation claim involves medical expenses, wage loss, psychological damages, etc.


In a nutshell, Missouri motorcycle laws are not very comprehensive and lack in certain aspects. The law is silent on some crucial factors that have a huge impact on the overall increase in motorcycle-related accidents in Kansas City and Missouri. Although the license and helmet laws for motorcycles are adequate in Missouri, there is still room for improvement and revision in Kansas City motorcycle laws to make the roads safer for everyone. If you have suffered a motorcycle accident or have trouble understanding motorcycle laws, consult our expert motorcycle law lawyers today.

Jason Royce Allen

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