Motorcycle Helmet Use
Public Act 98 of 2012 amended MCL 257.658, effective immediately, repealing Michigan’s mandatory motorcycle helmet requirements for certain motorcycle operators and passengers.
A motorcycle operator is not required to wear a helmet if all of the following conditions apply:
- The operator is at least 21 years of age
- The operator has had his or her motorcycle endorsement for at least two years or has successfully passed a motorcycle safety course conducted according to MCL 257.811a or MCL 257.811b
- The operator has in effect a security for the first-party medical benefits payable if he or she is involved in a motorcycle crash for at least $20,000 for the operator or $20,000 per person if the operator is carrying an additional passenger and the passenger does not have at least $20,000 security
A motorcycle passenger is not required to wear a crash helmet if all of the following conditions apply:
- The passenger is at least 21 years of age
- The passenger has in effect at least a $20,000 security for the first party medical benefits payable if he or she is involved in a motorcycle accident or the operator has in effect a security that covers the operator and the passenger for at least $20,000 per person
MCL 257.658 does not require a motorcycle operator to carry proof that he or she has possessed a motorcycle endorsement for at least two years or has successfully passed the motorcycle safety course.
Additionally, the law does not require a motorcycle operator or passenger carry proof of the $20,000 security required to operate or ride a motorcycle without a helmet.
Operators and passengers who violate MCL 257.658 are responsible for a civil infraction as detailed in MCL 257.656.
Officer are reminded that an officer must have articulable and reasonable suspicion that a violation of the Michigan Vehicle Code has occurred in order to lawfully stop a vehicle for a violation of the Michigan Vehicle Code. For example, officers may not stop a motorcycle operator for not wearing a helmet based on the mere possibility the operator or passenger may not be exempt from the requirement to wear a helmet. Officers must possess facts rising to the level of reasonable suspicion that the operator or passenger is required to wear a helmet and is violating the requirement.
Public Act 98 of 2012
Source: Michigan State Police Legal Update