Every state in the U.S. requires motorcycle operators to obtain a motorcycle license. Licensed riders must prove they have the knowledge and skills to ride safely. However, research shows that motorcyclists have a high rate of license violations at around 21% of all riders.
After a motorcycle accident in Dallas, TX, the other driver might try to blame you for the crash if you failed to comply with the motorcycle licensing requirements in Texas. Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers can explain your options for overcoming this attack so you can keep the blame focused on the at-fault driver.
How Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Dallas, TX
Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers has been protecting the rights of injured clients in Dallas, Texas, since opening its doors in 1995. Our founding attorney has recovered tens of millions of dollars in compensation from at-fault parties and their liability insurers.
If you suffer an injury, our Dallas motorcycle accident lawyer can help by providing the following:
- Legal advice and counsel to explain your legal rights and options for compensation
- Aggressive negotiation to try to settle your claim without requiring a trial
- Over 28 years of courtroom experience if the other party refuses to settle
Motorcycle crashes can cause disabling injuries even if you have a motorcycle license. Contact Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your crash and how we can help you pursue fair compensation for the injuries you suffered.
Why Does Texas Require Motorcycle Licenses?
Motorcycles require different skills and knowledge than automobiles. Since they only have two wheels, motorcyclists must maintain their balance when riding in a straight line and when turning or making emergency maneuvers.
Motorcycle operators must also understand how to handle the high power-to-weight ratio of motorcycles. Without training and practice, an operator can lose control of their motorcycle as it surges forward when accelerating.
Research shows that unlicensed motorcycle operators have a much higher likelihood of dying on their motorcycle than those with valid licenses. Specifically, unlicensed operators account for 21% of all riders but 36% of all motorcycle crash fatalities. This increased risk remains whether the unlicensed operator holds an invalid license or never obtained one.
Requirements For Motorcycle Licenses in Texas
Everyone operating a motorcycle in Texas must have a motorcycle license. If you’re only visiting, you need an out-of-state license from your home state. As long as your license is valid, you can legally ride a motorcycle in Texas.
If you are a resident, however, you must have a valid, unexpired motorcycle license issued by the state. Texas has two options for obtaining a motorcycle license:
Moving To Texas From Out-of-State
Suppose that you moved to Texas while you already had a valid motorcycle license from another state. Texas will issue a motorcycle license to you after you surrender your out-of-state license. Texas gives you 90 days after moving to exchange your out-of-state license for a Texas one.
Under this option, the state does not require you to pass any written or road tests to receive your motorcycle license. You also do not need to take the motorcycle safety course. You only need to pass a vision test, pay the fee, and prove your Texas residency.
To obtain your motorcycle license for the first time in Texas, you must pass a motorcycle safety course. This course includes both classroom and hands-on riding instruction. To successfully complete the course, you must receive a passing score on both a written knowledge test and a road test.
You then take your certificate of completion to the Texas driver’s license office. If you are over 18, the state will waive the road tests. Applicants under 18 must pass the road test. All applicants must pass a vision test, pay a fee, and provide proof of a Texas address.
Risks of Riding Without a License
If you ride a motorcycle without a license, you have a higher risk of injury or death in a motorcycle crash. You could also receive a citation for driving without a license if you get stopped by a police officer.
After a collision, the at-fault driver and their insurer may try to shift the blame for the crash to the unlicensed operator. Texas uses comparative negligence to allocate blame. When a driver successfully shifts some of the blame for your injuries to you, you lose a proportional share of your damages.
Thus, suppose that your motorcycle was hit by a car, but the driver convinces a jury to put 10% of the blame on you for riding without a license and 10% for riding without a helmet. In that case, the judge will only order the driver to pay 80% of your damages after reducing your claim by your share of the blame.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Dallas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle collisions can cause permanent injuries even when you obtain your license and ride carefully. Contact Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your motorcycle accident and how we can help you pursue compensation for your injuries.