Motorcycle Laws in Dallas, TX

There are more than 340,000 registered motorcycles in Texas, many of them in Dallas. While Dallas is not one of the most dangerous cities for motorcyclists, there were 521 motorcyclists killed in Texas accidents in 2021 alone, accounting for about 12% of all traffic deaths. 

Before riding in the DFW area, it’s important to understand motorcycle laws in Dallas, Texas, to reduce the risk of a motorcycle accident or traffic citation.

If you have been involved in an accident, an experienced Dallas motorcycle accident lawyer at Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help. Contact our law firm at (214) 855-1420 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case. 

How Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You After a Motorcycle Accident

How Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You After a Motorcycle Accident

Given the nature of motorcycles and the lack of protection in a crash, motorcyclists injured in Dallas, TX, often suffer very serious injuries. Even following all the motorcycle laws in Texas and wearing a helmet cannot eliminate the chance of being hurt in an accident. 

If you have been hurt in an accident, a Dallas personal injury lawyer can help you explore options to recover the compensation you need. Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers has more than 28 years of experience representing motorcyclists with over $110 million recovered for our clients since 1995. 

When you hire our law office to represent you, we can help: 

  • Investigate your accident to determine causation
  • Gather evidence to prove your damages 
  • Identify potentially liable parties
  • Handle negotiations on your behalf
  • Protect your legal rights and best interests
  • Take your case to court if a fair settlement offer is not reached

Call our law office today to schedule a free case review with a Dallas motorcycle accident attorney to explore your legal options and how we can help.

Overview of Motorcycle Laws in Dallas, Texas

Texas motorcycle laws are covered in the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) Motorcycle Operator Manual. Motorcyclists are required to follow all traffic rules that apply to any motorist and specific rules covered in the Motorcycle Operator Manual. 

Basic Motorcycle Equipment Required in Texas

Under Texas law, your motorcycle must meet minimum equipment requirements. 

Motor-driven cycles and motorcycles must have the following working components: 

  • Brakes
  • Exhaust system
  • Headlamp
  • Horn
  • License plate lamp
  • Mirror
  • Passenger footrests and handholds
  • Rear red reflector
  • Steering
  • Stop lamp
  • Tail lamp
  • Tires
  • Vehicle, serial, or motorcycle identification
  • Wheel assembly

Mopeds must have functional brakes, reflectors, rear lamps, and headlamps.

Texas Motorcycle License or Endorsement

You must have a valid Class M motorcycle license to operate a motorcycle in Texas. You must pass an approved motorcycle safety course and a vision test. The safety course may be waived for applicants with a valid motorcycle license from another state. 

A motorcycle drive test is also required. This test can’t be waived for applicants under 18. You may have the test waived if you are 18 or older, have completed a safety course, and have a valid Texas Class A, B, or C license without restrictions. 

Annual Motorcycle Inspections in Texas

Every year, and before a motorcycle can be registered in the state for the first time, it must pass an inspection at a Motor Vehicle Inspection Station. After passing the inspection, you must place your certificate near your rear license plate. 

You can find a Texas Inspection Station using the Texas Department of Public Safety search tool. Make sure the inspection station offers “MC” or motorcycle inspections. 

Texas Motorcycle Registration 

Texas residents are required to register their motorcycles with the local county tax assessor-collector office. To register your vehicle, you must first pass a Texas vehicle inspection. This requires showing proof of insurance. 

Next, visit the county tax assessor-collector office to get your Texas motorcycle license plates and registration sticker. You will need to provide proof of insurance, the Vehicle Inspection Report, and proof of ownership, such as a title. 

Below are county tax office locations for the Dallas area. 

Dallas County Tax Office
500 Elm Street Suite 1200 Dallas TX 75202
(214) 653-7811

Collin County Tax Office
2300 Bloomdale Rd, Ste 2302 McKinney, TX 75071
(972) 547-5014

Denton County Tax Office
1505 E. McKinney Denton, TX 76209-4525
(940) 349-3510

Kaufman County Tax Office
100 N. Washington St. Kaufman, TX 75142-2051
(469) 376-4596

Rockwall County Tax Office
101 E. Rusk St, Ste 101 Rockwall, TX 75087-3775
(972) 204-6130

Texas Motorcycle License Plate Requirements

After registering your motorcycle and getting a license plate, it must be attached to your motorcycle. You must keep the license plate attached at all times with an up-to-date registration sticker.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in Texas

Like other motorists, motorcyclists in Texas are required to maintain minimum liability insurance called 30/60/25 coverage. You must have at least the following minimum coverage: 

  • $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
  • $60,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident

In Texas, personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is automatically offered in a motorcycle insurance policy. This covers medical bills for you and your passenger, lost wages, and certain other costs. Your policy should include at least $2,500 in PIP coverage with the option to increase it to $5,000 or $10,000. You can waive this coverage in writing if you do not want it.

Liability insurance only covers injuries and property damage you cause in an accident. Recommended coverage includes medical payments to cover medical bills for you or a passenger and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage to cover damage an uninsured at-fault driver causes. 

Collision and comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your motorcycle in the event of a crash, theft, or damage by fire, flood, and other covered events. 

Texas Helmet Laws

Texas law requires motorcyclists and passengers under 21 to wear a helmet that meets the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards No. 218

If you are 21 or older, you can be exempt from the requirement if you have completed a motorcycle operator training course approved by the TDLR or have at least $10,000 in medical coverage for injuries. 

Police in Texas cannot stop a motorcyclist not wearing a helmet simply to determine if they meet the exemption.

Lane Splitting in Texas

Lane splitting refers to riding a motorcycle between marked lanes going in the same direction as traffic. Lane splitting is different from the practice of lane filtering, which refers to riding between lanes of stopped traffic to get to the head of an intersection. 

Texas Transportation Code § 545.060 requires motorists on a road with two or more marked lanes to drive “as near as practical” completely within a single lane. Moving from the lane is only permitted when it can be done safely. 

While lane splitting is a common sight in Texas, and this statute does not specifically prohibit lane splitting, you can be cited for failing to maintain a single lane. In other words, lane splitting is illegal in the state.

Motorcycle Passenger Laws in Texas

If you will ride with a passenger, it’s important to be aware of specific rules. Texas law prohibits motorcycle passengers under the age of five unless they are in a sidecar. Passengers can only ride on a bike equipped with a permanent passenger seat. If a passenger is under 21, they must wear an approved helmet.

Motorcycle Parking Laws in Texas

Motorcyclists can park in any available, open parking spot. Motorcycles cannot be parked in the striped area adjacent to a handicapped spot or on sidewalks. You can only park a motorcycle in a handicapped parking space if you have a disabled parking placard or license plate. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Dallas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Even if you are diligent about following all motorcycle laws in Dallas, Texas, you may still end up in an accident through no fault of your own. An experienced Dallas motorcycle accident lawyer can help you hold the responsible party accountable and fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Contact Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we can help you through every step of your injury claim.