If you are planning to ride a motorcycle in North Carolina, or even if you have been riding for a number of years, you should make sure that you are familiar with North Carolina’s motorcycle laws. Here, we present a summary of some of the most important laws that apply to motorcycle riding in our state.


At Strickland Agner Pittman, we know that most motorcycle riders in our state follow the laws and ride safely and responsibly on our roads. However, too often, their counterparts in cars and trucks fail to do the same. Due to their careless and reckless driving, they can cause motorcycle accidents that leave operators and their passengers with serious or fatal injuries.


If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident that a negligent driver caused in Goldsboro, Kinston, Fayetteville or surrounding areas, contact us today to discuss your case in a free consultation.

Motorcycle License Laws in North Carolina

To operate a motorcycle on the road in North Carolina, you need to have a full provisional or regular driver’s license and:


You don’t need either a driver’s license or a motorcycle endorsement to ride a moped in North Carolina.


To be eligible to apply for a motorcycle learner’s permit, you must be:


To actually get the learner’s permit, you must pay a $20 fee and do the following:

Can I Get My Motorcycle License Permit Before 18?

Additionally, if you are younger than age 18, you must have successfully completed a motorcycle safety course offered by the N.C. Motorcycle Safety Education Program (NCMSEP) or Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF).


A motorcycle learner’s permit expires after 12 months. However, you can renew it once for an additional six months. If you ride with a permit, you can’t carry passengers.


To obtain a motorcycle endorsement, you must pay a fee ($2.30 for each year the endorsement is valid).


If you are age 18 or older, you must:


If you are younger than age 18, you must meet the vision and knowledge test requirements and provide proof that you successfully passed a NCMSEP or MSF course. If you are younger than age 18, you can’t have any passengers.

What Are The Motorcycle Helmet Laws in North Carolina?

If you operate or ride as a passenger on a motorcycle or moped in North Carolina, you must wear a motorcycle safety helmet that complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218. The helmet must have:



When you ride, you must have the chin strap secured. Check out this MSF guide on how to select the right helmet.


Even though they are not required by law in North Carolina, you should also wear the following when you ride a motorcycle or moped in North Carolina.

What Are The Motorcycle Safety Equipment Laws in North Carolina?

In order for your motorcycle to be “street legal” in North Carolina, it must meet a few basic requirements. The motorcycle must have:



Keep in mind: This equipment helps to prevent accidents. You should have this equipment on your motorcycle not only so you can avoid getting an equipment violation ticket but also so you can stay safe out there.

What Are The Motorcycle Operation Laws in North Carolina?

Motorcycles are just like any other car on the road in North Carolina. So, when you ride a motorcycle, you must follow all of the state’s general traffic laws, including speed limits, right-of-way rules, stop lights and stop signs, and you must signal any lane changes or turns.


Several rules also apply specifically to motorcycles. For instance,

Get Help from a North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Even if you comply with all of North Carolina’s traffic laws and specific motorcycle laws, you can still become the victim of a negligent motor vehicle driver. If someone else’s negligence hurt you or caused the loss of a loved one in a motorcycle accident, don’t wait to get legal help. Contact Strickland Agner Pittman today and allow us to review your case in a free consultation.