If you ride a motorcycle in Georgia, it is important to be aware of the laws that apply to you. The state requires its motorcyclists to adhere to multiple requirements, including regulations on insurance, licensing, and protective gear. Failure to comply with Georgia’s motorcycle laws could not only lead to tickets and fines—any violation could impact your ability to recover compensation after an accident, even if you were not at fault.
License Requirements for Georgia Motorcyclists
All motorcyclists in Georgia must obtain a Class M license or Class M Instructional Permit to legally operate their vehicles. The state defines any vehicle that has a saddle, is controlled by handlebars, and travels on no more than three years as a motorcycle.
You can earn a motorcycle license in one of two ways.
You can apply for a motorcycle license directly with the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). To do so, you must take a written knowledge test and an on-cycle driving skills test, as well as a vision test.
You can take a motorcycle safety training course from the DDS and earn a 90-day motorcycle license test waiver. With this waiver, you do not need to take the knowledge or driving test to obtain your license. The 90-day period begins on the day you completed the course.
Do You Need to Wear a Helmet in Georgia?
Georgia law requires motorcyclists of all ages, as well as their passengers, to wear a helmet while riding. This helmet must comply with requirements established by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). Approved headgear will be labeled as DOT certified.
The helmet will need to fasten securely, be free of any defects or cracks, and include a protective face shield. If your helmet does not have a shield, you will need to wear protective goggles. Additionally, your helmet cannot restrict your vision or hearing in any way.
Georgia Insurance Laws and Penalties
Like motor vehicle drivers, Georgia motorcyclists must purchase liability insurance. Since Georgia is a fault accident state, drivers who are responsible for accidents must pay for their victims’ damages. Liability insurance helps you uphold this financial responsibility in case you cause a collision.
You must carry insurance in the following amounts.
$50,000 for total bodily injury or death per accident
$25,000 for property damage per accident
You can choose to purchase higher amounts of this insurance if you wish. Failure to comply with Georgia’s insurance requirements can result in severe penalties; the state may revoke or suspend your vehicle registration. You could also face an initial fine of $25 and a $60 reinstatement fee for a first offense. Second, third, and subsequent offenses will result in higher penalties.
Additionally, if you cause an accident and do not have insurance, you will be financially responsible for paying for victims’ damages—leading to additional hardship later on. To avoid these penalties and protect yourself in case of an accident, it is important to comply with Georgia’s motorcycle insurance laws.
What to Do If You Are in an Augusta Motorcycle Accident
If you are injured in a motorcycle collision, it is important to protect yourself and get to safety. Call 911 and seek medical services at a hospital or urgent care center. Once you receive initial treatment, contact a Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can represent you in your claim against the at-fault driver and advocate for your maximum recovery. As soon as possible following your collision, contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options.