Georgia follows a fault-based insurance system when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. Under state law, at-fault drivers must pay for their victims’ damages in any accident they cause. To uphold this financial responsibility and keep others safe on the road, all drivers must carry certain amounts of liability insurance comply with other legal requirements, such as licensing.
Like motor vehicle drivers, motorcyclists also have a duty to carry insurance, obtain a license, and follow important Georgia traffic laws. If you are a motorcyclist and do not comply with these requirements, you could face serious penalties.
Insurance Requirements for Georgia Motorcyclists
Under Georgia law, you must carry liability insurance in order to own or operate a motorcycle. If you are involved in an accident, this insurance could help protect your financial interests and avoid exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses. You must hold the following minimum amounts of motorcycle insurance to comply with state law.
$25,000 for bodily injury or death per person per accident
$50,000 for total bodily injury or death per person per accident
$25,000 for property damage per accident
You can choose to hold higher amounts of compensation if you choose. Additionally, you can purchase optional types of coverage to pay for your losses in the event of a collision. For example, if you are in an accident where an uninsured driver is at fault, you could use uninsured/underinsured coverage to pay for your losses.
If you do not purchase the required insurance, you could face steep penalties. The state may revoke or suspend your motorcycle registration and face a $25 fine for lapse in coverage. If you do not pay this fine within 30 days, the state will charge an addition $160 fine.
Do You Need a License to Drive a Motorcycle in Georgia?
To legally operate a motorcycle in Georgia, you will need to obtain a Class M License or a Class M Instructional Permit. There are two ways you could receive a motorcycle license.
First, you can complete an approved Motorcycle Safety Program Course. This course waives the other tests that you need to take to get a motorcycle license for 90 days. You will need to apply for your license within the 90-day timeframe for this waiver to remain valid.
You can also take a vision test, written knowledge test, and riding test to obtain a motorcycle license. These exams are administered by the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
Georgia’s Motorcycle Helmet Requirement
In addition to licensing and insurance, Georgia motorcyclists must also wear the right protective gear. Under Georgia’s universal helmet law, all motorcyclists and their passengers must wear a helmet, regardless of age or ability. If you purchase a motorcycle helmet, it must meet or exceed certain requirements set by the Department of Transportation.
You must also wear eye protection while riding a motorcycle, such as goggles or a visor built into your motorcycle helmet. If your motorcycle has an enclosed cab or windshield, you are not required to wear goggles or a visor.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Although you may follow traffic laws, carry insurance, and obtain a license, motorcycle collisions can still occur. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, however, you may be eligible for financial compensation—as long as another person is responsible for the collision. As soon as possible after your accident, contact an Augusta motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your case and legal options.