Kentucky Motorcycle Laws

Motorcycles are a cost-effective and exciting way to travel Kentucky’s roads and highways. However, their riders are nearly twenty-eight times more likely to die in a traffic collision than people in passenger cars according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  

Knowing and following Kentucky’s motorcycle laws may help riders avoid common operator pitfalls to prevent injuries and fatalities on the roadways. For more information on motorcycle licensing and laws in Kentucky see the Kentucky Motorcycle Manual.

Kentucky Motorcycle License Law

Before operating a motorcycle on any public roadway in Kentucky, a person must obtain a valid motor vehicle operator’s license with:

  • A valid motorcycle operator’s endorsement;
  • A motorcycle license; or 
  • An instruction permit.  

In addition, a written test may be required regardless of completing a Motorcycle Rider Education Program equivalency course. Motorcycle permits and licenses are issued at Driver Licensing Regional Offices or may be issued at the Circuit Court Clerk’s office where a person resides.

Motorcycle License Age Restrictions

A person must be eighteen or hold a valid operator license to apply for a motorcycle permit. Applicants for a motorcycle license permit under eighteen must have a parent or legal guardian willing to assume responsibility and sign their application.

Motorcycle Rider Safety Education Program

Kentucky’s Motorcycle Safety Education Program (MSEP) maintains rider training courses and safety programs throughout the state. MSEP is operated by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. Its rider courses follow nationally established guidelines.

A person’s motorcycle skills test may be waived upon completion of an MSEP course. However, they must have taken the written test and held a motorcycle permit for at least one calendar month before being issued a motorcycle license.

Kentucky Motorcycle Helmet Law

Kentucky recommends all operators and passengers on motorcycles wear helmets. The state requires all persons under twenty-one to wear a motorcycle helmet while on a motorcycle. 

Those people over twenty-one with a motorcycle operator license for at least one year may decide whether or not to wear a helmet.

Kentucky Motorcycle Equipment Law

Kentucky requires motorcycle operators to use approved eye protection while in motion. Motorcyclists must ensure their vehicles have the following:

  • Rear-view mirrors;
  • A permanently attached seat and footrest;
  • One headlight with high and low beams;
  • A taillight;
  • A horn;
  • A muffler and tailpipe;
  • Front and rear brakes;
  • A brake light;
  • Good tires; and
  • Turn signals, if factory equipped. 

Motorcycle operators also need to carry proof of liability insurance and current registration.

Kentucky Legal Limit Law

Kentucky’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08% for motorcyclists twenty-one and older. For those under twenty-one, the legal limit is 0.02%.

Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Louisville, KY Today

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact the attorneys at Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC. Our Louisville motorcycle accident attorneys have represented victims and families of innocent people against large corporations, insurance companies, and negligent parties for decades.

Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC, fights for the compensation people need to move forward with their lives. Let us review your case at no cost. 

Contact our Louisville personal injury attorneys at (502) 244-7772 today to learn more about our services and approach to motorcycle accident claims.