Michigan Motorcycle Laws

Michigan Motorcycle Laws You Should Know

If you are a Michigan biker, you know that your safety and your well-being often depend on knowing the rules of the road and Michigan motorcycle laws. Before you set out on your next cross-state adventure, here are some Michigan motorcycle laws you should know.

What Counts as a Motorcycle?

All the Michigan Motorcycle laws described here apply to two- and three-wheeled vehicles with a seat or saddle that are capable of going more than 30 miles per hour. This includes many mopeds and “trikes”  There are some “mini choppers” that are excluded from the registration requirement because they are missing necessary safety equipment and are not legally allowed on public roads.

License and Motorcycle Endorsement Laws

Half of all Michigan bikers are riding without a proper license. To legally ride in Michigan, you need to get a motorcycle endorsement (CY) in addition to your regular driver’s license. Riding without a CY endorsement could land you points on your license and take money out of your pocket.

A motorcycle safety course is required for riders under 18 seeking the endorsement. Older riders are not legally required to take the course.

You can also get a Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP) to learn to ride on the roads. A TIP allows you to ride:

  • Under the visual supervision of an adult licensed motorcycle operator.
  • During daylight hours.
  • Without a passenger.

Registration Requirements

All street-legal motorcycles must be registered with the Secretary of State. This registration is renewed each year. When you register your bike for the first time, you will need to present your title and proof of at least $20,000/$40,000 public liability insurance, as well as $10,000 property damage coverage. Michigan motorcyclists are not legally required to maintain no-fault insurance.

Michigan Motorcycle Helmet Laws

You are required to wear a helmet whenever you ride a motorcycle in Michigan unless you:

  • Are 21 years old;
  • Have $20,000 in first-party PIP motorcycle insurance;
  • Have held a motorcycle endorsement for at least 2 years; and
  • Have passed a motorcycle safety course.

Where You Can Ride

When you are riding your motorcycle you are entitled to the full width of your lane. Bikers often choose to ride two across, which is also allowed.

Motorcycles with less than 125 cc engines are not allowed on Michigan freeways or limited access highways.

Drinking and Driving Motorcycles is Illegal

It is illegal to operate a motorcycle if:

  • You are visibly intoxicated or impaired due to drugs (including prescriptions) or alcohol.
  • Your blood alcohol content is above 0.08.
  • You have any amount of a Schedule 1 drug or cocaine in your system. This includes marijuana, and many prescription pain medications.

If you are riding drunk you run the risk of imprisonment, loss of your license, and having your bike impounded.

Knowing the Michigan motorcycle laws will go a long way to making sure you never need a motorcycle accident attorney like the team at Christensen Law. But if you ever are in a severe crash, we have your back. If you have been seriously injured, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.


Everyone at Christensen Law was extremely friendly and very easy to work with. Whenever I had a question, they took the time to talk with me and explained everything thoroughly. They were also very quick to return phone calls. I would definitely recommend Christensen Law to anyone in need of a personal injury lawyer.

I suffered Traumatic Brain Injury when struck by a vehicle while walking. My recovery was a long uphill battle; I had little energy to expend on daily routines and even LESS on caring for my home and life. I wondered how I could continue into the future with the difficulties I faced.

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V. Watkins

I never knew attorneys could be so accessible and kind. They fought for me all the way to the end. They had to take my case to trial and they won me a great settlement. Now I have a secure future.


HH, Davison

I was treated very nicely and professionally with a lot of consideration and compassion for my disabilities suffered in a horrible car accident. Mr. Christensen and Sarah Stempky made sure I understood what was happening with my case and that everything was pulled together.

LG, Stockbridge

As an accident victim I had to have my leg amputated and I was in bad shape overall. David Christensen was a light in that experience. I ended up with an entire home modification to accommodate my disabilities. It was a very stubborn insurance company but David wouldn’t take no for an answer.

CB, Milford

If I had questions or worries Dave would address them with me because he knows what he is doing. I think the world of him. I felt he went above and beyond to turn a really bad situation around. I have hope now where before I felt powerless and miniscule and that these big insurance companies were just going to railroad me.

DT, Jackson

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