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Does Arkansas Have a Helmet Law?

Does Arkansas Have a Helmet Law?

In Arkansas, the answer to the question of whether there is a helmet law is yes. The state has had a mandatory motorcyclist helmet law in place since 1967. This means that all motorcyclists riding within the state are required by law to wear a Department of Transportation (DOT)-compliant motorcycle helmet. Motorcycle helmet laws have been demonstrated to reduce fatalities and head injuries among riders, making them a critical safety measure for motorcycle riders in Arkansas.

What Is Arkansas’s Helmet Law?

In Arkansas, the helmet law requires all motorcycle riders to wear a DOT-approved helmet. The helmet must also be securely fastened and fit properly. All helmets must meet or exceed safety standards set forth by the United States Department of Transportation, including guidelines for impact protection. Riders who are found not wearing approved helmets can face fines and other consequences.

The law also stipulates that riders must wear safety goggles, face shields or glasses when riding a motorcycle in Arkansas. Riders who choose not to comply with this portion of the helmet law can be fined up to $50. [1]

Arkansas’s General Rule for Motorcycle Helmet Use

In Arkansas, motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet that meets the standards of The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A rider 18 years or older is not legally required to wear a helmet if they have taken and passed an approved Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, but it is strongly advised.

Arkansas riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet that meets NHTSA standards at all times, regardless of their riding experience or certification. The law also requires that riders must wear reflective outerwear after dark. [1]

Are There Exceptions to Arkansas’s Helmet Law?

Yes, there are certain exceptions to Arkansas’s helmet law. The law does not apply if you are:

  • Over 21 years of age and have had a valid motorbike license for at least one year; or
  • Operating an ATV or off-road motorcycle on private property with the owner’s permission.

However, even if one of these exceptions applies, it is still strongly recommended that you wear a helmet while operating a motorbike or ATV. Wearing a helmet can greatly reduce the risk of serious injury or death in an accident. [2]

Are There Exceptions to Arkansas's Helmet Law?

Complying with Arkansas’s Insurance Exception

If you are riding a motorcycle without a helmet in Arkansas, make sure you meet the state’s insurance exception. This means that your motorbike must be insured for at least $10,000 in medical expense coverage. If you do not have this type of insurance, it is illegal to ride without a helmet in Arkansas. [3]

When Did Arkansas Repeal Its Helmet Law?

In 2019, the Arkansas legislature passed a bill repealing the state’s mandatory helmet law. Prior to that, all motorcyclists operating or riding on a motorcycle had to wear a helmet at all times while on public roads within the state of Arkansas.

The repeal of this mandatory helmet law is still fairly new, so it’s important to be aware of the current safety regulations and understand any risks associated with not wearing a helmet while riding. [3]

Is Arkansas’s Helmet Law Constitutional?

Yes, Arkansas’s helmet law is Constitutional. The state enacted the “Helmet Law” in 1970 and it has been upheld by the courts ever since. According to the Arkansas Code Annotated § 27-37-201 to 27-37-219, all riders of motorcycles must wear a helmet that meets standards set forth by the Department of Finance and Administration while operating a motorcycle in Arkansas. This includes all passengers, regardless of age. Helmets must also be securely fastened when on the road and meet certain specifications including having a hard outer shell, absorbent material for shock protection, straps to hold the helmet in place, and a chin strap buckle that is non-locking. Failure to comply with the helmet law in Arkansas can result in a fine of up to $50 plus court costs. [2]

Is Eye Protection Required for Motorcyclists in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, there is no law requiring eye protection while riding a motorcycle. However, it is strongly recommended that riders wear eyewear or goggles to protect their eyes from dust, dirt and debris. Wearing eye protection can greatly reduce the risk of injury and even blindness.

Some motorcycle helmets come with a face shield for additional eye protection. If your helmet does not have a face shield, consider investing in a pair of specially designed motorcycle goggles or glasses with lenses that meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). [1]

What Is the Penalty for Operating a Without a Helmet in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, the penalty for operating a motorcycle without a helmet is stiff. Arkansas requires all motorcyclists over the age of 18 to wear either a D.O.T.-certified full-face helmet or an approved eye protection device while in operation. According to Arkansas state law, failure to follow this rule could result in a fine up to $500, or even the suspension of a motorcycle driver’s license.

In addition, since Arkansas is one of only a few states that require the use of helmets for all riders, those without helmets are at an increased risk of serious injury in the event of an accident on the road. Therefore, it is important to remember the importance of wearing a helmet and setting a good example for young riders who may not understand the dangers involved in riding without the proper safety gear.[2]

Arkansas Helmet Laws and Car Accident Compensation

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Arkansas, you may be wondering if there are any helmet laws that could affect your ability to receive compensation for your injuries. The answer depends on where the accident occurred and what type of helmet was being worn at the time.

In Arkansas, motorcycle riders must wear a safety helmet that meets certain specifications. These helmets must be labeled with a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker, and they must have a chin strap so the rider is secured inside it. [2]

Car Accident Compensation

Comparative Negligence and Motorcycle Accidents

In Arkansas, the comparative negligence law can play an important role in a motorcycle accident claim. Comparative negligence allows an injured party to recover damages even if they were partially responsible for their own injuries. In fact, any person who is less than 50% at fault may still be entitled to damages.

However, when it comes to motorcycle accident cases, the damages awarded can be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to the injured party. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for your injuries in a motorcycle accident, your compensation will be reduced by 20%. [3]

Not Wearing a Helmet and Claiming Compensation

If you were involved in an accident while not wearing a helmet, you may be wondering if it will impact your ability to make a successful claim for compensation. Unfortunately, the answer is yes. In general, failure to wear a helmet can be considered contributory negligence – meaning that any damages awarded could potentially be reduced.

That being said, it is important to remember that every case is different and the circumstances surrounding your accident should be considered. The court will likely take into account the type of helmet you were wearing (if any), the speed at which you were travelling, what weather conditions were like at the time of the incident, and other factors when determining if contributory negligence played a role in your accident. [1]

Do Motorcycle Helmets Save Lives?

In the state of Arkansas, motorcycle riders are not required to wear helmets while operating their vehicles. But is it really safe to go without one? Does wearing a helmet make a difference in terms of safety and survival rates?

The answer is an overwhelming yes! Studies show that motorcycle riders who do not wear helmets are at least 40% more likely to suffer severe head injuries and three times more likely to die in the event of an accident. Wearing a helmet can drastically reduce the risk of death in a crash by 67%. [2]

Reasons to Always Wear a Helmet

Whether you live in Arkansas or somewhere else, it is essential to wear a helmet whenever you ride a motorcycle. Here are some of the most important reasons why:

  • Helmet use reduces the risk of suffering severe head injury by as much as 67%.
  • Wearing a helmet can be the difference between life and death in a crash.
  • If you are injured in an accident, wearing a helmet could greatly reduce the extent of your injuries.
  • Wearing a helmet can help protect against head, face and neck injuries.
  • It’s the law: Arkansas does have a motorcycle helmet law! [3]

Reasons to Always Wear a Helmet

Enforcement of Arkansas’s Helmet Law

If you don’t wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle in Arkansas, you could be fined. While the law does not require helmets for cyclists over 16, it is still strongly recommended.

The enforcement of this law depends on how your local authorities or police department decide to enforce it. Generally speaking, however, if you’re caught without a helmet, you will likely be issued a warning or citation.

It’s important to note that if you are cited for not wearing a helmet while riding your motorcycle in Arkansas, it can count as an infraction on your driving record. This could lead to increased insurance rates and other penalties. [2]

What You Need to Know About Helmet Laws for Children

In Arkansas, children are required to wear helmets when they ride a bicycle or motorized scooter. This law was enacted in 2009 and applies to any person under the age of 18 operating a vehicle that is not legally considered a motorcycle (such as an electric scooter). The penalty for failing to comply with this law is up to $50 for each offense.

In addition, the law also states that a parent or guardian may be liable for civil damages if their child is injured while riding without a helmet. This includes any medical expenses incurred as a result of the injury. [1]

Vehicles to Which the Motorcycle Helmet Laws Do Not Apply

If you’re wondering about Arkansas’ helmet laws, there are some vehicles and situations that the law does not apply to. Motorcycles with three or fewer wheels, golf carts, and mopeds are all exempt from the helmet law in Arkansas. Additionally, any person over 21 years of age who has had a valid motorcycle license for at least two years is exempt from the helmet law.

In addition, passengers who are 18 and over are not required to wear a helmet in Arkansas. However, the driver of any motorcycle must always wear a helmet if they are under 21 or have had their license for less than two years. [2]

What Is The Difference Between Certified And Non-Certified Helmets?

When it comes to helmets, there are two types: certified and non-certified. Certified helmets have been tested by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to meet a certain level of safety standards. These helmets also come with a sticker or label that indicates they are DOT-approved. Non-certified helmets may not provide the same level of protection as a certified helmet, and they do not come with any certification markings.

It is important to note that the laws governing the use of helmets in Arkansas vary depending on age, type of vehicle and other factors. For example, in some cases, those under 18 are required to wear DOT-certified helmets while riding a motorcycle, but adults are not. However, it is always a good idea to wear a helmet while riding, regardless of age. [3]

Who Is Liable In A Motorcycle Accident?

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you may be wondering who is liable for the damages and injuries. According to Arkansas law, motorcyclists and other drivers must carry liability insurance. This coverage can help cover medical costs and property damage if a person is found responsible for causing an accident. [3]

Who Is Liable In A Motorcycle Accident?

Is Choosing Not To Wear A Helmet Considered Negligence?

Yes, choosing not to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle or bicycle can be considered negligent behavior. In Arkansas, there is no law specifically requiring the use of helmets while operating motorcycles or bicycles. However, it is widely recommended that anyone using these vehicles should wear protective headgear in order to reduce the risk of serious injury or death in the event of an accident. [1]

Are Helmets Effective In Preventing Injuries?

Helmets are one of the most effective pieces of safety equipment available for motorcyclists. Studies have shown that wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of serious head injury by up to 85%. When worn correctly, helmets provide protection from both blunt and penetrating trauma, as well as deflecting objects away from the rider’s face. Helmets also provide protection from wind, rain, and blinding sunlight.[2]

Other Ways To Prevent Motorcycle Injuries

In addition to wearing a helmet, there are additional steps you can take to reduce the chances of being injured while riding your motorcycle in Arkansas. Make sure that you:

  • Wear protective clothing like boots, gloves and jackets.
  • Be aware of road conditions and be prepared for sudden changes.
  • Stay alert and look ahead to anticipate hazards on the road.
  • Always follow traffic laws and ride at a safe speed.
  • Maintain your motorcycle and keep it in good working condition.
  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. [1]


Is lane splitting illegal in Arkansas?

No, lane splitting is not illegal in Arkansas. However, the practice should be done safely and responsibly. Riders should always ensure they have enough room to maneuver in the space between cars and that their speed does not exceed the vehicles around them. It is also important to keep an eye out for other drivers on the road who may not be aware of lane splitting.

Is lane splitting illegal in Arkansas?

How hard is it to get a motorcycle license in Arkansas?

Obtaining a motorcycle license in Arkansas is relatively straightforward. To apply for a Class M driver’s license, you must: be 16 years of age or older; have passed the written and driving tests; pay the applicable fees; and have proof of identity and residency. If you already have a valid driver’s license, you can upgrade to the Class M license without taking the written or driving tests.

Can I drive a motorcycle with a car license in Arkansas?

No, you cannot drive a motorcycle with a car license in Arkansas. To legally operate a motorcycle, you must have a valid Class M driver’s license. This is different from the standard Class D driver’s license that is required for cars and other vehicles.

What is the easiest state to get a motorcycle license?

The answer to this question depends on your individual circumstances. Generally speaking, states like Wisconsin, New York, and Oregon are some of the easiest places to get a motorcycle license. In these states, obtaining a Class M driver’s license is relatively straightforward and can usually be done without taking any tests.

What CC requires a motorcycle license in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, you must have a valid Class M driver’s license to legally operate a motorcycle over 50cc. For motorcycles that are less than 50cc, no license is required.

What is the highest CC without a motorcycle license?

In Arkansas, you do not need a motorcycle license to operate a motorcycle under 50cc. However, it is important to note that these smaller motorcycles may be subject to different laws and regulations than those with higher engine displacements. Additionally, riders should always exercise caution when operating any vehicle regardless of the size or power.

Can I ride a 250cc motorcycle on a car Licence?

No, you cannot ride a 250cc motorcycle on a car license in Arkansas. As mentioned earlier, you must have a valid Class M driver’s license to legally operate a motorcycle over 50cc. Additionally, it is important that riders always take safety precautions when operating any vehicle and obey all applicable laws and regulations.

Useful Video: Arkansas’ Motorcycle Helmet Law


So, does Arkansas have a helmet law? The answer is yes! Although there are no mandatory helmet laws that apply to all riders or operators of motorized vehicles in Arkansas, the state does require certain riders and operators to wear helmets. It’s important for these individuals to be aware of these laws and obey them so they can protect themselves from potential danger. For all other riders or operators, it’s strongly recommended that they wear helmets while riding or operating motorized vehicles. Wearing a helmet could save your life in the event of an accident, so always make sure to wear one when you’re on the roads.

We hope this article has been helpful in providing you with information about the helmet laws in Arkansas. Remember, always be safe on the roads and wear a helmet if you’re riding or operating a motorized vehicle. Good luck and stay safe!


  1. https://www.callrainwater.com/practice-areas/motorcycle-accident/motorcycle-helmet-laws/
  2. https://www.morrisbart.com/blog/arkansas-motorcycle-helmet-laws/
  3. https://www.tellezlawfirm.com/blog/2022/02/what-are-arkansass-motorcycle-helmet-laws/