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Does Ohio Have a Helmet Law?

Does Ohio Have a Helmet Law?

Are you a motorcyclist in the state of Ohio looking for information on helmet laws? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will break down everything you need to know about motorcycling safety regulations and whether or not Ohio has a helmet law.

We will discuss the most common questions associated with Ohio motorcycle helmet laws, such as whether or not you must wear a helmet on a motorcycle and if so, what type of helmet is required by law. We will also provide some useful tips to keep in mind while riding your motorcycle safely.

What Is Ohio’s Helmet Law?

In the state of Ohio, all motorcyclists are required by law to wear a helmet when riding. The helmet must meet certain safety standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). It must have a full-face shield, eye protection and ear protection in order for it to be considered DOT approved. Any helmet that meets these standards is considered legal for use in Ohio. [1]

What Is Ohio's Helmet Law?

Ohio’s General Rule for Motorcycle Helmet Use

In Ohio, motorcycle riders and passengers are required to wear helmets when they ride. The state’s helmet law states that all motorcyclists must wear a helmet that conforms to federal safety standards at all times when riding on public roads or highways. This includes operators of both two-wheeled and three-wheeled motorcycles. Not wearing a helmet can result in a hefty fine and even suspension or revocation of the rider’s license.

To comply with Ohio law, motorcycle helmets must be securely fastened and have a durable outer shell. The helmet must also have a sticker or other permanent marking certifying that it meets U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards. Any individual caught riding without a helmet may be fined up to $100, and the offense can even be classified as a first-degree misdemeanor in some cases.

Are There Exceptions to Ohio’s Helmet Law?


Yes, there are exceptions to Ohio’s helmet law. Motorcycle riders over age 18 with a valid license do not have to wear a helmet if they can prove they had successfully completed an approved motorcycle safety course within the previous year. Riders also need proof of insurance that includes coverage for personal injuries in order to obtain this exemption. [3]

Complying with Ohio’s Insurance Exception

Ohio requires that all motorcycle riders and their passengers wear a helmet, unless they qualify for an insurance exception. To qualify for the insurance exception, both the rider and passenger must be 21 years of age or older, have had a valid motorcycle endorsement on their license for at least one year, and maintain a liability insurance policy with bodily injury coverage of at least $500,000.

For those who are 21 years or older and qualify for an insurance exception, you must still wear some kind of eye protection while riding. Goggles, face shields, glasses with lenses made of safety glass, or any combination of these is acceptable as long as it meets certain standards. The same goes for clothing; you must wear a coat, long pants, and shoes that cover your feet completely. [1]

When Did Ohio Repeal Its Helmet Law?

Ohio repealed its helmet law in 1978, making it the first US state to do so. Since then, it has been up to individual riders to decide whether or not they want to wear a helmet when riding their bike or motorcycle. [2]

When Did Ohio Repeal Its Helmet Law?

Is Ohio’s Helmet Law Constitutional?

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s helmet law is constitutional. This means that it is legal for motorcycle and other motor vehicle riders to be required to wear helmets in order to ride their vehicles safely. The court reasoned that the law does not infringe on an individual’s right to privacy, as it serves a legitimate government purpose.

The ruling, however, does not necessarily mean that all riders must wear helmets at all times; rather, it merely upholds the law as constitutional. The helmet law allows motorcyclists and other operators of vehicles to make decisions about when they should and should not wear a helmet based on their individual circumstances. [2]

Is Eye Protection Required for Motorcyclists in Ohio?

In Ohio, motorcyclists are not required to wear eye protection by law. However, it is strongly recommended that all riders wear some type of eye protection for their own safety. Eye protection can help protect your eyes from flying debris and dust kicked up on the road. It can also reduce the risk of serious injury from an accident or in the event of a crash.

There are several types of eye protection available for motorcyclists, including full-face helmets, face shields, and protective eyewear. It is important to find the best option that meets your own specific needs. For example, if you ride in extreme weather conditions or areas with low visibility, then you may want to consider purchasing a full-face helmet with face shield. However, if you mainly ride in sunny conditions, then you may find that a pair of protective eyewear is sufficient. [1]

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

In Ohio, it is illegal to operate a motorcycle without a helmet. If you are caught doing so, you will be fined $100 for the first offense and up to $250 for subsequent offenses. Additionally, if you’re pulled over for operating without a helmet, your driver’s license may be suspended or revoked as well.

It is important to note that in Ohio, it is not illegal for a passenger on the back of your motorcycle to ride without a helmet. However, we strongly recommend wearing one as it can help save your life in the event of an accident or crash. [1]

Ohio Helmet Laws and Car Accident Compensation

Ohio helmet laws are in place to help keep motorcyclists safe while on the roads. Although there is no federal requirement for riders to wear a motorcycle helmet, many states, including Ohio, do require that motorcyclists wear a protective helmet at all times when riding or operating their vehicle.

Any person who rides or operates a motorcycle without a helmet in Ohio may be liable to a fine and, in some cases, even imprisonment. In addition to the legal consequences of failing to follow state helmet laws, riders who choose not to wear a protective helmet while on the roads increase their risk of serious injury or death should they be involved in an accident. [3]

Ohio Helmet Laws and Car Accident Compensation

Comparative Negligence and Motorcycle Accidents

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Ohio, the law of comparative negligence applies. This means that if both parties were negligent, their respective contributions to the incident will be judged and each party’s degree of fault will be determined. Damages awarded may then be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to each party.

For example, if the other party was found to be 50% responsible for the accident, your damages can be reduced by that same amount. Comparative negligence is not always applicable to motorcycle accidents in Ohio; it depends on a variety of factors and varies from case to case. [3]

Not Wearing a Helmet and Claiming Compensation

In Ohio, the law considers helmet usage an important part of rider safety and requires that you wear a helmet if riding on a motorcycle or any other motorized vehicle. Not wearing a helmet could be disastrous in certain instances, particularly if you are involved in an accident. If you fail to wear a helmet and sustain injuries as a result of the accident, you could be held liable for your own injuries and be ineligible to receive compensation from the other party. In addition, if a passenger on a motorcycle fails to wear a helmet and is involved in an accident, they may not be eligible to recover damages from the driver or any other party involved in the crash.[3]

Do Motorcycle Helmets Save Lives?

Motorcycle helmets are essential protective gear for motorcycle riders and passengers. According to the NHTSA, in 2017, 1,872 motorcyclists’ lives were saved by wearing a helmet in the United States. That’s 37% of all motorcyclist fatalities that year – a clear indication of how important it is to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.

Not only can helmets help save lives, but they also protect the rider from suffering severe head injuries in the event of an accident. Injuries to the brain, face and skull are much more likely without a helmet – particularly for riders who are involved in high-speed crashes or accidents involving multiple vehicles. [2]

Reasons to Always Wear a Helmet

No matter where you’re riding in Ohio, it’s important to always wear a helmet for your safety. Helmets reduce the risk of head injuries and death in a crash or fall by up to 70%. They also provide important protection against other potential dangers such as flying rocks, insects, branches, and other debris that can be encountered on the road.

A good helmet should fit snugly on your head and be properly fastened with a secure chin strap. It should also be certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). You can easily check for DOT/ANSI certification on any helmet you’re considering purchasing by looking for a sticker on the back or side. [3]

Reasons to Always Wear a Helmet

Enforcement of Ohio’s Helmet Law

Ohio’s motorcycle helmet law is enforced by both local and state police officers. Local agencies such as the Ohio State Highway Patrol, county sheriff’s offices, and city police departments are responsible for enforcing the law on the roads of their respective jurisdictions.

If a rider is seen without a helmet, they will receive a citation from the officer. The law does require that the rider provide a valid helmet upon request. Failure to do so may result in an additional citation or a fine.

The fines for not wearing a helmet vary depending on the jurisdiction, but can range from $25 to $125. If the rider has previous violations of similar offenses, they could potentially face even higher fines and removal of their driver’s license for a specific amount of time. [1]

What You Need to Know About Helmet Laws for Children

Helmet laws in Ohio are designed to protect children from head injuries when riding bicycles and other recreational vehicles. That said, it’s important for parents to be aware of the specifics of these laws so they can make sure their kids stay safe while out on the roads.

Under Ohio Revised Code section 4511. 53, all individuals under the age of 18 must wear a protective helmet when operating or riding on a bicycle, roller skates, in-line skates, skate board, scooter, sledges or any other non-motorized vehicle. In addition to this requirement for children and teens, adult bicyclists are strongly encouraged to wear helmets as well since they can help reduce the risk of a fatal head injury. [2]

Vehicles to Which the Motorcycle Helmet Laws Do Not Apply

In Ohio, the motorcycle helmet law does not apply to certain vehicles. These include:

  • Three-wheeled motorcycles that are equipped with a roll cage or an enclosed cab and are manufactured for operation on public highways;
  • Autocycles which have three wheels, a steering wheel and seating that does not require straddling;
  • Off-highway vehicles operated on lands otherwise open to off-highway vehicle use.

It should be noted that all riders are still required to wear eye protection, regardless of the type of motorcycle they ride. [3]

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

When it comes to helmets, there are two types: certified and non-certified. A certified helmet is a product that has been tested by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and meets all their requirements for safety. This type of helmet will generally have the DOT sticker on the back. Non-certified helmets do not meet the same safety requirements, and therefore may not provide you with the adequate protection that a certified helmet would. [1]

Who Is Liable In A Motorcycle Accident?

No matter what state you reside in, it’s important to know who is liable if a motorcycle accident were to occur. In the state of Ohio, there are several parties that may be held liable for damages resulting from a crash.

The rider of the motorcycle may be held responsible first and foremost, particularly if they caused the accident or were not wearing appropriate safety equipment. If the rider was following all traffic laws and regulations, they may be able to demonstrate that they were not at fault – or only partially at fault – for the incident. [2]

Is Choosing Not To Wear A Helmet Considered Negligence?

In Ohio, it is not considered negligence to choose not to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. It is important to understand that if you are involved in an accident, and you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, you may be found liable for more damages due to your decision not to wear one. This means if you are found to be at fault for the accident, and you were not wearing a helmet, you may be responsible for any additional injuries or damages that would have been prevented had you worn a helmet. [1]

Are Helmets Effective In Preventing Injuries?

Yes! Wearing a helmet is the single most effective way to reduce head injuries and fatalities from bicycle crashes. Helmets are about 85% effective in preventing brain injury and 88% effective in preventing death when used properly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wearing a bike helmet could save up to 85 lives each year if all riders wore a helmet.

It is important to always wear the right type of helmet and make sure it fits properly. A bicycle helmet should fit snugly on your head – it should not be loose or wobble side-to-side or front-to-back. Also, make sure that the straps are tightened so that the helmet fits securely.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety recommends that riders wear a helmet that meets or exceeds the standards set by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Helmets should also have a label inside that indicates compliance with CPSC safety standards. [2]

Other Ways To Prevent Motorcycle Injuries

In addition to wearing a properly fitted and secured helmet, there are several other ways motorcyclists can help prevent serious injuries in the event of an accident. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Follow posted speed limits at all times. Excessive speed increases the risk of an accident occurring and makes it much more difficult to avoid obstacles in the road.
  • Avoid distractions, such as using a cellphone or listening to loud music, while riding.
  • Make sure your bike is properly serviced and maintained on a regular basis; check oil levels, tire pressure, brakes and any other mechanical components of your motorcycle to ensure they are in proper working order. [3]

Other Ways To Prevent Motorcycle Injuries


How much is a no-helmet ticket in Ohio?

Depending on the severity of the violation, a no-helmet ticket in Ohio can cost up to $200. This is not including any other fees or court costs associated with the ticket. It’s important to note that this fine does not cover any medical bills you may incur if you are injured while riding without a helmet.

What are the motorcycle laws in Ohio?

In Ohio, the law requires that all motorcyclists must wear a DOT-approved helmet and eye protection while riding. Additionally, riders must have at least one functioning headlight on their bike when driving after dark. Motorcycles must also be equipped with functional brakes, rearview mirrors, and turn signals.

Is a motorcycle helmet mandatory in the USA?

Yes, in the United States, most states have laws that require all motorcyclists to wear a DOT-approved helmet while riding. The exceptions are three states—Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire—that do not require helmets for riders over the age of 18.

Is Texas a helmet state?

Yes, Texas is a helmet state. In Texas, all motorcyclists must wear a helmet that meets the standards established by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Additionally, riders must also have eye protection while riding in order to stay within the law.

Useful Video: Ohio’s Motorcycle Helmet Law


In conclusion, Ohio does have a helmet law for motorcyclists and certain scooter operators. Motorcycle riders must wear helmets that meet the Department of Public Safety’s standards and display the appropriate stickers or decals on their helmets to indicate they comply with the law. Additionally, all riders should take steps to ensure their own safety by following all relevant traffic laws, wearing protective gear, and riding defensively.

By being aware of the law and taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure a safe ride on Ohio’s roads. Remember: safety first! If you have any questions about helmet laws in Ohio or anywhere else, make sure to check with your local Department of Public Safety to get the most up-to-date information.

Happy riding!


  1. https://www.murrayandmurray.com/blog/2021/december/motorcycle-helmet-regulations-for-ohio/
  2. https://ohiotiger.com/auto-accidents/motorcycle-accidents/ohio-helmet-laws/
  3. https://motorcycleaccidentlawyerus.com/motorcycle-helmet-law-ohio/