Arizona Motorcycle Laws: Everything You Need to Know

woman driving motorcycle at sunset

Arizona Motorcycle Laws: Everything You Need to Know

Every spring, motorcyclists are eager to get their bikes back on the road. If you’re planning to buy your first motorcycle or drive your bike across state lines, it’s important to know the state laws. Different states have different laws when it comes to things like wearing helmets and lane filtering. Here are the Arizona motorcycle laws you need to know. 

An Overview of Arizona Motorcycle Laws

License Requirements

In Arizona, a class M license is required to legally operate a motorcycle. You cannot drive a motorcycle with your regular class D driver’s license, unless you add a class M endorsement to it. To add the endorsement, you must pass a written test and a medical and vision screening. 

If you don’t have a driver’s license, you must meet the following requirements in order to apply for a motorcycle license:

  • You must be at least 16 years old.
  • If you are under 18, you must hold a motorcycle learner’s permit for at least six months before applying for a license.
  • If you’re over 18 and don’t have a driver’s license, then you must take and pass both the motorcycle operator test and the driver’s license written test. 
  • All applicants must complete a motorcycle driver education program that has been approved by the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division. 
  • All applicants must also complete a motorcycle training course and skills test.

Insurance and Registration Requirements

Just like with cars, liability insurance is required to drive a motorcycle in Arizona in case you get into an accident. If you drive a car or motorcycle without liability insurance you will face fines and may have your license revoked. 

Along with proof of insurance, your motorcycle must also be registered with the Motor Vehicle Division within 15 days of purchase. Registration is necessary in order to receive your motorcycle license plate. It is illegal to drive a motorcycle in Arizona without a valid license plate or registration.

Helmet Laws

According to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 28-964, all motorcycle drivers and passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. Additionally, motorcycle drivers must also wear protective glasses, goggles, or a transparent face shield, unless the motorcycle has a windshield. 

Adults over the age of 18 are not legally required to wear a helmet in Arizona. However, wearing a helmet is highly recommended to prevent the serious injuries and fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents. According to the CDC, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injuries by 69%. 

Lane Filtering

In 2022, a new law allowing lane filtering under special circumstances went into effect. Motorcycle drivers can now drive between vehicles traveling in the same direction as long as:

  • The other vehicles are stopped
  • The posted speed limit is 45 mph or less
  • The motorcyclist does not drive faster than 15 mph while filtering
  • The street has at least two lanes in the same direction

Passenger Laws

ARS 28-892 states that it is legal for a passenger to ride on a motorcycle as long as the bike is designed to carry more than one person. The passenger must sit on the permanent passenger seat or a seat that has been firmly attached to the motorcycle behind or next to the driver.  

Scottsdale Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Following Arizona’s motorcycle laws will help keep you safe on the road. But motorcycle accidents can happen even if you always drive with extreme caution. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, Van Norman Law can help. We’ll fight to secure the compensation you deserve. Call us at 480-481-0616 today to schedule a free consultation. 


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/31/2023). Photo by Harley-Davidson on Unsplash