Motorcycle Laws

MOTORCYCLE RIDERS IN BOISE, TWIN FALLS, IDAHO FALLS & LEWISTON, ID

All motorcycle operators must:

  • Have a valid driver license (Class A, B, C, or D) and 1) a motorcycle endorsement on that license, or 2) have a valid motorcycle instruction permit.
  • Register their motorcycle and display a valid license plate.
  • Have liability insurance.
  • Carry their endorsed driver license or motorcycle instruction permit and driver license, vehicle registration card and current proof of insurance when riding.

Motorcycle operators riding on a motorcycle instruction permit must also adhere to the following restrictions:

  • Daylight riding only
  • No passengers
  • No freeway riding

The penalty for riding without a motorcycle endorsement can be substantial. Learn about how to earn a motorcycle endorsement in Idaho.

 

MOTORCYCLE EQUIPMENT

To be street legal, a motorcycle or moped must have:

  • A headlight sufficient to reveal a person or vehicle not less than 100 feet ahead when traveling 25 mph or less; not less than 200 feet when traveling 25-35 mph; and not less than 300 feet when traveling more than 35 mph.
  • At least one red taillight with a red stop lamp.
  • At least one reflector on the rear.
  • At least one mirror that provides a view of the highway for at least 200 feet to the rear.
  • Fenders on all wheels.
  • A horn that can be heard up to 200 feet away.
  • At least one brake operated by hand or foot.
  • A muffler that does not increase engine noise to a level above that of the muffler originally installed by the motorcycle manufacturer.

 

MOTORCYCLE LAWS

A motorcycle may share a lane only with one other motorcycle. Lane sharing (lane splitting/filtering) with any other vehicle is illegal in Idaho.

Operators may not transport or carry any object that interferes with their ability to hold the handlebars.

If a motorcycle operator carries a passenger, the motorcycle must have a permanently attached passenger seat and footrests. Passengers are only permitted to ride on a passenger seat behind the operator or in a sidecar.

There are no requirements for passenger age in Idaho. However, operators should use good judgment. Passengers should be large enough to reach the footrests, strong enough to hold on securely and mature enough to follow directions and behave predictably.

 

IDAHO'S RED LIGHT LAW

After coming to a complete stop, if a traffic light controlled by a vehicle sensor fails to detect the motorcycle after waiting one full cycle of the light, the rider may proceed with caution, yielding to other vehicles.

 

GET YOUR ENDORSEMENT

To ride legally in Idaho, you must have a valid driver license and motorcycle endorsement or instruction permit.

 

THREE-WHEELERS

"Autocycles" (three-wheeled vehicles with a steering wheel and bucket seat) do not require a motorcycle endorsement. All other types of three-wheelers require a motorcycle endorsement. However, you may apply for a restricted (3W-only) endorsement.

Applicants must pass the DMV motorcycle knowledge test to qualify, but are not required to complete a rider training course or pass a DMV skill test/road test.

 

DEFINITIONS - MOTORCYCLES/SCOOTERS, MOPEDS

It is important to understand if the vehicle you operate is a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle that requires you to have a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license.

 

MOTORCYCLE/SCOOTER

Any motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three (3) wheels in contact with the ground, that meets the federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) as originally designed and includes a converted motorbike, but does not include a motor-driven cycle, a motorbike, a tractor or a moped.

A “motor scooter” or “scooter” refers to a wide variety of motorized cycles and toys. A two- or three-wheeled vehicle of any size, manufactured for use on public roadways and sold by a licensed dealer is probably a motorcycle and an endorsement is required. A vehicle with two or more wheels not manufactured for use on public roadways and sold by retail variety stores is probably a toy.

 

MOPED

A limited-speed motor-driven cycle having both motorized and pedal propulsion that is not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed in excess of thirty (30) miles per hour on level ground, whether two (2) or three (3) wheels are in contact with the ground during operation. If an internal combustion engine is used, the displacement shall not exceed fifty (50) cubic centimeters and the moped shall have a power drive system that functions directly or automatically without clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged.

Or if powered solely by electrical energy, it has two (2) wheels or three (3) wheels with no pedals, an automatic transmission, and a motor that produces less than two (2) gross brake horsepower, and is not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed in excess of thirty (30) miles per hour on level ground.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information about operating motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in Idaho, refer to Idaho Motorcycle Operator's Manual (DMV).

All information presented on this page is intended for educational uses only. It is not to be used as legal advice. For additional clarification, consult Idaho Statutes or a law enforcement representative.

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