North Carolina Motorcycle Laws

The following summary of the laws specifically impacting on-road motorcycling were published on the AMA website around November 2008.

Pleae check for the latest information at the AMA website.

Safety Helmet

Required by law

State Funded Rider Ed

Available for all eligible applicants

Eye Protection

Not Required

Daytime Use of Headlight

Required by law - modulating headlight permitted

Passenger Seat

Required if carrying a passenger

Passenger Footrest

Required if carrying a passenger

Passenger Age Restriction


Helmet Speakers

No Restrictions

Safety Inspection

Required by law

Mirror Left (L) Right (R)

One required by law

Radar Detector

No Restriction

Turn Signals

Not Required


Muffler or other exhaust system of the type installed at the time of manufacture, in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise; muffler cut-out prohibited.

Maximum Sound Level

No acoustical criteria.

State Insurance Requirements

Compulsory Liability (Minimum Limits)(30/60/25) - Insurance companies may apply to Insurance Bureau for insurance discount for rider education course graduates.

Handlebar Height

No Restrictions

Rider-Education Waiver

Skill Test

Accept Motorcycle Endorsement From Other States


Motorcycles operating two abreast in same lane

Yes. (a) All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This subsection shall not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane. (b) Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.

Lane Splitting

Not referenced in Administrative Code or Statutes

Red Light Exception

Motorcycles may proceed through a red light, if they have waited for at least three minutes, and if it's safe to do so.