Arizona Motorcycle Laws: What are they?

by Joshua on May 09, 2014

Safety and Specifications

  1. Helmets

Any operator or passenger who is below eighteen years old must wear a protective helmet. The helmet must be secured on any minor while he or she is on the motorcycle, while the vehicle is being driven or operated in any way. This goes for all-terrain vehicles and motor driven cycles as well. Read more here.

  1. Protective Face Gear

If any of these types of vehicles lacks a protective windshield, all operators and passengers, regardless of age, must wear protective goggles, glasses, or a transparent face shields approved by the Arizona MVD.

  1. Bike requirements
  • There are three basic requirements motorcycles, all terrain vehicles, and driven cycles: a seat, footrests, and at least one rearview mirror. Passengers are also required to sit on a seat and have access to footrests. In addition, seat handlebars are required for all passengers.
  • Handlebars cannot be above the driver’s shoulders. This measurement is taken when the operator is sitting normally on the seat with his or her hands on the handlebars.
  1. Mufflers

There is a maximum noise level for mufflers, but it is determined according to the model of the motorcycle, measured 50ft from the center of a lane of the road. Speed is also taken into consideration, as is proper maintenance. In lieu of this consideration, cutoff and bypass devices are prohibited. If a motorcycle is not equipped with its original muffler from the manufacturer, noise reduction parts must be installed.

  1. Passenger Seats

Any seat that another person could ride on must be firmly fastened and part of the bike’s design, located either behind the operator, or on his or her side. If there is no so such seat, such as on some motocross bikes and single seat motorcycles, multiple passengers are not permitted.

  1. Miscellaneous
  • On state and federal lands, a spark arrestor is required (to prevent wildfires).
  • “Modulated headlights” are not prohibited.
  • Arizona does not prohibit radar detectors.
  • In-helmet headphones or speakers are not prohibited.
  • Turn signals, taillights, front and rear breaks, a horn, and two mirrors are listed as requirements in the study manual for the state’s licensing test. If turn signals are absent, hand signaling is mandatory.


Motorcycles are entitled to make use of an entire lane. No other driver is permitted to impinge a motorcyclist’s right to the whole lane. However, if motorcyclists are riding with two motorcyclists in one lane (called two-abreast), this rule is not applicable for those motorists. No more than two motorcyclists can operate side-by-side (abreast) in one lane. If a motorcyclist is forbidden to use the same lane another vehicle is using to pass that automobile. It is also prohibited to pass between rows of vehicles in their lanes, on shoulders, or between rows of cars side-by-side in any context.

  1. Minimum Liability Insurance
  • $10,000 minimum in property damage coverage.
  • $15,000 in bodily injury coverage per individual, $30,000 for all people’s injured.


  1. Preliminary

Individuals must be 16 years old to get a full motorcycle license in Arizona . However, a minor who is fifteen and a half years old may apply for a class M-permit, which is valid for seven months. This permit is for instructional purposes until the time that the individual turns sixteen. It limits driving to daylight hours on highways and prohibits permit holder from riding on controlled access highways. Individuals below 18 are required to have held an instruction permit for at minimum six months, take an MVD-validated motorcyclist education program. Or, they can have a parent/guardian certify in written form that they have clocked 30 practice hours on their motorcycle.

  1. Continued

Regardless of age, everyone seeking licensing must pass on a general knowledge test , an on-bike skills test, a vision test, and pay the fee for getting licensed. This type of regular license is valid until one turns 65, and requires re-taking a vision test every 12 years

  1. Testing
  • The Motorcycle Riders Skill Test is an off-the-street test given by MVD officials. Four exercising are required in which various maneuvers are required around a T or figure eight type circuit.
  • Helmet, gloves, footwear, eye protectors, and clothing are required while taking this test, though they are not all required on the road.
  • A valid ID is also required to operate motorcycles on public roads.
  • A motorcycle title and registration is required to legally drive. Up to date insurance cards are also required on public roads.
  • All laws pertaining to the operation of motor vehicles nationally and statewide also apply to motorcycles on the road. Off-road, these laws are mostly suspended for motorcyclists.


Ultimately, there are few restrictions on off-road motorcycle riding in Arizona.

  1. Safety

While riders under 18 are required to wear a helmet and eye protection at all times, there is no minimum operator age for off-road riding. While rider education is available, it is optional, and no license is needed to ride a motorcycle off-road. Taillights and headlights are optional when riding off-road.

  1. Documentation

For off-roading, a license in not required.

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