Wyoming Motorcycle Laws: What You Need to Know
If you think that motorcyclists have a deep connection to the open road, you guessed right. Out of the 600,000 residents who live in Wyoming, more than 30,000 people own registered motorcycles in the state.
It’s no doubt that motorcycles offer a sense of freedom and power on wide-open highways and are far cheaper to operate than most other vehicles. However, these bikes can be very dangerous, if not deadly, when used incorrectly. One of the best ways to prevent motorcycle collisions is by following the laws put in place to keep you and others safe.
If you or a loved one have been in a collision involving a motorcycle, you will need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer on your side. Here at The Advocates, we understand the ins and outs of motorcycle laws and are here to guide you through the aftermath of a motorcycle accident.
What are the 5 Most Common Motorcycle Laws in Wyoming?
1. All minors (anyone under the age of 18) must wear protective headgear, one that is approved by the state and is securely fastened to the rider’s head. According to Wyoming law, it is illegal for minors to ride on a motorcycle without a helmet. In addition, we encourage all motorcyclists to wear helmets, which would include a full visor to protect the face as well. Due to the sheer danger of being in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to keep yourself as safe as possible while on the road.
2. All motorcyclists are entitled to full use of a lane of traffic. The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken. While it may be tempting to speed pass other vehicles, it is illegal and extremely dangerous. The only vehicle a motorcycle can pass in the same lane is another motorcycle. Even though this is legal in Wyoming, it should still be done with precaution.
3. No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles. Even if you see a clear shot between traffic lanes, motorcyclists are not allowed to weave through cars or pass alongside them. This type of driving is not only against Wyoming law, it can lead to serious injuries or result in death.
4. Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane of traffic. Motorcycles typically don’t fill an entire lane of traffic. If that’s the case for your motorcycle, then you and one other biker can ride next to each other in the same lane. According to Wyoming law, it’s illegal for 3 or more motorcyclists to ride side by side with each other in one lane of traffic.
5. No driver shall operate any motorcycle with handlebars positioned that his or her hands, when on the grip, are above shoulder height when sitting astride the vehicle seat in an upright position. If your hands are above shoulder height, this not only limits your peripheral vision, especially when making turns, it also makes it more difficult to have full control of your motorcycle.
Do You Need a Motorcycle License in Wyoming?
To legally drive a motorcycle in Wyoming, you must have a valid driver license, instruction permit, intermediate license or restricted license. You can get a Wyoming license or permit at the Driver Services Program of the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT).
It’s important to note that some operators who do not need a license from WYDOT to drive a motorcycle. These drivers include:
- Employees of the U.S. government operating vehicles owned or leased by the U.S. government
- Members of the armed forces who are stationed in Wyoming, and their dependents, who have a driver’s license from the state they reside in
- Full-time students attending the University of Wyoming or a Wyoming junior college and have a valid driver’s license from another state
- Any person who is a Driver License Compact member licensed by another state; out-of-state driver’s license must be surrendered within one year of residency in Wyoming
Along with those who do not need to obtain a license, there are certain individuals who cannot get a Wyoming driver’s license as well. They include:
- Persons under the age of 16
- Persons with suspended, canceled, denied or revoked driving privileges in any state
- Persons who fail any part of the required license examination
- Persons who have been deemed legally incompetent to drive
- Persons who are habitual users of alcohol or any other controlled substances
- Persons in violation of the immigration laws of the U.S.
When obtaining a valid driver’s license for the first time in Wyoming, you will need to bring one proof of identity, two proofs of current residency, one proof of your Social Security number and one proof of name change if applicable. In some cases when renewing a license, you may not need to bring all the documents again. You should check online or call WYDOT.
What is a Motorcycle Endorsement in Wyoming?
While a motorcycle license is similar to a driver’s license but simply meant for motorcycles, a motorcycle endorsement is an additional credential to your existing license that states you are legally allowed to ride a motorcycle on public roads.
This type of endorsement is used in situations where you already have a car license but also pass the motorcycle testing needed to legally drive a motorcycle. No matter what, a motorcycle license or endorsement is required to legally ride a motorcycle in Wyoming.
If you are caught driving without a license, you are responsible for the fines and towing fees for driving illegally. In Wyoming, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or imprisonment of up to 6 months, a fine of no more than $750, or both.
Do Motorcycle Endorsements Expire?
Yes. A motorcycle endorsement is valid for five years and expires on the driver’s birthday of the 5th year. Drivers may renew their motorcycle license by mail every other renewal period, or every eight years.
You are required to successfully complete a motorcycle license renewal in Wyoming before your license and endorsement expire. Individuals who let their license expire must apply for a new one and may have to take all the required portions of the examination again, including the written test, vision screening and skills exam.
Do You Need Motorcycle Insurance in Wyoming?
Simply put, yes. This minimum insurance coverage required in Wyoming is compulsory liability insurance. This includes:
- Bodily Injury (1 person): $25,000
- Bodily Injury Liability (all persons, one accident): $50,000
- Property Damage Liability: $20,000
You should also consider getting Wyoming UIM coverage for your motorcycle. If you are involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who does not have adequate insurance, UIM coverage will help you with the medical expenses from your injuries. UIM Coverage, either “uninsured” or “underinsured” motorist coverage, will cover you in the event of the following:
Underinsured Motorist: Underinsured motorist is part of your insurance coverage that helps pay for your injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident in the event the at-fault party has only the minimum insurance required, and this does not cover your claim.
Uninsured Motorist: Uninsured motorist may cover your injuries resulting from your motorcycle accident in the event the at-fault driver does not have any insurance.
Hit & Run: If you are injured in a hit and run accident in Wyoming, uninsured motorist may cover your resulting injuries in this case as well.
Is It Illegal to Have 3 People on a Motorcycle in Wyoming?
A Wyoming Statute states that only two people can legally ride on a bike as long as it is specifically designed to carry more than one rider. The passenger may travel with the driver on a permanent seat of the motorcycle or be fastened in a seat securely attached to the rear or side of the operator. Passengers must be able to have their feet firmly planted on the bike’s footrests.
Keep in mind that while motorcycles are fun to ride and certainly economical, they pose a serious risk to riders and other drivers. Motorcycle accidents occur every day in the U.S. and it’s crucial to keep you and your passenger safe.
In fact, it’s best not to travel with a passenger on your motorcycle unless you are an experienced driver. The additional weight of another passenger can change how your bike maneuvers, turns and accelerates. You should spend time in empty areas with a passenger on your bike before venturing out onto major roadways to make sure you are fully prepared to ride with another person on-board.
When to Contact an Advocate About Your Motorcycle Case
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own, you will need an Advocate on your side. The motorcycle accident attorneys with The Advocates are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies to help get you the best recovery possible.
Our role as Advocates is to serve as a voice for you and your injuries. We will guide you each step of the way and fight for your right to maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Don’t wait to contact The Advocates. Call our office today at 307-466-0003 or use our online chat on our homepage.