Alabama Motorcycle Helmet Laws

All motorcyclists must wear a helmet in Alabama. Penalties for failure to wear a helmet include fines and possible jail time.
Written by Brittni Brinn
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
, all motorcyclists must wear a helmet. Failure to do so can land you with a misdemeanor charge. Penalties include a fine of up to $100 and possible jail time or hard labor for up to 180 days.
Riding a motorcycle can be a thrill—but one that comes with increased risk.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
reports that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die in an accident than a passenger in a car. To reduce this risk, Alabama is one of the 19 states to implement a universal motorcycle helmet law—if you’re on a motorcycle, you are legally required to wear a helmet.
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Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Alabama?

Yes. Anyone on a motorcycle, regardless of age or health insurance status, must wear a helmet.
The Code of Alabama
Section 32-12-41
defines proper protective headgear using the following perimeters:
  • Design: A motorcycle helmet must be manufactured specifically for motorcyclists. A bicycle or snowboarding helmet isn’t going to cut it.
  • Exterior shell: The helmet has to have a hard, shatter-proof exterior shell that will protect against impact or penetration.
  • Cradle: The part of the helmet that protects the head must be shock-absorbent, made of durable materials, and not cause skin irritation. 
  • Padding: There must be impact-resistant and absorbent padding to cushion the head anywhere it may come in contact with the outer shell.
  • Chinstrap: The chinstrap must be permanently attached to the helmet and must be used on or under the rider’s chin whenever the motorcycle is in motion.
  • Visor: Helmets are not legally required to have a visor, but if a motorcyclist has one, it must be flexible and shatter-proof. It also must be a snap-on visor.

Are there exceptions to Alabama’s motorcycle helmet law?

No. Alabama’s motorcycle helmet law is universal. All motorcyclists must have their helmets firmly secured any time they are in motion.

Penalties for breaking Alabama’s motorcycle helmet law

Breaking Alabama’s motorcycle helmet law can land you with some serious penalties. If you’re caught riding a motorcycle without a proper helmet, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. You’ll also have to pay a fine of $1 to $100 and possibly spend up to 180 days in prison.

Why it’s important to wear a motorcycle helmet

Wearing a helmet may not always look cool—but helmets definitely save lives. One in five motorcycle accidents result in serious neck or head injuries, but wearing a helmet can significantly reduce this sobering statistic. Every year, over 1,600 lives are saved because of motorcycle helmets.
In Alabama, wearing a helmet while you’re on your bike can also save you from having to pay fines or spend time in jail. By following the motorcycle helmet law, you’re protecting yourself and your
driving record
from taking serious damage.
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