Maine Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Riders 18 or younger, using a permit, or within one year of passing their exam must wear a helmet on public roadways.
Written by Max Werner
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
law requires helmets for anyone younger than 18, riding with a permit, or within one year of passing their driving exam. Under these circumstances, passengers must also wear a helmet.
Motorcycle accidents comprise around 14% of traffic fatalities nationwide, according to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
. That’s nearly 29 times the fatality rate of passenger vehicle accidents. State helmet laws have been around since the 1960s.
Want to know more about the motorcycle safety requirements in Maine?
has a complete guide to helmet laws in the Pine Tree State—from introductory provisions to possible exemptions. 
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Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Maine?

Those under 18 years of age, using a
provisional license
, or riding less than a year after their driver's test must wear a helmet in the state of Maine.
This same law applies to passengers. If the motorcycle operator is required to wear a helmet, you are too.

Exceptions to Maine’s motorcycle helmet law

There are no exceptions to Maine’s motorcycle helmet law—including mopeds. Age requirements remain the same for both ATVs and snowmobiles. Protective headgear must meet federal standards, according to
legislative code 2083

Penalties for breaking Maine’s motorcycle helmet law

Failing to comply with motorcycle helmet law will result in a traffic infraction—accompanied by fines no more than $500. Repeat offenders will be charged more severely, such as with a Class E crime.

Why it’s important to wear a motorcycle helmet

$500 may seem like a harsh fine, but that’s nothing compared to the risk of riding without proper head protection. Here’s a brief history of motorcycle helmets and some statistics about Maine.
One famous rider you may know is “Lawrence of Arabia,” or the British officer, diplomat, and motorcycle-enthusiast T.E. Lawrence. In 1935, Lawrence’s bike skidded in the rain, causing an accident that damaged his brain. The British officer passed away in the hospital at the age of 46—but his death sent shockwaves in the cyclist community, sparking research about new methods of protecting riders. 
Today, the biggest hurdle to safety is enforcement. According to the NHTSA, motorcycle helmets save hundreds of lives a year in the United States. Of those killed in motorcycle accidents, 57% are not wearing a helmet in states without universal helmet laws—compared to just 9% in states with stricter helmet legislation.
While it’s ultimately an individual's choice, a motorcycle helmet is your best bet for avoiding severe injury next time the unexpected comes your way.

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