Montana Motorcycle Helmet Laws

In Montana, motorcycle operators and riders under 18 must wear protective headgear by law.
Written by Drew Waterstreet
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Montana law states that any motorcycle operator or rider under the age of 18 must wear protective headgear. Failure to comply will result in a misdemeanor and a $5 fine. In Montana, motorcycle helmets are recommended but not legally required for riders and passengers ages 18 or older.
Montana is home to some of the most breathtaking mountain landscapes that the United States has to offer. While it’s tempting to feel the breeze during your joy ride down the scenic route, it’s highly recommended that you wear a motorcycle helmet.
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Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Montana

Regardless of whether you’re the passenger or operator, you must wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle or quadricycle in Montana if you are under 18 years old. You can find the law under Montana legal code

Exceptions to Montana’s motorcycle helmet law

If you are 18 years of age or older, it is up to your discretion whether to wear a motorcycle helmet or not. However, while there are no legal obligations, motorcyclists can significantly increase their safety by wearing a helmet.

Penalties for breaking Montana’s motorcycle helmet law

Failure to comply with Montana motorcycle helmet law will result in a $5 fine and a misdemeanor against your permanent driving record.

Why it’s important to wear a motorcycle helmet

You may think that a $5 fine isn’t a substantial punishment for not wearing a helmet, but the effects and consequences can be much more impactful.
First, a violation of Montana's motorcycle helmet law is considered a misdemeanor and will be recorded on your permanent driving record. Conviction points can negatively affect your car and
motorcycle insurance
rates in Montana for up to three years.
It may also be challenging to file an insurance claim if you are involved in a traffic accident while operating a motorcycle without a helmet—regardless of the law. Many insurance companies can claim negligence to your own safety in this event. By not wearing a helmet, you’re accepting the increased plausibility for severe injury and even death. In 2019, 61% of
motorcyclist fatalities
in Montana were unhelmeted.
Key Takeaway Wearing a helmet is highly recommended for all age groups—even though they’re only legally required by motorcyclists under the age of 18.

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Let’s get rid of the silly notion that riding a motorcycle without a helmet is cool. Staying safe and getting home to your loved ones is what’s actually cool. 
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