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Oregon Motorcycle Laws

Motorcycle Definition

801.365 “Motorcycle.” “Motorcycle” means any self-propelled vehicle other than a moped or farm tractor that:       

     (1) Has a seat or saddle for use of the rider;

     (2) Is designed to be operated on the ground upon wheels; and

     (3) Is designed to travel with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground. [1983 c.338 §63]

Oregon Helmet Law

801.366 “Motorcycle helmet.” “Motorcycle helmet” means a protective covering for the head consisting of a hard outer shell, padding adjacent to and inside the outer shell and a chin-strap type retention system with a sticker indicating that the motorcycle helmet meets standards established by the United States Department of Transportation. [1995 c.492 §2]

Motorcycle Licensing Requirements

Testing and Mandatory Rider Education Requirements

According to Oregon motorcycle laws, if you apply for a motorcycle endorsement and you do not have a valid motorcycle endorsement from another state, you must complete an approved motorcycle rider education course. This requirement is effective based on the timeframes listed below:

If you apply for an original motorcycle endorsement on or after: You must successfully complete a rider education course if you are:

January 1, 2012 Under 41

January 1, 2013 Under 51

January 1, 2014 Under 61

January 1, 2015 Any age

Motorcycle Education Courses Through TEAM OREGON

TEAM OREGON offers the only approved motorcycle rider education courses.

A TEAM OREGON Basic Rider Training (BRT) course completion card, dated within the last 2 years, waives both the motorcycle knowledge test and the motorcycle skills test. Riders under 21 years of age are required to take the BRT.

A TEAM OREGON Intermediate Rider Training (IRT) course completion card, dated within the last 2 years, waives only the motorcycle skills test. You must take the motorcycle knowledge test at DMV. Riders 21 years of age or older may take the IRT.

If you are not required to take a rider education course, you can still choose to take an approved rider education course for waiver of DMV test(s) as noted above.

If you are not required to and you do not take an approved rider education course, you must pass the motorcycle knowledge test and motorcycle skills test at DMV. There are no fees for the tests.

Out-of-State Licenses

If you have a motorcycle-endorsed license from another state, you must take the motorcycle knowledge test at DMV to get a motorcycle endorsement on your Oregon license to comply with Oregon motorcycle laws. You are not required to take an approved rider education course. Please let our staff know that you want to keep your endorsement. If your license is issued without the endorsement and you wish to get it in the future, you will be required to take any test or course required for an original endorsement. You can verify that the motorcycle endorsement is on your license by looking for an M on the front of your license under Endorsement.

If you apply for a 3-wheel restricted motorcycle endorsement, you must pass the motorcycle knowledge test and motorcycle skills test at DMV.

Oregon Motorcycle Laws Tip:

Team Oregon training is available to all riders and is a great way for returning riders to refresh their skills.

Minimum Insurance Requirements

Oregon's mandatory insurance law ORS 806.010 requires every driver to insure their vehicle. The minimum liability insurance a driver must have is:

Type Amount Bodily injury and property damage liability

  • $25,000 per person;
  • $50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others; and
  • $20,000 per crash for damage to the property of others

State law also requires every motor vehicle liability policy to provide:

Type Amount Personal Injury Protection (for reasonable and necessary medical, dental and other expenses one year after a crash)

$15,000 per person
Uninsured Motorist Coverage

$25,000 per person;

$50,000 per crash for bodily injury

You must certify that you have this insurance each time you register a motor vehicle, or when you buy a light vehicle trip permit. You must also certify that you will comply with Oregon's motor vehicle insurance requirements as long as a vehicle is registered in your name, or for the duration of the permit.

Some motor vehicles are exempt from financial responsibility requirements. Those exemptions can be found in ORS 806.020.

Recommended Motorist Insurance

These are the MINIMUM insurance requirements in Oregon.  It is highly recommended that all riders carry significantly higher Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage limits (at least $100,000 per person) to protect themselves in the event of hit-and-run accidents, phantom vehicle accidents, or accidents caused by uninsured or under-insured drivers.  Riders are encouraged to consider motorcycle insurance as insurance for themselves as opposed to insurance to cover damage caused by them.

In addition, because most Oregon motorcycle insurance policies only have a $5,000 medical payment provision, riders are strongly encouraged to carry health insurance.  Riders are also encouraged to carry disability insurance to cover lost wages while off work due to an accident. Both policies will cover the rider regardless of fault.

Accident Reporting and Responsibilities

After having had a traffic accident or collision you must submit an Accident and Insurance Report (Form 735-32) to DMV within 72 hours if the accident meets certain criteria.

Full Responsibilities

If you have a traffic accident or collision, you must:

Stop at Once

Stop at the accident scene or as close as possible without needlessly blocking or endangering other traffic. "Hit and run" is a serious traffic crime. Conviction will mean your driving privileges will be revoked or suspended.

Render Aid

Give any reasonable aid to injured persons. Remember, injured people should never be moved carelessly. In many cases, they should not be moved at all until it is possible to get an ambulance or someone trained in first aid to the scene. If a driver is involved in an accident in which a person is killed or rendered unconscious, the driver is required to remain at the scene of the accident until a police officer arrives. Failure to do so is classified and punishable as a "hit and run."

Exchange Information (printable checklist to keep on your bike)

Give to the other driver, passengers in the vehicle, or any injured pedestrian your:

Name;

Address;

Driver license number;

License plate number of your vehicle; and

Your insurance information.

Report the Accident to DMV

Oregon Motorcycle Laws Tip:

If you are involved in an accident and see witnesses, try to get their contact information if you are physically able.  This is particularly important if you are in a hit-and-run or phantom vehicle accident. Many insurance companies will deny coverage in these types of accidents if there are no witnesses or other corroborating evidence as to the cause of the accident.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations in Oregon for motorcycle accidents is two years.  If your accident involves a public entity such as the State, a City, or a County, you are required go give notice of your claim (tort notice) within 180 days of your accident.  If you fail to timely file suit or give tort notice, your legal rights will be lost.

Oregon Motorcycle Laws tip:  

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident you should consult with an experienced attorney.  For more information about how to protect yourself before and after an accident, please see our Motorcycle Accidents section.  For more information about how our law firm can serve you, please see Our Law Firm section.

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