Legal-Ease: Basic motorcycle laws in Ohio

Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney at Schroeder Law LLC in Putnam County. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at or at 419-659-2058. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.

Motorcycle awareness month is a good time to remind oneself about the laws surrounding their use, whether you ride them or not.

Motorcycle use requires an endorsement on a traditional vehicle driver’s license, or a one-year permit. For operators and owners under the age of 18, the Ohio Motorcycle Basic Operation Course is required. Individuals older than 18 are only required to pass the skills test, an on-cycle demonstration.

A “street legal” motorcycle must have certain working parts. These include headlight, tail light, brake light, front brakes, rear brakes, turn signals, horn and two mirrors. Eye protection of some kind is required, which can be goggles, helmet guard or windshield.

While helmets are not required for operators with a motorcycle endorsement, permit holders and non-operating riders must wear them.

May is motorcycle safety awareness month. Additionally, unfortunately, we have begun to see devastating motorcycle accidents already this season.

Motorcyclists are passionate people who will tell any non-motorcyclist that bicycles and motorcycles are clearly different. With that being said, there is one very important similarity that bicyclists and motorcyclists share. Regardless of legal compliance by their operators, bicycles and motorcycle accidents result in disproportionately severe results. In other words, defensive driving by cyclists of all types is crucial, even to avoid other people’s mistakes.

Read more about motorcycle laws in Lee’s article in the Lima News, “Legal-Ease: Basic motorcycle laws in Ohio.”

Source:, “Legal-Ease: Basic motorcycle laws in Ohio,” by Lee R. Schroeder, May 13, 2017.

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