Colorado motorcycle laws cover everything from licensing to bike requirements to rules of the road. Motorcycle laws are unique to each state. Whether you’re a rider or you drive another vehicle on the road, it’s important to know what Colorado motorcycle laws have to say. Here’s what you should know from our Denver motorcycle accident attorneys.

Colorado motorcycle laws require all drivers to have a valid license. Drivers over the age of 18 are not required to wear a helmet. It’s illegal to pass a vehicle in the same lane, but it’s okay for motorcycle riders to ride side by side in the same lane. Colorado motorcycle laws require all drivers to follow the rules of the road at all times.


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Do You Have to Have a Motorcycle License in Colorado?

Yes, you have to have a motorcycle license in Colorado [1]. To get a motorcycle license in Colorado, you must pass a written exam and a practical test. It is illegal to drive a motorcycle in the State of Colorado without a valid motorcycle license.

Does Colorado Require a Motorcycle License?

Yes, Colorado requires a motorcycle license. All motorcycle drivers must have a valid license to operate in the state. If you have an out of state license, Colorado will accept the endorsement on your out-of-state license. You may legally drive with your out of state motorcycle license in the State of Colorado.

How Do I Get My Motorcycle Endorsement in Colorado?

To get your motorcycle endorsement in Colorado, you begin by passing a written motorcycle exam. That gives you a motorcycle instruction permit. Then, you complete a Motorcycle Operating Safety Training (MOST) [2] course. Present your course completion certificate at a motor vehicle office. That allows you to get a new license with a motorcycle endorsement.

crashed motorcycle

Does Colorado Have a Helmet Law for Motorcycles?

Yes, Colorado has a helmet law for motorcycles. However, the law only applies to minors under the age of 18 [3]. If you’re over the age of 18, wearing a helmet to ride a motorcycle in the State of Colorado is optional. For drivers and riders under the age of 18, helmets are mandatory. The helmet must be U.S. Department of Transportation approved.

Is It Legal to Lane Split in Colorado?

Yes, it’s legal to lane split in Colorado in that it’s legal for two motorcycle riders to ride side by side. It’s not legal to lane split in Colorado if that means sharing a lane with a passenger car or another vehicle. In addition, it’s illegal to pass a vehicle in the same lane as the vehicle. However, lane splitting is legal in Colorado if it means two motorcyclists riding next to each other in the same lane.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Denver?

Yes, lane splitting is legal in Denver if you’re sharing the lane with another motorcyclist. However, lane splitting is not legal in Denver for any other type of vehicle. You may not use lane splitting to weave around stopped traffic [4]. You may also not use lane splitting to ride alongside a passenger vehicle or pass vehicles.

Are Turn Signals Required on Motorcycles in Colorado?

Turn signals are not required on motorcycles in Colorado. While turn signals are a mandatory feature on motorcycles in other states, Colorado doesn’t have the requirement. There’s no law about handlebar height, either. You must have at least one mirror, however. You must also have operational lights at night.

Colorado Motorcycle Eye Protection Law

Colorado motorcycle eye protection laws require all drivers and passengers to wear eye protection at all times [5]. A visor on a helmet satisfies the requirement. Goggles and eyeglasses with plastic or safety glass are all sufficient to comply with the law. There are no exceptions. All motorcyclists and passengers on the roads in Colorado must wear eye protection.

Passengers on Motorcycles in Colorado

Passengers on motorcycles in Colorado may not ride in front of the driver. A passenger must ride behind the driver or in a sidecar. There is no minimum age to be a passenger on a motorcycle in Colorado, but they must be tall enough to reach the footrests. The motorcycle
must have footrests available for the passenger.

Riding a Motorcycle in Colorado

Riding a motorcycle in Colorado requires following all of the rules of the road. In addition, motorcyclists must carry the required minimum liability insurance. Motorcycle riders must drive carefully on the road. When a motorcyclist acts negligently on the road, they may be liable to victims if they cause an accident. Similarly, if a motorcyclist is the victim of another driver’s negligence, they may bring a lawsuit for compensation.

A motorcyclist has the right to full use of the road. The driver must follow the laws that apply to all motorists and the laws that apply specifically to motorcyclists. When a motorcyclist is hurt in an accident, they have the same rights to recover compensation that any other person has when they’re injured in a crash.

Colorado Motorcycle Accident Laws

The same standards of negligence apply to motorcyclists that apply to all drivers. Negligence means a failure of reasonable care. Failing to follow the law creates a presumption of negligence. There’s a presumption that it’s reasonable to obey traffic laws. Drivers must follow the rules of the road.

Motorcyclists must follow the special rules that apply in addition to the rules for all drivers. If you’re the victim of another driver failing to follow traffic laws or otherwise acting negligently, you may bring a claim for financial compensation.

Colorado Attorneys for Motorcycle Accidents

Have you been hurt in an accident that involves a motorcyclist? Are you a motorcyclist and wonder what your options are after being the victim of an accident? At Bachus & Schanker, LLC, we’re experienced motorcycle accident attorneys. Our team has experience representing motorcycle accident victims. Whether you’re the motorcyclist or you’re injured in a passenger vehicle, we’re prepared to help you fight for the compensation that you deserve.

We are conveniently located at 5 Colorado locations near you in DenverFort CollinsColorado Springs, Aurora, and Englewood. Our attorneys are ready to serve you and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today for your complimentary consultation. There’s no cost to call. Our team is standing by to help you.


[1] C.R.S. 42-2-103

[2] C.R.S. 43-5-502

[3] C.R.S. 42-4-1502

[4] C.R.S. 42-4-1503

[5] C.R.S. 42-4-232

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Written and Legally Reviewed By: Kyle Bachus

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Kyle is a member of the Colorado and Florida Bar associations and has served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association for more than twenty years in total. Over the years, Kyle has achieved justice for many clients. He has served on numerous committees and repeatedly won recognition from his peers at both the state and national level. He is proud of the role he has played in the passage of state and national legislation to protect consumers and is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer.