Nearly 40% of motorcyclists who die in a crash are not wearing helmets. Further, there are ten times more unhelmeted motorcycle accidents in states without helmet laws than in states with established helmet laws. 


With that in mind, helmets don’t just help prevent severe injury and death for motorcyclists. They also minimize head injuries for bicyclists, scooter drivers, skateboarders, and more. 


This article discusses California helmet laws, penalties for not wearing a helmet, and when to call a motorcycle license lawyer. Continue reading to learn more. 

Do You Have to Wear a Helmet in California? 

California helmet laws differ depending on the mode of transportation. For instance, motorcyclists must adhere to different rules than bike riders. Although California has some of the strictest helmet laws in the U.S., not all riders are required to wear helmets. 


Learn more about motorcycle and bike helmet laws in the section below. 

California Helmet Laws For Bikes and Scooters

Individuals riding scooters (i.e., Bird, Lyft, Uber, and Lime) are not required to wear a helmet if they are over 18 years of age. However, riders under 18 must wear a helmet that: 

  • Fits properly

  • Fastens appropriately 

  • Adheres to universally accepted safety standards 


It’s important to note that helmet laws typically don’t apply to private property. However, minors must wear helmets if riding on a public street, bike trail, or path. 

California Helmet Laws For Motorcycles

According to CVC 27803, all motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear helmets. That includes individuals on motorcycles, motorized bicycles, or motor-operated cycles. Further, it’s unlawful for a helmeted passenger to ride with a driver who does not wear a helmet. 


California law requires all motorcycle passengers and drivers to wear a helmet on their head with the chin straps securely fastened. That means that you can be cited and fined if you're holding your helmet or riding without it strapped on. 

Penalties For Not Wearing a Helmet in California

The consequences for not wearing a helmet in CA depend on the circumstances and responding officers. Generally, the police can impose a correctional fine and/or a safety hazard fine. Learn more about each below. 

  • Correctional Fine: If law enforcement issues an equipment violation citation, you can expect to pay $10 and receive a correction citation. 

  • Safety Hazard Fine: Neglecting to wear a helmet in a hazardous situation (i.e., while on the highway) could result in fines up to $250 and possible probation up to 365 days. 

Contact a Motorcycle License Lawyer Today

Helmets save lives. However, motorcyclists and bicyclists sometimes suffer serious injuries even while wearing a helmet. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it's in your best interest to consult with a motorcycle license lawyer for personal injury cases. 


Our attorneys have recovered more than $500 million in personal injury cases. We’re confident that we can obtain the best possible outcome in your case as well. Contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation. 

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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