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Your Guide to Iowa Motorcycle Laws


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Iowa has traffic laws that apply specifically to motorcycle riders

Iowa motorcyclists, like all motorists, must abide by the rules of the road. Some of those rules apply to all drivers. Obeying the speed limit, abiding by road signs, and having the appropriate driver’s license and vehicle insurance, for example, are things that all drivers must do.

There Are Some Iowa State Laws Specific to Riders

On public roads, these laws include requiring:

  • The use of headlights during the day.
  • Passenger seats and passenger footrests for bikes that carry passengers.
  • rider education for motorcyclists under the age of 18. Motorcycle education is available for riders of all ages, but is not always required for older riders.

Additionally, the law allows:

  • Two riders to ride side by side in the same lane.
  • Passengers of any age to ride with a licensed motorcyclist.

Other laws may also apply in specific situations. However, Iowa currently has no restrictions on handlebar height or helmet speakers. The law does not require bikes to have turn signals. Additionally, state law does not require riders to wear eye protection or safety helmets.

You Need to Know About These Laws for Two Reasons

All riders should know about the laws for operating a motorcycle in Iowa. These laws may help you avoid a serious accident and keep you safe from injury in some circumstances. Additionally, if you are involved in a crash then the laws could be relevant to any potential finding of liability or contributory negligence. In other words, whether you followed the laws could be relevant to whether you were at fault for the accident and relevant to your potential recovery.

Motorcycle accidents—particularly serious crashes that result in significant injuries—are not always straightforward. If you have been hurt then we encourage you to read our FREE book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, and to browse the free resources available on our website for more information and tips about your rights and potential recovery.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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