Motorcycle Eyewear Laws

Even though the reasons to wear motorcycle glasses while riding is obvious, there are motorcycle eyewear laws that require eye protection while riding.   Motorcycle eyewear protects your eyes from wind, dirt, debris and other dangerous objects.  Just a small speck of dirt can virtually blind you.   Harsh winds can dry out your eyes, leaving them red and irritated.   When your eyes dry out, they will begin to tear.  If your tears have a high salt content, your eyes will sting and will be tough to stay open.  If you can’t see the road, riding a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous.

It is important to choose Polycarbonate or Trivex lenses when purchasing motorycycle eyewear.   All BikerArmour, Wiley X and 7 eye motorcycle sunglasses feature polycarbonate lenses.  Polycarbonate is a shatter proof, impact resistant material.   Helmet visors and compact discs are made of polycarbonate, so we know how tough polycarbonate is.  The material is virtually unbreakable.   Trivex is also shatter proof.  Trivex lenses are a higher grade lenses that have higher lens clarity. 

ANSI z87.1 Requirements

Polycarbonate lenses can also be safety rated by the American National Standards Institute, or the ANSI.  The standard for safety for eye wear is known as ANSI Z87.1.  For glasses to be Z87.1 rated, they have to meet a specific set of standards at the time the glasses or sunglasses are manufactured.   These standards establishes the criteria foor using, testing, marking, choosing and maintaining eye protection to prevent or minimize injuries from eye hazards.

ANSI Z87.1 Safety rated lenses
ANSI Z87.1 Safety rated lenses are etched at the top corner of the lens.

If you are really interested in reading about the specifics of ANSI z87.1, please read this: https://www.thevisioncouncil.org/sites/default/files/TVC_ANSI_Z87-1_2015_Overview_v2.pdf.   

ALL lenses that are ANSI Z87.1 safety rated are stamped with some letters on the top left corner of the lens (from wearer’s perspective).  Sometimes it will say Z87.1 and sometimes it won’t.   There are some other letters that may appear random, but these letters are actually the initials of the optical laboratory that cut the lenses.   These engraved letters is really the only way to visually tell if your lenses are ANSI safety rated or not.  

Not All Motorcycle Eyewear Needs to be ANSI Z87.1 Rated

It is important to note that NOT all motorcycle sunglasses are ANSI Z87.1 safety rated.   Just because the sunglasses are not safety rated does not mean they are not safe to wear on your motorcycle.  Most glasses are safety rated because most companies that require safety glasses to be worn at work must follow the rules and standards of the ANSI.   Before you purchase a pair of biker glasses, make sure the lenses are made of polycarbonate or trivex (trivex is only available in prescription eyewear), and make sure the glasses are from a trusted supplier like Bikershades.com.  

 

States Require Motorcycle Eyewear by Law

Most states require bikers wear eye protection at all times while riding the motorcycle.   However, this does not mean the glasses have to be safety rated.  As far as we can tell, the only state that requires bikers wear eyewear that is ANSI Z87.1 rated is New York.  We have heard from multiple bikers in New York that they have received citations if they are not wearing the proper eyewear.  NYPD will actually request you to take off your glasses so they can inspect them.  If they don’t see the safety rating engraving, the will issue a citation, no questions asked.    We will continue to do more research to see if other cities require ANSI Z87.1 Safety Rated eyewear.  If you live in a state that requires the ANSI certification, please tell us in the comments below. 

 

StateHelmet LawsEyewear LawsNoise LawsPassenger Age Requirement LawsDaytime Use of Headlights LawsLane Splitting Laws
AlabamaRequired by LawNot Required by LawNot Required by LawNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
AlaskaRequired by LawRequired by law unless equipped with windscreen which is 15″ or higher above handlebarsNot Required by LawNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawIllegal
ArizonaRequired by law under 18Required by law unless equipped with windscreenMuffler required; no cutout, bypass, or similar deviceNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
ArkansasRequired by law for under the age of 21Required by lawNot Required by LawProhibits passengers under age 8.Required by state lawNot mentioned/not specifically prohibited
CaliforniaRequired by LawNot Required by LawMuffler required; no cutout, bypass, or similar deviceNo RestrictionsRequired for vehicles manufactured during or after 1978Legal
ColoradoRequired by law under age 18Required by lawRequiredNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
ConnecticutRequired by law under age 18; required for instructional permit holdersRequired by law unless equipped with windscreenMuffler required, baffles required, no cut-outs or straight pipesNo RestrictionsRequired for vehicles manufactured during or after 1980Illegal
DelawareRequired by law under age 19Required by lawRequiredNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedNot mentioned/not specifically prohibited
FloridaRequired by law for under the age of 21 (with a minimum of $10,000 in medical insurance)Required by lawMuffler required, modifications to increase sound level prohibitedNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawIllegal
GeorgiaRequired by LawRequired by law unless equipped with windscreenNot RequiredNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawIllegal
HawaiiRequired by law under age 18Required by law unless equipped with windscreenMuffler required, modifications to increase sound level prohibitedProhibits passengers under age 7No RestrictionIllegal
IdahoRequired by law under age 18Not Required by LawMuffler required, no cut-outs, and modifications to increase sound level prohibitedNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
IllinoisNot RequiredRequired by law unless equipped with windscreenMuffler required, modifications to increase sound level prohibitedNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawIllegal
IndianaRequired by law under age 18, required for instructional permit holdersRequired by law under age 18Required, cut-outs prohibitedNo RestrictionsRequired for vehicles manufactured during or after 1956Illegal
IowaNot Required by LawNot Required by LawNot Required by LawNo RestrictionsRequired for vehicles manufactured during or after 1977Illegal
KansasRequired by law under age 18Required by law unless equipped with windscreenMuffler required, cutouts and bypasses prohibitedNo RestrictionsRequired for vehicles manufactured during or after 1978Illegal
KentuckyRequired by law for under the age of 21; required for instructional permit holdersRequired by lawMuffler required, no cut-outs, and modifications to increase sound level prohibitedNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedNot mentioned/not specifically prohibited
LouisianaRequired by LawRequired by law unless equipped with windscreenRequiredProhibited under 5 years of age. Child must be properly seated. Helmet required;Modulating headlight permittedIllegal
MaineRequired by law under age 18; required for instructional permit holdersNot Required by LawRequiredNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawIllegal
MarylandRequired by LawRequired by law unless equipped with windscreenMuffler required, modifications to increase sound level prohibitedNo RestrictionsNo RestrictionIllegal
MassachusettsRequired by LawRequired by law for instructional permit holders unless equipped with windscreenRequiredNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
MichiganRequired by law for under the age 21Required by law unless equipped with windscreen; Required at speeds over 35 mphRequired, cut-outs prohibitedNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
MinnesotaRequired by law under age 18; required for instructional permit holdersRequired by lawMuffler required, modifications to increase sound level prohibitedNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawIllegal
MississippiRequired by LawNot Required by LawRequired, cut-outs prohibitedNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedNot mentioned/not specifically prohibited
MissouriRequired by LawNot Required by LawRequiredNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedNot mentioned/not specifically prohibited
MontanaRequired by law under age 18Not Required by LawRequiredNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawNot mentioned/not specifically prohibited
NebraskaRequired by LawNot Required by LawRequired, cut-outs prohibitedNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
NevadaRequired by LawRequired by law unless equipped with windscreenMuffler required, cutouts and bypasses prohibitedNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
New HampshireRequired by law under age 18Required by law unless equipped with windscreenRequired, cut-outs prohibitedNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
New JerseyRequired by law; reflectorization requiredRequired by law unless equipped with windscreenNot Required by LawNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
New MexicoRequired by law under age of 18Required by law unless equipped with windscreenNot Required by LawRequired, cut-outs prohibitedModulating headlight permittedNot mentioned/not specifically prohibited
New YorkRequired by LawRequired by law
Must be ANSI Z87.1 rated
Muffler required, no straight pipes or removal of baffles; modifications to increase sound level prohibitedNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawIllegal
North CarolinaRequired by LawNot Required by LawRequired, cut-outs prohibitedNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawNot mentioned/not specifically prohibited
North DakotaRequired by law under age 18Not Required by LawMuffler required, cutouts and bypasses prohibitedNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
OhioRequired by law under age 18Required by law unless equipped with windscreenRequired, cut-outs prohibitedNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedNot mentioned/not specifically prohibited
OklahomaRequired by law under age 18Required by law unless equipped with windscreenMuffler required or any other effective noise-suppressing system in constant operationNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawNot mentioned/not specifically prohibited
OregonRequired by lawNot Required by LawRequiredNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawIllegal
PennsylvaniaRequired by law under age 21Required by lawMuffler required, modifications to increase sound level prohibitedNo RestrictionsRequired for vehicles manufactured during or after 1986Illegal
Rhode IslandRequired by law under age 21Required by lawRequired, cut-outs prohibitedNo RestrictionsNo RestrictionIllegal
South CarolinaRequired by law under age 21Required by law under age 21, unless equipped with windscreenRequired, cut-outs prohibitedNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawIllegal
South DakotaRequired by law under age 18Required by law unless equipped with windscreenRequired, cut-outs prohibitedNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
TennesseeRequired by LawRequired by law unless equipped with windscreenRequired, cut-outs prohibitedNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawIllegal
TexasRequired by law under age 21Not Required by LawNot Required by LawProhibits passengers under age 5, unless seated in a sidecar attached to the motorcycleRequired for vehicles manufactured during or after 1975Not mentioned/not specifically prohibited
UtahRequired by law under age 18Required by law by LawRequired, cut-outs prohibitedNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
VermontRequired by law; reflectorization requiredRequired by law unless equipped with windscreenNot Required by LawNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
VirginiaRequired by LawRequired by law unless equipped with windscreenRequiredNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
WashingtonRequired by LawRequired by law unless equipped with windscreenRequiredProhibits passenger under age 5Required by state lawIllegal
Washington DCRequired by LawRequired by law unless equipped with windscreenMuffler required, modifications to increase sound level prohibitedNo RestrictionsModulating headlight permittedIllegal
West VirginiaRequired by law; reflectorization requiredRequired by lawRequiredNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawNot mentioned/not specifically prohibited
WisconsinRequired by law under age 18; required for instructional permit holdersRequired by law unless equipped with windscreen which is 15″ or higher above handlebarsRequired, cut-outs prohibitedNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawIllegal
WyomingRequired by law under age 18Not Required by LawNot Required by LawNo RestrictionsRequired by state lawIllegal