Montana Motorcycle Helmet Law
61-9-518. Violation of motorcycle or quadricycle requirements — penalty.
(1) A person convicted of the violation of 61-9-417 shall be fined $5.
(2) A person convicted of the violation of 61-9-418 shall be punished by a fine of not less than $10 or more than $100 for the first conviction. For a second conviction within 1 year, the person shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $200. Upon a third or subsequent conviction within 1 year after the first conviction, the person shall be punished by a fine of not less than $50 or more than $500.
History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 398, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 179, L. 1974; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 273, L. 1974; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 54, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, .1(3), (4); amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 40, L. 1991.
61-9-417. Headgear required for minor motorcycle riders.
(1) An operator and passenger under 18 years of age of a motorcycle or quadricycle operated upon the streets or highways of this state shall wear protective headgear upon the head. The headgear must meet standards established by the department of justice.
(2) A person may not operate a motorcycle upon a highway in the state unless all passengers under 18 years of age are in compliance with subsection (1).
61-9-418. Motorcycle and quadricycle noise suppression devices — motorcycle and quadricycle spark arrester. (1) All motorcycles or quadricycles operated on the streets and highways of this state must be equipped at all times with noise suppression devices, including an exhaust muffler, in good working order and in constant operation. In addition, all motorcycles and quadricycles operating on streets and highways must meet the following noise decibel limitations, on the standard A scale, to be measured at 50 feet from the closest point to the motorcycle or quadricycle:
(a) any cycle manufactured prior to 1970……….92 db(A)
(b) any cycle manufactured after 1969 but prior to 1973……….88 db(A)
(c) any cycle manufactured after 1972 but prior to 1975……….86 db(A)
(d) any cycle manufactured after 1974 but prior to 1978……….80 db(A)
(e) any cycle manufactured after 1977 but prior to 1988……….75 db(A)
(f) any cycle manufactured after 1987……….70 db(A)
(2) (a) Except as provided in subsection (2)(b), a motorcycle or quadricycle may be operated off of a highway on public lands only if the motorcycle’s or quadricycle’s noise emissions do not exceed 96 db(A), using test procedures established by the society of automotive engineers under standard J-1287.
(b) The noise limitations in subsection (2)(a) do not apply to motorcycles or quadricycles that are operated for special events permitted on closed courses by a state entity or local government.
(c) A motorcycle or quadricycle may not be operated off of a highway unless it is equipped with an adequate spark arrester to prevent the escape of sparks or other burning material from the motorcycle’s or quadricycle’s engine.
Title 61. Motor Vehicles. Chapter 9. Vehicle Equipment. Part 4. Miscellaneous Regulations. Section 61-9-417. Headgear required for minor motorcycle riders. :“. . . headgear shall meet standards established by the department of justice.”
There is no record of the Montana courts ever speaking to the issue of the constitutionality of mandatory helmet laws.
If you know of any current activity regarding efforts to remove or otherwise amend Montana’s helmet law, in the Legislature or the Courts, please e-mail that information to us so we can update this site.
- MT State Legislature
- Montana DMV