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Motorcycle: Helmet Requirements (FMVSS)

Posted by Jordan Travis | Jun 02, 2022

Safe v. Unsafe Motorcycle Helmet

Safety while on the road is number one priority to many. Those who are motorcyclists are at greater risk on the road when it comes to safety. It is important to wear the proper gear to protect yourself in the in case you are involved in a collision.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends the following gear when you are out on the road (see

  • Helmet
  • Face Protection/Face Shield
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Jacket/Pants/Riding Suit
  • Rain Suit
  • Hearing Protection

One of the most important and life-saving pieces of gear you can wear if you are on a motorcycle is a helmet. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires all motorcycle helmets sold in the United States to meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 218 (see

So what should you be checking for with your helmet to make sure it meets this standard?

1) Check the weight of the helmet. Helmets that are one (1) pound or less do not meet the standard. Helmets that do meet FMVSS No. 218 typically weigh about three (3) pounds.

2) Examine the inner liner thickness of the helmet. To meet the minimum FMVSS No. 218, helmets must typically have an expanded polystyrene inner liner that is at least 3/4 inches thick.

3) Helmets should also have a sturdy chin strap and rivets.

4) A DOT certification label is something to lookout for on the outside of the helmet, especially on helmets that were manufactures on or after May 13, 2013*.

5) Also be on the lookout for the manufacturer's label, this will be on the inside of the helmet*. The manufacturer's label should state the manufacturer's name, the size of the helmet, the month and year of manufacture and instructions to the purchaser (including construction materials and warnings for care and use of the helmet).

*Please keep in mind that a label on the back and a label on the inside does not necessarily indicate the helmet meets all DOT requirements, some labels could be counterfeit (see

About the Author

Jordan Travis

Jordan M. Travis - Jordan observed first-hand the practice of law while growing up in Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado Boulder, graduating #1 in his class, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a minor in Leadership. Jordan also attended the University of Colorado ...

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