Codified Laws


Text Search




Enter the text to search for and click Search to get a list of statutes containing the text you entered. Tips:
  • Multiple words will be searched as a phrase. Entering Property Tax will return statutes that contain the complete phrase Property Tax.
  • Logical Operators are allowed. Hunting and Fishing will return statutes that containing both hunting and fishing. Hunting or Fishing will return statutes that contain hunting, fishing, or both.
  • Wild cards(*) are allowed. Entering Approp* will return statutes that contain Appropriation, Appropriate, Appropriated, etc..
  • Punctuation can also be used as operators. + = and, , = or. Searching for phrases that have , and will result in error unless you enclose the entire phrase in quotes.
The Filter option allows you to narrow your search results to a specific Title or Chapter. Here is a tip for using the filter option.
  • Use a dash (-) as the last character of your filter to refine searches. For example the filter "1-1" returns sections in 1-1, 1-10, 1-11, 1-12, etc. The filter "1-1-" returns only sections in Chapter 1-1.

Quick Find



Type the Statute number you are looking for in the form Title-Chapter-Section . Examples(1-1-1.1, 27A-11A-12, etc.)

The Get Statute button can be used to locate a specific statute. You may type in a title, chapter, or section number. Example: typing 1 will return the chapter list for Title 1, typing 1-1 will return the section list for chapter 1-1, typing 1-1-1 will return section 1-1-1 of the statutes.

The Get Chapter button can be used to load a complete chapter of the statutes. This function requires a title and a chapter number. Examples: 1-1, 57A-1, 1-3

 
CHAPTER 32-20

MOTORCYCLE REGULATION

32-20-1      Definition of terms.
32-20-2      Driver license or permit required to operate motorcycle, moped, all-terrain vehicle, or three-wheel vehicle--Testing requirements--Violation as misdemeanor.
32-20-3      Repealed.
32-20-4      Protective helmet required for minor--Violation as misdemeanor.
32-20-4.1      Eye protective device or windscreen required--Violation as petty offense.
32-20-4.2      Protective devices not required of riders in enclosed cab.
32-20-5      Repealed.
32-20-6      Repealed.
32-20-6.1      Operator and passengers restricted to permanent and regular seats--Violation as misdemeanor.
32-20-6.2      Position of motorcyclist--Violation as misdemeanor.
32-20-6.3      Carrying package on motorcycle--Restrictions--Violation as misdemeanor.
32-20-6.4      Rider interfering with control or view of operator--Violation as misdemeanor.
32-20-6.5      Attachment to other vehicles prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor.
32-20-6.6      Carrying firearm on motorcycle or off-road vehicle--Exception for holder of concealed pistol permit or disabled hunter permit--Enforcement--Violation as misdemeanor.
32-20-7      Renting motorcycle to unauthorized person--Violation as petty offense.
32-20-8      Permitting other person to operate rented motorcycle--Violation as petty offense.
32-20-9      Operation of motorcycle in park or recreation areas as petty offense.
32-20-9.1      Motorcycle entitled to full traffic lane--Violation as misdemeanor.
32-20-9.2      Motorcycle prohibited from overtaking in same lane--Violation as misdemeanor.
32-20-9.3      Motorcycle operation between lanes prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor.
32-20-9.4      Policemen exempt from restrictions on use of lanes.
32-20-9.5      Restriction to two abreast--Violation as misdemeanor.
32-20-10      Motorcycle use on special occasions.
32-20-11      Repealed.
32-20-12      Off-road vehicles--Operation on certain lands as misdemeanor--Registration--Title certificate.
32-20-12.1      Ordinances prohibiting operation of off-road vehicles in ditches--Exceptions--Regulatory signs.
32-20-13      All-terrain or off-road vehicles licensed as motorcycles--Requirements--Use on interstate highways prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor.
32-20-14      Motorcycle safety education--Standards and procedures--Funding.
32-20-15      Budget and appropriation of revenue available for motorcycle safety education.
32-20-16      Display of blue light as part of rear brake light authorized.


     32-20-1.   Definition of terms. As used in this chapter, the following words shall mean:
             (1)      "Department" the Department of Public Safety.
             (2)      "Moped" a motor driven cycle equipped with two or three wheels. If a combustion engine is used, the maximum piston or rotor displacement shall be fifty cubic centimeters regardless of the number of chambers in such power source. The power source shall be equipped with a power drive system that functions directly or automatically only, not requiring clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged.
             (3)      "Motorcycle" includes motorcycles, motorbikes, mopeds, bicycles with motor attached, and all motor operated vehicles of the bicycle or tricycle type, whether the motive power be a part thereof or attached thereto, and having a saddle or seat with the driver sitting astride or upon it, or a platform on which the driver stands, but excluding a tractor.
             (4)      "Off-road vehicle," any self-propelled, two or more wheeled vehicle designed primarily to be operated on land other than a highway and includes, but is not limited to, all terrain vehicles, dune buggies and any vehicle whose manufacturer's statement of origin (MSO) or manufacturer's certificate of origin (MCO) states that the vehicle is not for highway use. Off-road vehicle does not include a farm vehicle as defined in § 32-3-2.4.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 1; SL 1978, ch 230, § 1; SL 1985, ch 238, § 7; SL 1987, ch 231, § 1; SL 1988, ch 236, § 25; SL 2003, ch 272, § 121.


     32-20-2.   Driver license or permit required to operate motorcycle, moped, all-terrain vehicle, or three-wheel vehicle--Testing requirements--Violation as misdemeanor. No person may operate a motorcycle, except a moped as defined in § 32-20-1, a licensed all-terrain vehicle under § 32-20-13, or any motor vehicle that has three wheels and is operated with a steering wheel and foot controls on the public streets or highways without a motor vehicle driver license or permit upon which a state testing officer has certified that such person is qualified to operate such motorcycle. An operator of a moped, a licensed all-terrain vehicle, or a motor vehicle that has three wheels and is operated with a steering wheel and foot controls shall have a valid motor vehicle driver license or permit. The department may waive the testing requirements upon completion of a motorcycle safety course approved pursuant to § 32-20-14. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 2; SL 1978, ch 230, § 2; SL 1982, ch 18, § 26; SL 1987, ch 233, § 3; SL 1989, ch 255, § 92; SL 1989, ch 270, § 2; SL 1995, ch 178, § 3; SL 2017, ch 140, § 1.


     32-20-3.   Repealed by SL 2015, ch 169, § 1.


     32-20-4.   Protective helmet required for minor--Violation as misdemeanor. No person under eighteen years of age may operate or ride upon a motorcycle on the public streets or highways of this state unless the person wears a protective helmet of a type meeting Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218 as in effect on January 1, 1984. No person may operate a motorcycle with any person under the age of eighteen as a passenger if the passenger is not wearing a protective helmet. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 4; SL 1970, ch 176, § 2; SL 1974, ch 219, § 23; SL 1976, ch 194, § 1; SL 1978, ch 230, § 9; SL 1980, ch 224; SL 1984, ch 228, § 8; SL 1987, ch 231, § 2; SL 1989, ch 255, § 93.


     32-20-4.1.   Eye protective device or windscreen required--Violation as petty offense. No person may operate a motorcycle unless he is wearing an eye protective device or unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen of sufficient height and design so as to provide adequate eye protection to the operator when seated on the motorcycle in the normal operating position. However, no person may operate a motorcycle during the time period when headlights must be lighted while wearing an eye protective device that is tinted or shaded to reduce the light transmittance of the device to a level below thirty-five percent. A violation of this section is a petty offense.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 3; SL 1984, ch 228, § 9; SL 1989, ch 255, § 105; SL 1989, ch 256, § 16; SL 1990, ch 255.


     32-20-4.2.   Protective devices not required of riders in enclosed cab. Section 32-20-4, requiring helmets, and § 32-20-4.1 shall not apply to persons riding within an enclosed cab.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 3.


     32-20-5.   Repealed by SL 2008, ch 160, § 1.


     32-20-6.   Repealed by SL 1970, ch 176, § 4.


     32-20-6.1.   Operator and passengers restricted to permanent and regular seats--Violation as misdemeanor. A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto, and such operator may not carry any other person nor may any other person ride on a motorcycle unless such motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for two persons, or upon another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle at the rear or side of the operator. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 6; SL 1970, ch 176, § 1; SL 1989, ch 255, § 94.


     32-20-6.2.   Position of motorcyclist--Violation as misdemeanor. No person may ride upon a motorcycle unless sitting astride the motorcycle seat and facing forward. No person may operate a motorcycle unless he has at least one hand on the handlebars at all times while the motorcycle is in motion. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 2; SL 1989, ch 255, § 95; SL 1989, ch 256, § 17.


     32-20-6.3.   Carrying package on motorcycle--Restrictions--Violation as misdemeanor. No person may operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle, or other article which prevents him from keeping both hands on the handlebars. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 3; SL 1989, ch 255, § 96.


     32-20-6.4.   Rider interfering with control or view of operator--Violation as misdemeanor. No operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that will interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 4; SL 1989, ch 255, § 97.


     32-20-6.5.   Attachment to other vehicles prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor. No person riding upon a motorcycle may attach himself or the motorcycle to any other vehicle on a roadway. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 10; SL 1989, ch 255, § 98.


     32-20-6.6.   Carrying firearm on motorcycle or off-road vehicle--Exception for holder of concealed pistol permit or disabled hunter permit--Enforcement--Violation as misdemeanor. No person, other than a law enforcement officer or conservation officer, or any person on the person's own land or land leased by the person, may operate or ride on any motorcycle or off-road vehicle with any firearm in the person's possession unless the firearm is completely unloaded and within a carrying case which encloses the entire firearm. However, this section does not apply to any person who is carrying a pistol and possesses a permit to carry a concealed pistol issued pursuant to chapter 23-7. This section does not apply to any person who holds a permit issued pursuant to § 41-8-37 while engaged in hunting from an off-road vehicle in accordance with the provisions of the permit. This section shall be enforced by all law enforcement officers including conservation officers. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1972, ch 178; SL 1989, ch 255, § 99; SL 1996, ch 203; SL 1999, ch 160, § 1; SL 2003, ch 224, § 2.


     32-20-7.   Renting motorcycle to unauthorized person--Violation as petty offense. No dealer nor person renting or loaning motorcycles may loan or rent a motorcycle unless a valid license or permit is shown such dealer by the renter or loanee and possesses the safety equipment required of the operator of such motorcycle. A violation of this section is a petty offense.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 7; SL 1989, ch 255, § 107.


     32-20-8.   Permitting other person to operate rented motorcycle--Violation as petty offense. No renter or loanee as provided in § 32-20-7 may permit any other person to operate such motorcycle. A violation of this section is a petty offense.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 8; SL 1989, ch 255, § 108.


     32-20-9.   Operation of motorcycle in park or recreation areas as petty offense. It is a petty offense to operate a motorcycle in any municipal, county, or state park or recreation area except upon the normally traveled roads or roadways, or in specifically designated areas.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 9; SL 1989, ch 255, § 109.


     32-20-9.1.   Motorcycle entitled to full traffic lane--Violation as misdemeanor. All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle may be driven in such manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This section does not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 5; SL 1989, ch 255, § 100.


     32-20-9.2.   Motorcycle prohibited from overtaking in same lane--Violation as misdemeanor. The operator of a motorcycle may not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken. This section does not apply to motorcycles being operated two abreast in the same lane, or a motorcycle and a bicycle being operated two abreast in the same lane. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 6; SL 1989, ch 255, § 101.


     32-20-9.3.   Motorcycle operation between lanes prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor. No person may operate a motorcycle between adjacent lanes of traffic, or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 7; SL 1989, ch 255, § 102.


     32-20-9.4.   Policemen exempt from restrictions on use of lanes. Sections 32-20-9.2 and 32-20-9.3 shall not apply to police officers in the performance of their official duties.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 9.


     32-20-9.5.   Restriction to two abreast--Violation as misdemeanor. No person may operate a motorcycle more than two abreast in a single lane. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 8; SL 1989, ch 255, § 103.


     32-20-10.   Motorcycle use on special occasions. This chapter shall not apply to vehicles used for special occasions such as display, parade, exhibitions, and similar uses.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 10.


     32-20-11.   Repealed by SL 1989, ch 255, § 91.


     32-20-12.   Off-road vehicles--Operation on certain lands as misdemeanor--Registration--Title certificate. No person may operate on a public street or highway an off-road vehicle except for crossing from one side of the road to the other. A person twelve years of age or older may operate an off-road vehicle in a highway ditch if the vehicle is operated as close as possible to the outer edge of the highway right-of-way. However, no person may operate an off-road vehicle in a highway ditch along the interstate highway system, or operate an off-road vehicle on any lands owned, leased, or controlled by the Department of Game, Fish and Parks, or any highway ditch located within, except on a designated off-road vehicle area or designated trail, or operate an off-road vehicle in a highway ditch that is designated as part of the state snowmobile trails system pursuant to chapter 41-19 or a public bike trail. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
     Off-road vehicles need not be registered and licensed for use upon the highways except as provided in § 32-20-13. Off-road vehicles shall be titled. The Department of Revenue shall issue a certificate of title for off-road vehicles the same as for other motor vehicles subject to the provisions of chapter 32-3.

Source: SL 1985, ch 238, § 8; SL 1986, ch 259; SL 1987, ch 232; SL 1987, ch 233, § 1; SL 1989, ch 256, § 18.


     32-20-12.1.   Ordinances prohibiting operation of off-road vehicles in ditches--Exceptions--Regulatory signs. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 32-20-12, the Transportation Commission or any board of county commissioners by ordinance may prohibit the operation of off-road vehicles in any highway ditch along any section of highway under its jurisdiction. However, neither the Transportation Commission nor any board of county commissioners may prohibit an off-road vehicle from crossing one side of the highway to the other. This section does not affect off-road vehicles used in normal agricultural operation or service vehicles of any utility while in the line of duty for the utility. For the purposes of this section, the term, utility, means any provider of electric, gas, water, sewer, pipeline, or telecommunications service.
     Notice of any restriction made pursuant to this section shall be given by placing and maintaining regulatory signs at each end of the section of highway and at each point of intersection. The signs shall be of substantial construction which conspicuously indicates the restriction.

Source: SL 2006, ch 166, § 1; SL 2009, ch 156, § 1.


     32-20-13.   All-terrain or off-road vehicles licensed as motorcycles--Requirements--Use on interstate highways prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor. Any all-terrain vehicle with four or more wheels and with a combustion engine having a piston or rotor displacement of two hundred cubic centimeters or more or any off-road vehicle with two wheels and with a combustion engine having a piston or rotor displacement of one hundred twenty cubic centimeters or more may be licensed as a motorcycle pursuant to chapter 32-5 to be used on a public highway. Prior to being licensed, the vehicle shall meet the necessary light, brake, and other vehicle accessory requirements provided by chapters 32-15, 32-17, and 32-18 that are applicable to motorcycles. Any vehicle licensed pursuant to this section may not be operated on the interstate highway system. A person who operates any vehicle licensed pursuant to this section on the interstate highway system is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1987, ch 233, § 2; SL 1989, ch 270, § 1; SL 2017, ch 141, § 1.


     32-20-14.   Motorcycle safety education--Standards and procedures--Funding. Any revenue derived from the fee imposed by § 32-5-10.1 and appropriated pursuant to § 32-20-15 shall be used to provide motorcycle safety courses and motorcycle safety education approved by the director of the Office of Highway Safety. The director shall promulgate rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 establishing instruction standards, teacher or instructor certification standards, and course approval procedures. The director shall administer the fund created by § 32-5-10.2, may conduct audits and otherwise examine the records of approved motorcycle courses and may require other information that is considered necessary to evaluate the quality of motorcycle safety courses and safety education.

Source: SL 1992, ch 222, § 3.


     32-20-15.   Budget and appropriation of revenue available for motorcycle safety education. Any revenue derived from the fee imposed by § 32-5-10.1 and any other revenue made available to the Department of Public Safety to be used for the purposes of providing motorcycle safety courses and motorcycle safety education shall be budgeted pursuant to chapter 4-7 and appropriated pursuant to chapters 4-8, 4-8A, and 4-8B.

Source: SL 1992, ch 222, § 4; SL 2003, ch 272, § 121.


     32-20-16.   Display of blue light as part of rear brake light authorized. A motorcycle may display a blue light of up to one-inch diameter as part of the motorcycle's rear brake light.

Source: SL 2004, ch 215, § 1.


Back to Title 32