Idaho ‘Rules of the Road’ for Motorcyclists

Author: Anthony Johnson Date: December 15, 2020

With driving laws constantly changing, it’s easy to lose track of which motorcycle laws apply to which state. That’s why we’ve put together a Rules of the Road for Idaho motorcyclists.

It’s very important to keep these rules in mind when out driving your motorcycle, or when you’re operating a vehicle in general. Why? Well for one, it’s been statistically proven that a motorcycle fatality is 35 times greater than that of a person driving any other vehicle. Statistics also show that motorcyclists under the age of 40 have a higher chance of getting into an accident than other drivers who are also that age.idaho motorcycle laws

But before you venture down into Idaho’s motorcycle Rules of the Road, these following requirements must be handy and valid at all times when owning and operating your motorcycle:

  1. Valid Idaho Driver’s License (Class A, B, C or D)
  2. Motorcycle Registration 
  3. Displayed Valid License Plate
  4. Liability Insurance

The above requirements are standard throughout Idaho, as they are in most every other states. First you get your motorcycle permit. Then you obtain your motorcycle license. And if you’re under the age of 21 you complete an Idaho Skills Training Advantage for Riders (STAR) education course. Once all of that’s complete, you’re ready for registration and to purchase liability insurance. Having liability insurance is critical for motorcyclists to have. It protects you as the driver from claims resulting from injuries or damage to other people or their property.

Below is a brief guide on some of the basics and not-so basic motorcycle laws in Idaho.

Rules of the Road (For Idaho Motorcyclists)

Idaho Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Idaho does not have a law requiring riders to wear helmets. Keep in mind that wearing a helmet may not always look cool but it can save your life. The only law pertaining to wearing a helmet in Idaho is if you’re under the age of 18. If you are under 18 years of age then by law you are required to wear a helmet whenever operating your motorcycle.

Lane Sharing on Idaho Roadways 

Since motorcyclists are at a higher risk of an accident, this might just be one of the most crucial laws to consider when you’re out on the road. Lane sharing is extremely dangerous, if not deadly. Due to the fact that it’s so dangerous to essentially cut off other drivers in the same lane as you, Idaho has made it illegal to share lanes. There is an exception to this rule though. Motorcycle drivers are allowed to share a lane with only one other motorcyclist.

The ‘Red Light’ Law

When it comes to the ‘Red Light’ law drivers must be extremely careful. Why? Because Idaho motorcyclists are legally allowed to safely drive through a red light IF and ONLY IF you’ve waited for one full cycle at the light. If the vehicle sensor fails to recognize your motorcycle at the stop light, you are permitted to go through. It’s just like coming to a stop sign and waiting for your cue.

Specialty Laws (for drivers using a motorcycle instruction permit)idaho motorcyclist rules

Remember earlier how we discussed having a motorcycle permit prior to having a driver’s license? This applies now. Drivers under a motorcycle instruction permit must only ride their motorcycles in the daylight. But once you obtain a valid license, you may freely ride in the day or night. You may not, however, ride with any passengers and you are not allowed to drive on the freeway. Not yet, at least!

Other Important Laws to Consider

Below are a number of other important motorcycle laws to consider in the state of Idaho:

  • Passengers must be seated in a fixed passenger seat or in an attached sidecar
  • The bike must have a horn that can be heard from 200 feet away
  • The motorcycle’s muffler cannot be louder than the noise level of the original muffler installed by the manufacturer
  • The vehicle operator is not allowed to transfer objects big enough to prevent them from holding the motorcycle’s handlebars

The motorcycle laws in Idaho are fairly relaxed compared to other states, but make sure to keep yourself and those around you safe at all times. For more information, you can visit

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