On April 13, 2012, the governor signed Senate Bill 291 into law allowing motorcycle operators to ride without a helmet under certain conditions. To legally not wear a helmet, a motorcycle operator must:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Have at least $20,000 in first-party medical benefits.
- Have held a motorcycle endorsement for at least two years, or have passed a motorcycle safety course.
The law has provisions for motorcycle passengers to operate without a helmet as well. The following 2 conditions must be met:
- The motorcycle passenger must be at least 21 years old.
- The motorcycle passenger must have at least $20,000 in first-party medical benefits insurance (in addition to the insurance that is required of the motorcycle operator).
A person younger than 21 years old still must wear a helmet when operating or riding on a motorcycle. The requirement that an individual younger than 19 years old must wear a helmet if operating a moped on a public roadway is unchanged.
The change in the helmet law does not in any way affect the requirements of the Michigan Motorcycle Safety program. Personnel and students must meet the Motorcycle Safety Foundations (MSF) standards. All safety gear, such as a helmet, gloves, long-sleeved jacket, long sturdy pants and boots that come above the ankle, must be worn by all coaches and students in all classes.