New York Motorcycle Regulations

From the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York
Title 15. Department of Motor Vehicles
Chapter I. Regulations of the Commissioner
Sub-Chapter D. – Equipment
Part 54. Protective Helmets, Goggles, Face Shields and Wind Screens for Motorcycles

Current through June 30, 2015

Note: Rules are promulgated by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. They are not statutes enacted by the legislature.


(a) The operation of motorcycles has been found to result in a high incidence of disabling personal injuries. The effects of such injuries extend beyond the person injured to the family of the person injured and to the people of this State. Any disabling personal injury may have an economic impact on the public by requiring the furnishing of medical, rehabilitative or welfare aid or assistance. Therefore, the prevention or mitigation of injuries resulting from the more common types of motorcycle accidents by the use of protective helmets, goggles, face shields or wind screens is deemed to be a legitimate concern of this State.

(b) Chapter 979 of the Laws of 1966 provides that the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall establish specifications with respect to protective helmets, goggles, face shields and wind screens for motorcycles, and that on and after January 1, 1967, no protective helmet, goggles, or face shield may be sold, offered for sale or distributed for use on a motorcycle, unless such device is approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles in accordance with the regulations established herein.


(a) Protective helmet: A device primarily intended to protect the upper part of the wearer’s head against a blow.

(b) Goggles or face shield: An eye protection device as defined in Regulation VESC-8.

(c) [Reserved]

(d) Wind screen: A device mounted on a motorcycle forward of the rider designed to deflect wind and/or small flying objects from the body and face of the rider.


It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he or she wears a protective helmet of the type which meets the requirements set forth in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards of 49 Code of Federal Regulations standard 571.218 Motorcycle Helmets.


A motorcyclist may use any eye protection device that has been manufactured in conformity with the American National Standard Institute’s Z87.1 standard Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices. A motorcyclist may not operate a motorcycle unless he or she is wearing such eye protection.


No wind screen shall be used unless the visual material meets the requirements set forth in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards of 49 Code of Federal Regulation standard 571.205 Glazing Materials.

WordPress Image Lightbox