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Motorcycle helmet not needed with if you have seat belts in CA?

7832 Views 21 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  hippychick68
Read the motorcycle.com review:


They state:

"In California, at least, a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license to legally operate them is not required, and the two with seatbelts eschew the state’s helmet law."

Can anyone confirm this to be true? I looked on the CA DMV website and could not find anything that clearly calls out that a helmet is not required if you have a seat belt.
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SECTION 27800-27803

27800. It is unlawful for a driver of a motorcycle or a motorized
bicycle to carry any other person thereon, except on a seat securely
fastened to the machine at the rear of the driver and provided with
footrests, or in a sidecar attached to a motorcycle and designed for
the purpose of carrying a passenger. Every passenger on a motorcycle
or a motorized bicycle shall keep his feet on the footrests while
such vehicle is in motion.

27801. A person shall not drive a two-wheel motorcycle that is
equipped with either of the following:
(a) A seat so positioned that the driver, when sitting astride the
seat, cannot reach the ground with his or her feet.
(b) Handlebars so positioned that the hands of the driver, when
upon the grips, are more than six inches above his or her shoulder
height when sitting astride the seat.

27802. (a) The department may adopt reasonable regulations
establishing specifications and standards for safety helmets offered
for sale, or sold, for use by drivers and passengers of motorcycles
and motorized bicycles as it determines are necessary for the safety
of those drivers and passengers. The regulations shall include, but
are not limited to, the requirements imposed by Federal Motor Vehicle
Safety Standard No. 218 (49 C.F.R. Sec. 571.218) and may include
compliance with that federal standard by incorporation of its
requirements by reference. Each helmet sold or offered for sale for
use by drivers and passengers of motorcycles and motorized bicycles
shall be conspicuously labeled in accordance with the federal
standard which shall constitute the manufacturer's certification that
the helmet conforms to the applicable federal motor vehicle safety
(b) No person shall sell, or offer for sale, for use by a driver
or passenger of a motorcycle or motorized bicycle any safety helmet
which is not of a type meeting requirements established by the

27803. (a) A driver and any passenger shall wear a safety helmet
meeting requirements established pursuant to Section 27802 when
riding on a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle.
(b) It is unlawful to operate a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or
motorized bicycle if the driver or any passenger is not wearing a
safety helmet as required by subdivision (a).
(c) It is unlawful to ride as a passenger on a motorcycle,
motor-driven cycles, or motorized bicycle if the driver or any
passenger is not wearing a safety helmet as required by subdivision
(d) This section applies to persons who are riding on motorcycles,
motor-driven cycles, or motorized bicycles operated on the highways.
(e) For the purposes of this section, "wear a safety helmet" or
"wearing a safety helmet" means having a safety helmet meeting the
requirements of Section 27802 on the person's head that is fastened
with the helmet straps and that is of a size that fits the wearing
person's head securely without excessive lateral or vertical
(f) This section does not apply to a person operating, or riding
as a passenger in, a fully enclosed three-wheeled motor vehicle that
is not less than seven feet in length and not less than four feet in
width, and has an unladen weight of 900 pounds or more, if the
vehicle meets or exceeds all of the requirements of this code, the
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and the rules and regulations
adopted by the United States Department of Transportation and the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(g) In enacting this section, it is the intent of the Legislature
to ensure that all persons are provided with an additional safety
benefit while operating or riding a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle,
or motorized bicycle.
Thank you for this - I plan on keeping in my slingshot just in case - I'll keep a helmet too! But wanted the verbiage to have printed and kept with registration! You're my hero today!
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Well if you dont have a helmet with you there probably tow you away :)
Just keep in the compartment behind the seat.
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