Do Motorcycles Need Turn Signals In Texas?

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Not all motorcycles come with built-in turn signals – some classic models don’t have them, and it can affect the look of the bike if you add signals. However, aren’t turn signals required? Does a motorcycle need to have turn signals in Texas?

Texas does not require motorcycles to have built-in turn signals. However, it is recommended that motorcycles have installed turn signals, as it is illegal and dangerous to ride without using any sort of turn signal. If you don’t install signals on your motorbike, you’ll need to use hand signals.

Motorcycle in front of Texas sign in Midpoint

Motorcycles Turn Signals in Texas

Motorcycles aren’t required to have built-in turn signals in Texas. They will pass the state code inspection without turn signals as long as they pass in all other areas. However, if you have turn signals on your vehicle, they need to be in working order.

Some states require turn signals to be installed on the motorcycle itself. However, in Texas, you will pass inspection without any turn signals. Department of Motor Vehicles offices will recommend installing turn signals, and most motorcycles come with signals installed.

It is highly illegal and dangerous to take turns without a signaling system. If a motorcycle doesn’t utilize installed, lighted turn signals, the rider will have to know and use the proper and legal hand signals whenever they make a turn.

Hand Signals

If you choose not to install turn signals on your motorbike, you should know hand signals for the road. Although it’s not illegal to ride without light turn signals, you must use a signaling system to tell other vehicles which direction you are going.

The hand signals for turning left and right are both used with your left hand. Keep your left arm straight and down to your side to turn left. For a right turn, put your left hand out to the side and bend at the elbow for a right angle. These are the two most basic hand signals for the road.

These hand signals are universal, but they are not as recognizable as lit turn signals. To ensure that you are safe on the road, be clear with your signals and always check twice before changing lanes or turning. Be secure with your hands.

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As a motorcyclist, there are specific hand signals for left and right turns. If your motorcycle doesn’t have turn signals, it’s necessary to use these signals, or you could get pulled over and issued a ticket. Make sure you know your hand signals if you won’t be using lighted turn signals.

Motorcycles outside of Midpoint Cafe Texas

What Does My Motorcycle Need To Pass Inspection in Texas?

If you will officially license a motorcycle and register it in Texas, it will need to pass a road safety inspection. This inspection can be done at various mechanics and oil change places within the state of Texas.

Although motorcycles don’t need turn signals to pass inspection, they need other working lights and additions for road safety. If you want to license a motorcycle in Texas, you’ll need the following items on your motorbike:

  • Working headlight
  • Working tail light
  • License plate light and license plate
  • Rear red reflector
  • Exhaust system
  • Horn
  • Mirror
  • Working brakes
  • Working brake lights
  • Steering
  • Working wheels and wheel mechanics
  • A legal motor identification number

If you have turn signals on your motorcycle, they must be in working order. Every aspect of the motorcycle must be functioning properly, or it won’t pass inspection, and you won’t be able to ride it on the road.

To ensure that your motorcycle will pass inspection and be registered in your name, you can look up the minimum requirements for an assessment and a driver’s license at the texas department of motor vehicle safety.

Do Motorcycle Riders Need Helmets in Texas?

Riders over 21 aren’t required to wear helmets in Texas as long as they meet the age requirement and qualify for an exception. That being said, everyone should wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.

If you are eligible for an exception and choose not to wear a helmet while driving in Texas, make sure you know the rules for the neighboring states. If you cross a state line into a place that requires helmets for everyone, you could get pulled over and receive a ticket.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few other questions people have been asking aside from “Do Motorcycles Need Turn Signals In Texas?”

Do motorcycles have Different laws in Texas?

Other laws apply to motorcyclists in Texas. Between how to get a license and whether motorcycles can carry more than one passenger, there are plenty of other rules to keep motorcyclists safe on the road.

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How Do you get a Texas motorcycle license?

Every state has different laws regarding motorcycles and driving them. In Texas, a 16-year-old can drive a motorcycle as long as they have a class M motor license and have completed the proper driving education.

A potential motorcyclist cannot apply for a motorcycle license until completing the necessary training. While there is a shorter course for drivers with experience, a longer class is required for any driver under 18.

A test is also required – everyone looking to get a motorcycle license needs to take a written test at a Texas DMV. However, drivers with years of motorcycle experience can waive the practical test.

What are other passenger and road laws worth noting?

In Texas, it’s illegal to carry another passenger on your motorcycle unless the bike is designed for more than two people. If you own a one-person motorcycle, you can’t include someone else in your travels.

Furthermore, it’s illegal to share lanes on the highway in Texas. Some states allow lane splitting between two motorcycles, but it’s still illegal in Texas. Always look up the laws for each state you enter, as different forms will give you tickets and fines for sharing lanes.

It is also illegal to share parking spots in Texas. Although motorcycles are smaller than regular vehicles and two can fit in a parking space, it’s not legal to double up, especially when parking is paid for. Occasionally, parking lots have minor spots designated specifically for motorcycles.


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Christian Linden Texas View Headshot 3 - Texas View
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Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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