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Florida Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Florida Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Florida is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. Surrounding it are the states of Alabama and Georgia – with the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. It is the fourth most populous state and has a subtropical climate in the northern portions and tropical climates in the southern region. It is a state noted for its great coastlines, impressive beaches, and the threat of hurricanes. It is host to an array of wildlife and animals including alligators, crocodiles, manatees, and panthers. This state is known for an economy geared heavily towards: tourism, transportation, agriculture, banking, aerospace, and construction. It has been nicknamed “The Sunshine State” due to its mild weather conditions and sunlight.

If you own a motorcycle in the state of Florida, it is recommended that you establish some sort of financial responsibility before riding it. Basically “financial responsibility” means that if you get into an accident, you will have sufficient funds to pay for any damages that you cause. The most common method of demonstrating that you are financially responsible is to get an insurance policy. Without insurance, you could get into serious legal trouble and end up having to pay for damages out of your personal bank account.

Florida Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Florida is one of the only states that does NOT require proof of financial responsibility when registering motorcycles and other two-wheeled vehicles. However, if you want to make sure that you are protected in the case of an accident, it is recommended to shop for an insurance policy. If you cause an accident and don’t have an insurance policy, you could end up paying thousands of dollars out of your own pocket to cover damages.

How to Establish Financial Responsibility in Florida

If you would like to make sure that you are financially protected in the event of an accident, you have a couple of options. The options included below will help you demonstrate financial responsibility in the event of an accident.

  • Liability Insurance Policy – The most common route people take to demonstrate financial responsibility is by purchasing a liability policy. Each state has minimum requirements that must be legally met.
  • Financial Responsibility Certificate – If you don’t want to buy a liability policy, you can get a certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility. In order to get this certificate, you must do one of the following: post a surety bond with a licensed company, deposit cash with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, or get a self-insurance certificate.

For individuals that have any further questions regarding financial responsibility and insurance in Florida, it is recommended to call the DHSMV (Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles) at: (850)-617-2000. They will be able to help you get a certificate of financial responsibility if that is your plan.

Motorcycles / Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined

In order to properly classify your two-wheeled vehicle, various definitions are included below. These should help you understand what category your vehicle falls under so that you can properly register it. If you have any further questions, be sure to contact the Florida DHSMV at the following number: (850)-617-2000.

Motorcycle: Any vehicle that has a seat or saddle for the rider that travels on NOT more than three wheels in contact with the ground. Motor displacement must be in excess of 50 cc. Tractors and mopeds are excluded.

Moped: Vehicles with seats or saddles designed to travel on not more than 3 wheels. These have pedals that permit propulsion by human influence and motors with less than 2 brakes horsepower. These must not exceed speeds of 30 mph. If internal combustion engines are used, the displacement must be less than 50 cc.

Motor Scooter: These are considered vehicles that do NOT have a seat or saddle for the rider that are designed to travel on not more than 3 wheels. These are not capable of traveling in excess of 30 mph.

Florida Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements

The DHSMV recommends contacting a licensed insurance agent for specific details about purchasing insurance for your motorcycle. For all private passenger vehicles, you must follow the law and have enough coverage in the event of an accident. Both bodily injury and property damage coverage is mandatory.

Liability Insurance:

  • $10,000 bodily injury per person

  • $20,000 bodily injury per accident

  • $10,000 property damage per accident

The above policy for the state of Florida would be abbreviated as: 10/20/10. Each of these numbers indicates the minimum amount (in thousands of dollars) that is required for liability coverage. Although the legal minimums are listed above, this may not be enough coverage to protect you in the event of an accident. For further recommendations, get in touch with your insurance company and consider increasing your limits.

Note:  The “No-Fault” law in Florida does NOT apply to motorcycles. Because this law doesn’t apply to motorcyclists, you are not required to purchase additional “PIP insurance” a.k.a. Personal Injury Protection.

Florida Safety and Licensing Requirements

  • Helmets – If you are under the age of 21, you are required to always wear a helmet. If you are over the age of 21, you can choose not to wear a helmet but you MUST have proof of insurance with at least $10,000 towards medical coverage.
  • Eye Protection – You are required to always wear eye-protection while operating your motorcycle in Florida.
  • Motorcycle Endorsement – In order to drive a motorcycle in this state, you must be at least 16 years of age and obtain a motorcycle endorsement on your license. In order to get this motorcycle endorsement, you need to complete a state-approved Motorcycle Safety Education Course. Regardless of your age, you need to complete a course to get the endorsement.

Note: It is recommended to use your headlight during the day in FL.

Proof of Insurance in FL

Once you have purchased insurance, your provider will send a copy of your insurance details to the DHSMV. They will keep your insurance policy information in their digital computer system. This helps the state make sure that drivers are not driving without sufficient coverage in the state of Florida. Despite the fact that they have your details, you still need to keep a copy of your insurance identification card with you at all times.

  • Insurance ID Card – These are issued to you from your insurance agent. Keep these stowed away in a compartment in your motorcycle or make sure to bring it with you whenever you operate your motorcycle.
  • Financial Responsibility Certificate – These are issued by the Department of Financial Responsibility in Florida. Once you have obtained this certificate, keep it with you whenever you are driving.
  • Self-Insurance Certificate – These are also obtained from the Dept. of Financial Responsibility. Keep this certificate with you at all times while operating your motorcycle.

Penalty for Lack of Insurance

If you don’t have any proof of insurance or financial responsibility with you – and you get caught – you are going to need to face some consequences. It is a serious offense to drive without insurance in any state. You will likely end up having to pay fines and you may lose driving privileges for a lengthy period of time.

  • Fines – If you get caught by a police officer without insurance, you could end up with a fine costing hundreds of dollars.
  • Suspension of License – You may get your license suspended for a period of time. The length of suspension depends on how many past offenses you’ve had.
  • Suspension of Registrations – The registration for your motorcycle and other vehicles may get suspended.
  • Suspension of License Plates – You may need to turn in your license plates as well.
  • Reinstatement Fees – To get your license and registrations reinstated, you may need to pay up to $500 dollars.

Your best bet to avoid these penalties is to always carry adequate insurance protection. If you have any further questions, you can contact the DHSMV at the following number: (850)-617-2000. They will be able to help you determine what steps you need to take to get reinstated if you were penalized.

Florida Motorcycle Insurance Companies

There are many companies that are licensed to sell insurance throughout the state of Florida. In order to find a company that offers a policy meeting the minimal requirements is easy. However, finding a company that provides good coverage, a great claims service, and that has a positive reputation is a bit tougher. Fortunately, you can use the free tool below by entering your Zip Code and get a list of top insurance providers based on your precise location.

You can also use the form at the top of the page or on the side to conduct the same search. From the list of insurance companies, you can get free quotes and compare them. Once you have settled on an insurance provider, you can purchase coverage and legally ride your motorcycle throughout the sunshine state.

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