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Louisiana Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Louisiana Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Louisiana is a boot-shaped state located in the southern region of the United States. Most of this state’s land was formed as a result from Mississippi River sediment. There is an abundance of natural wildlife, swamplands, deltas, and marshes. Various wildlife includes: alligators, egrets, tree frogs, paddle-fish, sturgeon, carnivorous plants, orchids, and long-leaf pines. The state as a whole is a considered a cultural melting-pot and has influences from French, Spanish, Native American, and African cultures. The official nickname of Louisiana is the “Pelican State” due to the significant pelican population.

Other various nicknames for the state include the “Bayou State,” “Creole State,” “Sportsman’s Paradise,” and “Sugar State.” It is widely recognized as being the birthplace of jazz music as well. The economy in Louisiana is heavily geared towards the industries of: agriculture, film, seafood, chemical products, and tourism. Additionally, a couple professional sports teams represent this state including the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans. Now that you know a little bit about this state, it’s time to learn more about requirements for motorcycle insurance.

Louisiana Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Before you cruise through the state roads on your cool motorcycle, it is important to establish financial responsibility. Financial responsibility is necessary so that if you were to ever get in an accident that was your fault, you would have sufficient finances to cover the damages you caused. It is illegal to drive without first establishing financial responsibility – so make sure you follow the guidelines below.

How to Establish Financial Responsibility in Louisiana

In this state, there is only one way to establish responsibility – you must purchase an insurance policy. This policy must include liability coverage that meets the state’s minimal requirements. Liability coverage will help cover you in the event that you injure another person (or multiple people) and/or damage someone else’s property.

  • Liability Insurance – Find any state licensed insurance company and they will help get you set up with liability coverage for your motorcycle.

Note:  In other states you may have alternative options to choose from for establishing responsibility besides liability insurance. In this particular state, your only option is to get coverage through a licensed insurer.

Motorcycles / Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined

The definitions of motorcycles and other 2-wheeled vehicles can vary from state to state. In most states the definitions are pretty similar. In order to help you better understand the exact classification of your vehicle, various definitions are included below. If you need further assistance in determining the exact type of vehicle that you own, you can contact the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) at the following number: (225)-925-6146.

Motorcycle:  Any vehicle with a seat or saddle for the driver that travels with not more than 3 wheels in contact with the ground. It must have at least 1.5-brake horsepower and an engine capacity that exceeds 50 cc. It also must travel faster than 25 mph. You need a registration and insurance to legally operate a motorcycle.

Moped:  A lightweight, low-powered motorized bicycle that can be propelled by human power and a motor. These typically have pedals for the feet as well as handlebars for the driver. Mopeds travel on not more than 3 wheels in contact with the ground. These also have no more than 1.5-brake horsepower and must not exceed 50 cc. Top speed must be 25 mph or less. Mopeds require registration and insurance to operate.

Scooter:  Vehicles designed to travel with a platform for the feet and handlebars for steering. It must have handlebars and a hand-controlled throttle and brake system. The motor is able to power this device without any human induced propulsion. These are not allowed to be operated on public roads in the state of Louisiana, but also do not require insurance or registration.

Louisiana Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements

As was already mentioned, you need to get a liability insurance policy for your motorcycle or moped to legally drive it on Louisiana’s public roads. Your insurance plan must meet the minimum requirements as stated below.

Liability Insurance:

  • $15,000 bodily injury per person

  • $30,000 bodily injury per accident

  • $25,000 property damage per accident

Keep in mind that the above amounts are strictly for a minimalist policy. If you have the coverage above, you will be able to legally ride your motorcycle, but it may not fully protect you if you get into a serious crash. You may want to consider increasing your limits or adding additional coverage if you aren’t satisfied with the minimum amounts.

Louisiana Laws:  Safety & Licensing Requirements

Each state has different rules and regulations when it comes to riding motorcycles. It is important to know the licensing needed to operate your two-wheeled vehicle. You should also be aware of whether you need to wear a helmet, eye protection, etc.

  • Helmets – All motorcyclists in the state of Louisiana are required by law to wear helmets. The helmets must be in compliance with the FMVSS 218 standard. Make sure that you get an official motorcycle helmet so that you can legally ride.
  • Eye Protection – All individuals are required to wear some sort of eye protection while operating a motorcycle. The only exception to this rule is if your motorcycle has a windscreen or shield that protects the driver’s eyes.
  • Licensing – All drivers must obtain a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license before riding their motorcycle on public roads. In order to obtain a motorcycle license, you are responsible for passing various tests. If you have already completed a state licensed motorcycle safety class, you may be able to skip the mandatory skills test.
  • Headlights – For maximum safety, Louisiana requires that all motorcycles use their headlights during the daytime.

Proof of Insurance in Louisiana

While driving your motorcycle, you must always carry some proof of insurance coverage. This proof shows that you have a valid insurance policy and are following proper legal guidelines. Although insurers electronically report policy information to the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV), it is up to you to have proof on hand if you are questioned by a police officer. If you fail to show proof of coverage, you could face various penalties.

  • Insurance ID Card – All insurance companies will issue an identification card. This is to be kept with you or in your vehicle during all times of operation. Show this to an officer if you are questioned about insurance.
  • Insurance Contract – If you have a copy of your insurance contract with policy information and your agent’s signature, this should serve as sufficient proof. Use this as an alternative if you have not yet been issued an ID card.
  • Insurance Binder – Many times people have a binder of insurance information that contains policy information. This is a temporary insurance contract that is used to serve as proof while a customer awaits their ID card.

Note:  If you think that you have some other form of proof that is not listed above, contact the OMV and ask if it is legitimate.

Penalty for Lack of Insurance in Louisiana

If you are caught driving without insurance, you could face some serious penalties. Depending on the number of times you’ve been caught without coverage, penalties can range in severity. If you have been caught multiple times, you may face a significantly longer suspension than someone who has only committed a single offense. To avoid these penalties, make sure you always have a current insurance policy and carry proof whenever you drive.

  • Fines: You may be issued a citation for over a hundred dollars if you fail to show proof of coverage.
  • Revoked License: The police will not hesitate to revoke your driver’s license and privileges if you try to get away with driving without insurance.
  • Suspended Registration: The registration for your motorcycle will be suspended – meaning no one can use this vehicle until it is cleared.
  • Impounded Motorcycle: Law enforcement may impound your motorcycle which will make it a hassle to retrieve.
  • Reinstatement Fees: In order to reactivate your license, registration, and get your motorcycle out from being impounded, you will have to pay hundreds of dollars worth of fees. If you show proof within 11 to 30 days, your fee will only be $50. From 31 to 90 days the fee is $125 and following 91 days, the fee is upped to $225.

Cancellation: You can cancel your motorcycle insurance with no legal consequences if you provide the Office of Motor Vehicles with license plates and an official Statement of Non-Use. If your insurance company cancels your policy, but you are still driving, you will be flagged and will need to show that you have a new policy within 10 days of your old one being canceled.

Note: If you bring proof of insurance coverage to the Louisiana OMV within 3 days of your offense, you will not face suspended registrations or licensing. However, if you fail to provide proof of coverage within a few days after the offense, you will face the above penalties in full effect. If you have any further questions, contact the OMV – they have professionals on staff that are trained to help.

Louisiana Motorcycle Insurance Companies

In order to find the best insurance provider for your motorcycle in the Bayou State, it is important to collect some quotes. To make things easier for you as a consumer, you can use the form below (or at the top of the page) to enter your Zip Code. Once you have entered your Zip Code, you will see a generated list with the top rated companies licensed to sell insurance in your area.

These companies will know what you need in a policy for it to meet your state’s legal requirements. After you have gathered some quotes, compare them and determine which company is offering the best package deal for your money. In other words, make sure you select a provider that gives you the coverage you need for a price you can afford. Before you know it, you’ll be riding through the exotic roadways in the Pelican State!

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