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Pennsylvania Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Pennsylvania Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Pennsylvania is located in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is officially referred to as the “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” and is one of the 13 original founding states of the U.S. Geographically, the middle of the state is split by The Appalachian Mountains, and the state is bordered by the coast of Lake Erie and a shoreline of the Delaware Estuary. The name “Pennsylvania” originated from William Penn when Charles II of England gave him the land in 1680. The suffix “Sylvania” which translated to “woodlands” was added to “Penn” to form the name Pennsylvania.

Various nicknames for this state include the “Keystone State,” the “Quaker State,” the “Coal State,” “Oil State,” as well as “State of Independence.” The economy in Pennsylvania is heavily influenced by many Fortune 500 companies. The biggest private employers in this state are Wal-Mart and the University of Pennsylvania. Other important economic contributors in this state include: banking, agriculture, gambling, and film. Popular professional sports teams in this state include the Steelers, Eagles, 76ers, Phillies, Pirates, Flyers, and Penguins.

Pennsylvania Motorcycle Insurance

Do you want to drive your motorcycle throughout the state of Pennsylvania? If so, you will need to understand what the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation requires. All owners of motorcycles first need to prove that they will be able to pay for damages if they get into an accident. In order to prove that you have the finances to pay for an accident that you may cause, you will need to establish financial responsibility.

How to Establish Financial Responsibility

In many states, residents are given a variety of options to prove financial responsibility. In this particular state, you must have a liability insurance policy or get self-insurance. Self-insurance is typically only offered to people that own fleets of vehicles.

  • Liability Insurance: All drivers in the state of Pennsylvania are required to have a liability insurance policy. This policy must be in compliance with the necessary limits for bodily injuries and property damage.
  • Self-Insurance: If you plan on self-insuring your motorcycles, you must first complete an application (MV-220 Form). You will be required to show a balance sheet, income statement, and provide security collateral through the Pennsylvania DOT.

Motorcycles / Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined

For most people, knowing the difference between motorcycles, mopeds, and motor-driven cycles is common sense. However, if you want to make sure you are aware of the state’s specific legal definition, you may want to read below. If you are still confused and need further assistance, you can call the Pennsylvania DOT at the following number: (800)-932-4600. They will help you figure out your specific situation.

Motorcycle: Any motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the driver that is designed to travel with no more than 3 wheels in contact with the road. Or designed to travel on 2 wheels in contact with the ground which is modified by the addition of 2 stabilizing wheels on the rear of the motor vehicle.

Moped: A motor-driven cycle equipped with operable pedals and a motor that does not exceed 1.5-brake horsepower. The cylinder capacity must not exceed 50 cc and the vehicle must have an automatic transmission. Top speed must not exceed 25 mph. OR vehicle may be an electric motor-driven cycle equipped with operable pedals and powered by an electric battery.

Motor-Driven Cycle: A motorcycle, including a motor scooter, with a motor, which does not exceed 5-brake horsepower.

Note: Official licensing and insurance will be required for all of these vehicles.

Pennsylvania Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

In order to satisfy the state’s required amount of insurance for your motorcycle, you must get at least the coverage below. The state requirements are often abbreviated as a “15/30/5” policy for liability. Each number represents an amount (in thousands of dollars) that represents a specific aspect of coverage. While shopping for a policy, keep these minimums in mind.

Minimum Liability Insurance:

  • $15,000 bodily injury per person

  • $30,000 bodily injury per accident

  • $5,000 property damage per accident

Pedestrian First Party Benefits (FPB):

  • $5,000 per person

You are required to take out First Party Benefits coverage to provide for medical expenses in the event of an accident. This will cover all medical expenses for you as the policyholder in the event of a crash. As you can see, you are required to take out at least 5K worth of coverage in this state. It is also important to keep in mind that the above amounts of coverage are the minimums – you may need more to be fully protected in an accident. If crash expenses exceed the above limits, you will pay the rest from your own finances.

Pennsylvania Motorcycle Laws: Safety & Licensing Requirements

Below are some laws to keep in mind when it comes to wearing helmets, eye protection, headlights, and licensing. Make sure you are aware of these requirements before you take your motorcycle on public roads.

  • Helmets: Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets if they are under 21 years of age. Additionally, all drivers with only a Learner’s Permit are required to wear helmets – regardless of age. If you have held a license for less than 2 years OR have not completed an official safety course, you must also wear a helmet. Helmets must be in compliance with the proper safety standards.
  • Eye Protection: All motorcyclists are required to wear protective eye-wear while riding.
  • Headlights: All motorcycles are required to use headlights in the daytime unless the bike was manufactured before 1986.
  • License: You must obtain a Class M license to legally operate a motorcycle. You can obtain this license by completing a written test and road test as issued by the Pennsylvania DOT.

Proof of Insurance in Pennsylvania

When you purchase an insurance policy, your insurance provider will send a notification to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. This notification will let the state know that you have purchased sufficient coverage. If you ever cancel your policy, the state will know about it – this helps them keep tabs on drivers. However, you still must always carry official proof with you while driving.

  • Insurance ID Card: Upon purchasing a policy, you will be issued an identification card. Keep this with you at all times while driving in case you are in an accident or are pulled over.
  • Insurance Binder: An insurance binder can be used if you have not yet received an identification card from your provider. This is temporary proof and is only valid for 60 days.
  • Policy Declaration: If you have an official page of your policy’s declaration, this would be acceptable. This must have your name, coverage information, provider information, and vehicle information.
  • Certification: If you self-insured, you should receive official certification from the state.
  • Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan: If you need to enroll in this plan because you have been turned down for insurance, you need to have official documentation. This documentation needs to be provided to an officer if you are questioned.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Pennsylvania

All individuals that try to get away with riding without insurance will be penalized. Although penalties will vary depending on your record and scenario, you are going to face the consequences. Keep in mind that all of these penalties can be easily avoided by buying and maintaining sufficient coverage.

  • Fines: You will receive a $300 fine for driving without insurance.
  • Suspended Registration: Your vehicle’s registration will be suspended for up to 3 months. This means that your vehicle cannot legally be driven by anyone.
  • Suspended License: Your driver’s license will also face a 3 month suspension.
  • Reinstatement Fees: In order to reactivate your license and registration, you will need to provide proof of an insurance policy and pay $50 for each reinstatement.

Pennsylvania Motorcycle Insurance Companies

Getting a motorcycle insurance policy is easy. However, getting a policy that offers a lot of coverage for an affordable price is a little bit tougher. Although it may take some research on your part to find a good policy, it’s certainly manageable. Start off your search by using the form below and entering your Zip Code. You should see a list of companies that are offering policies in your area.

Take the time to gather quotes from each company and determine which providers are the most fairly-priced. If you would like further information about a company, you can read reviews on this website. Once you have obtained the necessary amount of coverage to meet the state’s minimum requirements, you’re ready to roll!

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