New Motorcycle Helmet Law in Delaware

On September 1, 2023, Delaware implemented a new motorcycle helmet law specifically targeting riders with new motorcycle endorsements on their licenses. According to the law, riders who obtain a new motorcycle endorsement on or after September 1, 2023, must wear a motorcycle helmet and eye protection for the first two years after receiving the endorsement.

In addition, if a new rider in Delaware chooses to have a passenger during the initial two years of riding with their newly obtained motorcycle endorsement, the passenger is also required to wear a helmet and eye protection.

The law, known as Delaware Senate Bill 86 (SB 86), was introduced by Senator David P. Sokola in the 152nd General Assembly (2023 to 2024). It received support from 15 co-sponsors in both chambers of the state legislature and was signed into law by Delaware governor John Carney on June 30, 2023.

Prior to being signed into law, SB 86 passed through the Environment, Energy, & Transportation committee and the Public Safety & Homeland Security committee based on its merits. It also received approval from the Delaware House of Representatives with 39 yes votes, zero no votes, and two legislators marked absent. In the Delaware Senate, it received 20 yes votes, zero no votes, and one legislator marked absent.

This new law in Delaware complements the existing laws regarding motorcycle helmets and their usage. According to SB 86, all adults operating or riding as passengers on motorcycles are currently required to possess a helmet and wear eye protection. Additionally, individuals up to 19 years old must wear a helmet and eye protection.

For newly endorsed riders in their first two years after obtaining their motorcycle endorsement, SB 86 states that failure to comply with the law will result in a civil or administrative assessment ranging from $25 to $50. Court costs other than those specified in the law cannot be imposed, and the violation is not considered a criminal offense.

Both the new Delaware helmet law and the existing one are categorized as civil penalties, as stated in the passed bill.