• Kenneth Powell

Do You Have to Have Blinkers on a Motorcycle in Missouri?

The rules and safety measures regarding motorcycles are inconsistent across the states. Thus, following the laws and regulations can be a tedious task. Motorcycles are notorious for being the most dangerous motor vehicles. For this reason, the intent to prevent accidents in each state dictates the adjustment of rules and safety measures.

Whether one is a resident of Missouri or a passer-by on a joy ride across Route 66, it is always beneficial to know how to comply with the rules. One of the most perplexing questions regarding this state might be: ‘Do you have to have blinkers (turn signals) on a motorcycle in Missouri?’.

The answer to this question is not straightforward, as it depends on the type of vehicle one possesses: modern street motorcycle, vintage motorcycle, or street legal off-road motorcycle.

Modern Street Motorcycles

Modern Street Motorcycles

The law in Missouri does not explicitly require drivers to use turn signals. They have to provide proper signalization, which they can achieve by using hand signals. However, the law still obliges vehicles to have operational blinkers, whether they choose to use them or not.

A modern street motorcycle, to be legally operational in Missouri, must meet the minimum requirements of:

● A running headlight

● Working taillight and brake light

Turn signals (if equipped)

● Horn

● Front and rear brakes

● Two mirrors

Motorcycle blinkers became standard equipment in 1973. Given that all the motorcycles manufactured in the modern age come equipped with turn signals, this requirement might seem slightly legally ambiguous.

People often alter motorcycles for various reasons. Some modifications might increase safety, functionality, or performance, while others are there only to enhance the aesthetic appeal. However, all of them must be legally approved and done by professionals.

When it comes to motorcycle alterations, safety is always an essential factor. While removing the signals may be justifiable, a proper legal document is required to do it.

Thus, if all the documentation is satisfactory and the vehicle owners have removed the turn signals with permission to do so, they are authorized to drive without them. Otherwise, the drivers might get a penalty.

Vintage Street Motorcycles

Vintage or classic is a common term for describing an older motorcycle. In general, vehicles older than 30 years would fall into this category. The classic look has its allure, and there are still many vintage vehicles on the road.

Even though those vintage motorcycles are in good condition and up to par, most of them were made long ago. Turn signals were not a standard for motorcycle manufacturers at that time. If that is the case, the owners of those bikes do not have to have turn lights, and they can ride in Missouri without legal repercussions.

Still, drivers must use appropriate hand signals to indicate turning and stopping. They need to ensure safety for everyone on the road in their proximity. If they fail to do so, it will be considered a class C misdemeanor in Missouri.

Such offense entails a monetary fine as well as getting points on the driving record, which leads to increased insurance rates and possible license suspension. In addition, if an accident occurs due to improper signalization, it may be considered careless driving. The consequences of such driving could be more serious — a $1000 fine, 6-month jail time, etc. In relation to accidents, safety gears are extremely important. Find if Missouri has a no helmet law for motorcycles.

Street Legal Off-Road Motorcycles

Street legal off-road motorcycles are sport bikes registered and plated for use on public roads. Missouri is appealing to people who enjoy riding such bikes because it has scenic trails both on and off-road. Because of that, many people who want to switch between roads tend to legalize their bikes.

The state of Missouri allows people to register and get a license plate for those motorcycles. They need to present form 511 and pass the inspection to meet the aforementioned minimum requirements for a street vehicle. That brings back the question of turn signals. So, should off-road motorcycles have them?

Many off-road bikes do not have signal lights because their initial purpose is not driving on the roads, among other traffic participants. Since the lights are not a part of standard equipment, it is allowed to drive them using only hand signals.

Nevertheless, many people buy additional turn signal kits and add them to their off-road motorcycles, which may be the reason for confusion regarding this matter. They do it as a personal choice to increase safety, even though it is unnecessary to have them.


For other questions related to this matter, get in touch with a motorcycle accident lawyer in St Louis MO today. We also help other clients who have concerns about other types of vehicles, such as trucks. For instance, we can help determine how to get trucking authority in Missouri.