Legal Commentary. Interestingly, a “Motorcycle” is defined, under Georgia law, as “any motor vehicle traveling on public streets or highways having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground but excluding a tractor and a moped.” So, a motorcycle can be a three-wheeled vehicle. Maybe this includes a sidecar.
As an Atlanta Georgia motorcycle injury lawyer, I believe the most important part of this statue concerns the amount of insurance a motorcycle must have to be legally driven in Georgia. As with automobiles, the minimum statutory of amount of motorcycle insurance in Georgia is $25,000/$50,000.
Failure to carry a motorcycle liability insurance policy with the statutory minimum coverage in Georgia may subject a violator to misdemeanor criminal charges. A victim of a motorcycle accident or a child who suffers serious injury or wrongful death through the fault of someone driving a motorcycle, should seek competent legal assistance. Other policies in the household that do not even cover the motorcycle may be available to provide coverage through a legal process known as “stacking”. Make sure to check with a motorcycle accident attorney who is expert in Georgia motorcycle insurance law. The law offices of Charles Scholle provides a free initial confidential consultation to accident injury victims. To set up your free consultation, send the firm a message online or call toll-free at 866-972-5287 or in Atlanta at 770-717-5100.
The full text of the statute is below:Section 40-6-11 “Motorcycle” Defined; Duty of Operator of Motorcycle to Keep Proof or Evidence of Required Minimum Insurance Coverage in Possession
(a) For the purposes of this Code section, “motorcycle” means any motor vehicle traveling on public streets or highways having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground but excluding a tractor and a moped.
(b) No owner of a motorcycle or any other person, other than a self-insurer as defined in Chapter 34 of Title 33, shall operate or authorize any other person to operate the motorcycle unless the owner has liability insurance on the motorcycle equivalent to that required as evidence of security for bodily injury and property damage liability under Code Section 40-9-37. Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(c) The operator of a motorcycle shall keep proof or evidence of the minimum insurance coverage required by this Code section in his or her immediate possession or on the motorcycle at all times when such person is operating the motorcycle but only under the same circumstances and of the same type as prescribed for operators of other motor vehicles in Code Section 40-6-10. Any person who violates this subsection shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $25.00; however, there shall be no suspension of the person’s operator’s license or motor vehicle license tag for a violation of this subsection.
(d)(1) Insurance coverage information from records of the department shall be prima-facie evidence of the facts stated therein and shall be admissible as evidence in accordance with Code Section 24-3-17 for the purposes of this Code section.
(2) Every law enforcement officer in this state shall request the operator of a motorcycle subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this Code section to produce proof or evidence of minimum insurance coverage required by this Code section at any time the law enforcement officer stops the motorcycle or requests the presentation of the driver’s license of such operator.
(e) An owner or operator of a motorcycle shall not be issued a citation by a law enforcement officer for a violation of this Code section if the sole basis for issuance of such a citation is that the law enforcement officer is unable to obtain insurance coverage information from the records of the department.
HISTORY: Code 1981, § 40-6-11, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 5; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2785, § 22; Ga. L. 2000, p. 429, §§ 6, 6A; Ga. L. 2003, p. 261, § 6.