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MSP Motorcycle helmet policy prior to July 27, 2000
Motorcycle Helmet Rules
NOTE: Effective July 27, 2000, the administrative rules were modified.
This page provides historical information only. Click here to view the current rule.
Michigan Administrative Code
Using the standards found within Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218, the Michigan Department of State Police promulgated rules that became effective on December 2, 1981.
Due to the continually changing models and styles of helmets available on the market, the Michigan Department of State Police discontinued maintaining a specific list of approved helmets by manufacturer and model in 1993. Instead, a 1993 directive on State Police letterhead provided approval of helmets by reference providing they met the standards of FMVSS 218. A subsequent directive dated April 6, 1996, provided additional guidance.
A copy of the 1993 and 1996 directives by the Michigan Department of State Police may be viewed and printed using Acrobat Reader™, a free utility from Adobe, by clicking here.
Text of this approval reads as follows:
April 3, 1996
There are many motorcycle helmets currently available that meet federal standards; however, they do not appear on the list of State Police approved motorcycle helmets. Due to the large number of manufacturers and wide variety of models, it is not practical to maintain a current list of approved helmets.
It is the position of the Michigan Department of State Police that only motorcycle helmets meeting all of the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 218 are legal for use in Michigan. Helmets meeting federal standards shall be labeled permanently and legibly with the following:
- Manufacturer's name or identification.
- Precise model designation.
- Month and year of manufacture (i.e., June 1988 or 6/88).
- The symbol DOT, constituting the manufacturer's certification that the helmet conforms to the applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. The symbol shall appear on the posterior outer surface, in a color that contrasts with the background, in letters at least 3/8 inch high, and between 1 1/8 inches and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom edge of the helmet.
- Instructions to the purchaser regarding construction and other safety-related information.
- As a general rule, the thickness of the polyfoam inner liner should be at least 1 inch thick. This is the easiest way to detect helmets not meeting federal standards, as most novelty helmets are nothing more than a shell with a very thin liner or pad for comfort.
- Chin straps must be sturdy, thick, and well-riveted.
- Protrusions outside of the helmet shall be limited to those required for operation of essential accessories and shall not protrude more than 2/10 inch.
View the original rule and other pertinent information in Adobe Acrobat Reader™ format.