Is Lane Splitting Legal in Oklahoma? 2024

Many people believe riding a motorcycle is just like driving a car, with the same rules to follow. The truth is that different laws and restrictions apply to operating a motorcycle versus a car. Before you start riding, you must be familiar with these laws and license requirements. Because of these laws, if you are in an accident on your motorcycle, you will need an experienced Oklahoma motorcycle accident lawyer on your team.

One of the most common questions people have about riding a motorcycle is whether or not lane splitting is legal in their state. The answer in Oklahoma is no; it is not legal. In fact, most states do not allow lane splitting.

Lane splitting is a term referring to riding a motorcycle in the middle of two separate lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. Bikers may be tempted to do this when traffic is moving slowly or stopped altogether. Other terms for lane splitting include “white-lining” or “stripe-riding.”

The law in Oklahoma states that a motorcycle operator is not permitted to pass between lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction unless operating an authorized emergency vehicle, such as a police motorcycle. This ban also applies to scooters and mopeds.

Is Lane Splitting Safe?

This is a topic of debate among motorists. Many people believe lane splitting is safe and even argue that it helps the flow of traffic by easing congestion on roads. While it does allow bikers to avoid being trapped between vehicles, it has been seen to greatly increase the risk of deadly motorcycle accidents in Oklahoma.

Because of the severity of the risks, lawmakers in our state have ruled that these risks outweigh any potential benefits. Therefore, lane splitting is illegal in the state of Oklahoma.

Who Is at Fault in an Accident Caused by Lane Splitting?

A motorcycle operator who violates this law is considered negligent because of the inherent risks to the biker and other motorists on the road and the illegal nature of lane splitting. If their actions cause an accident, they could be considered at fault. This is the case if the motorcycle operator breaks any Oklahoma laws designed to prevent accidents.

However, the state of Oklahoma operates on a modified comparative fault system, which means that fault can be placed partially on two or more people for the same accident. So, there are cases where the fault in a lane-splitting accident is placed on both the biker and the motorist. This is one example of why it is vital to have an experienced Oklahoma motorcycle accident lawyer on your side in the case of a motorcycle accident.

License Requirements for Operating a Motorcycle in Oklahoma

Motorcycle operators in Oklahoma are required to have an “L” endorsement on their driver’s license. Bikers must present the required documentation to a driver’s license examiner to receive this endorsement, who will put them through several examinations, including a written test, a driving test, and a vision exam. The driving examination requirement may be waived if you complete a motorcycle education course offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Those who pass these exams will receive a motorcycle learner’s permit valid for at least 30 days. With this permit, you are restricted to operating a motorcycle only while receiving instruction from a licensed motorcycle operator at least 21 years of age.

Once you have received the “L” endorsement on your license, you are cleared to ride in accordance with Oklahoma’s motorcycle laws. It is also of note that Oklahoma does recognize motorcycle endorsements from other states.

Other Oklahoma Motorcycle Regulations

Here are a few more regulations to be aware of before operating a motorcycle in the state of Oklahoma:

  • Safety helmets are required for any rider under 18 and are recommended for everyone.
  • Eye protection must be worn unless the motorcycle has a windshield.
  • Both left and right-side mirrors are required.
  • Headlights are required to be in use at all times.
  • Passenger seats and footrests are required when carrying a passenger.
  • Handlebars must not be higher than the rider’s eye level.
  • Mufflers and other noise-suppressing systems must be in place and in good working order.
  • Exhaust systems may not be modified in a way that increases noise.
  • You must be 16 years or older to receive a motorcycle license.


Q: Is Lane Splitting Legal in Oklahoma?

A: Lane splitting, or riding a motorcycle between two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction, is not legal in the state of Oklahoma. This is due to the risk posed to both the motorcycle operator and other motorists around them. Lane splitting, also known as “white-lining” or “stripe-riding,” increases the risk of deadly motorcycle accidents and is thus illegal in most states.

Q: What Are the Motorcycle Restrictions in Oklahoma?

A: In Oklahoma, you must be 16 years or older to receive a motorcycle license. You must have a current driver’s license with an “L” endorsement or a motorcycle-only restricted license. Bikers must pass several exams, including driving, written, and vision tests, and must abide by Oklahoma state laws and regulations in order to maintain their motorcycle endorsement.

Q: Can I Drive a Motorcycle With a Car License in Oklahoma?

A: A license is required to operate a motorcycle or other motor-drive cycles in the state of Oklahoma. To be licensed, you must have an “L” endorsement on your current Oklahoma driver’s license. If your license is not current, you will need to get a current license, or you may apply for a motorcycle permit before you can receive a restricted motorcycle-only license.

Q: What Is the Difference Between Lane Filtering and Lane Splitting?

A: Lane filtering refers to a motorcycle operator moving between two stationary vehicles to get to the front of the pack. This is most typically seen at stoplights and intersections. Lane splitting is when a motorcycle operator moves between two clearly marked lanes of traffic moving in the same direction.

An Experienced Oklahoma Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights

If you or someone you know has been in a motorcycle accident, our Oklahoma motorcycle accident lawyers at 222 Injury Lawyers are here to help. Our team is dedicated to compassionate and approachable legal care because your family matters. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you ensure your rights are protected.

Oklahoma City Office

222 Injury Lawyers, PLLC
3030 NW Expressway, Suite 200
Oklahoma City, OK 73112

Request a Free Consultation
We Don’t Get Paid Until You Do

Fields Marked With An * Are Required

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Tulsa Office

222 Injury Lawyers, PLLC
1217 E 33rd St.
Tulsa, OK 74105

*Please send all mail correspondence to this location