Riders 21 or older can ride lidless if they successfully complete on of two motorcycle operator training and safety courses. If you either don't have a valid motorcycle [Class M] or don't own a bike, your course is called the Basic Motorcycle Training Course; if you own a scoot, you can take the cheaper Advanced Motorcycle Operator Training Course.
But you don't have to take ANY safety course if you don't want to, provided you're covered by a health insurance plan that provides you with at least #10,000 of medical benefits if injured while riding [and no you DON'T have to run out and buy "extra" insurance if you already have such coverage--an existing policy is fine].
NO license-plate sticker is required, but the state is required to issue you one for $5 if you want one. The optional sticker simply tells The Man you've either met the safety-course or insurance requirements, but I repeat, displaying sticker isn't mandatory. If you don't run a sticker, proof of either requirement mentioned above will turn the trick.
Passengers CAN ride bareheaded as well, provided they're over 21, because the passenger's medical insurance is covered by the operators liability.
Out-of state riders CAN ride helmet-free in Texas, under the same course-or-insurance criteria as Texans, regardless of what we've been told before. If out-of-staters have passed a comparable safety course in their own state, a card equivalent to a Department of Public Safety Trainer Course Completion Card MSB-8 will suffice.
If you have more questions, here are the numbers for the Texas Department
of Public Safety Bureau:phone 424-2021, or fax 292-5787. I hope this
clears up some of the disappointingly misguided bullshit that's been flying
around the country for the past few months.
Reprinted without permission for the good of the Texas biker