Posted by gomotp media

You may be aware motorcycle helmets in Malaysia are required to have the UN ECE R22.05, or SIRIM MS 1:1996, or both certifications to be considered legal.

As such, helmets that are certified by DOT only are illegal in Malaysian law.

So why is this so? Some DOT-certified helmets are just like the UN ECE R22.05 helmets, anyhow. Let us take a good look at this issue in greater detail.


The DOT standard is used in the United States of America. To be more specified, it is known as “US Department of Transport Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (DOT FMVSS) No. 218.”

The US Depart of Transport allows helmet manufacturers to self-test their products, instead of being tested and approved prior to sale like ECE 22.05. Should the helmets meet DOT’s requirements, the manufacturers then apply the DOT Certified sticker.

An independent testing lab (Act Labs) appointed by the DOT will then buy the helmets off the shelves and test them. A lab who tested the helmets from 2014-2019 reported that of the 167 they tested, 43.1 percent (72 pieces) had failed performance tests.

That is almost a 50/50 chance that you may buy a helmet that does not provide adequate protection.

Failing the tests could have the maker facing stiff fines of up to USD 5,000 per helmet made. They may also be required to recall those that have been sold. But that does not seem to discourage the manufacturers from flouting the rules. Besides that, there were only 12 recalls since 2014, amounting to a mere 16.6 percent of the helmets sold.

Act Labs also tested well-known brands such as Shoei among others and they passed. This means we should seek brands that test their products and are certified to other standards such as the aforementioned ECE R22.05 or SNELL, in addition to DOT.

Back to Malaysia, the issue above is why our country’s authorities do not allow DOT helmets in the market.

What about helmets that are DOT and ECE R22.05 certified? 

However, helmets that have both DOT and ECE R22.05 certifications are safe, because the ECE ruling takes precedence. As such, they are allowed on Malaysian roads.