You can buy a helmet almost anywhere. As a result, many of us have a shelf full of helmets to show off our bad choices. Motorcycle helmets are generally subject to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (49 CFR 571.218) commonly referred to as the DOT standard. In addition, some helmets may be certified by the Snell Memorial Foundation. The fact that a helmet is certified by both Snell and DOT does not necessarily mean that it is superior, but the absence of a DOT certification is an invitation for a ticket from your local highway patrolman if you happen to be pulled over for any other violation.