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SA2020 Helmet Expiration – Explained!

SA2020 Helmet Expiration – Explained!

By Matt Lambert at Right Motorsport


As a motorsport enthusiast, you know the importance of safety gear on the track. Helmets are a critical component of this gear, protecting your head and brain from injury in the event of an impact or crash. But did you know that helmets have a lifespan and need to be replaced regularly?

This is where the Snell SA2020 helmet expiration date comes into play.


Snell SA2020 Explained

The SA2020 standard is a safety rating for motorsport helmets, developed by the Snell Memorial Foundation. Helmets that meet this standard are rigorously tested and certified to provide maximum protection for the wearer in competitive motorsport events. The SA2020 standard builds on the previous SA2015 standard, with updates and improvements to ensure even greater safety for drivers.

Snell SA2020 is very much an incremental change from SA2015. The primary aim was to bring the impact testing even more in line with FIA 8859-2015 requirements. All criteria will now be the same as or more stringent than the FIA requirements.

Note, however, that Snell SA2020 certification does not automatically grant FIA homologation! A helmet that passes Snell SA2020 tests will theoretically pass FIA tests, but the helmet manufacturer must submit the helmet to the FIA to receive FIA homologation.

SA2020 helmets do not technically have an expiration date; however, a statement from the Snell certification webpage recommends replacing any racing driver's helmets after five years of noamel use. See the statement below:


Unused helmets stored in good condition do not automatically expire after five years. Wear and tear, the simple act of putting on and taking off helmets, damage the comfort pads and energy-absorbing foam liner over time. Helmets with worn-out pads are at least one to two sizes larger than helmets in new condition. A poorly fitted helmet makes it more likely that the helmet will shift too much or even come off the head during a crash impact. For these reasons, Snell recommends replacing the helmet after five years of normal use.

(Source:, "why should you replace your helmet every five years?")


Snell SA2020 Helmet Expiration Explained - Dirt Racing Car Driver - Fast Racer

Dirt Racing Driver Wearing a Snell SA2020 Racing Helmet


What to look out for

So, what should you look out for if you own a motorsport racing helmet? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

The recommended SA2020 helmet expiration date is 5 years from the date of manufacture when the helmet is in constant use. It is suggested that after this time, the helmet may no longer be considered safe and should be replaced. This is because the materials and construction of the helmet can degrade over time, reducing its ability to protect the wearer in the event of an impact.


But it's not just the expiration date that you should be aware of when it comes to your racing helmet. Regular inspection and maintenance are also important to ensure that your helmet is in good condition and ready to provide maximum protection when you need it.


First and foremost, you should always inspect your helmet for signs of wear and tear before each use. This includes cracks, dents, scratches, or any other damage that could compromise the helmet's integrity. If you notice any damage, no matter how small, you should replace your helmet immediately.


Another important factor to consider is the chin strap. The chin strap is a critical safety feature that keeps the helmet securely in place during a crash or impact. Make sure the chin strap is in good condition and properly fastened before each use.


When it comes time to replace your helmet, it's important to choose a high-quality helmet that meets the latest safety standards. Bell helmets are a popular choice among motorsport enthusiasts for their advanced safety features and cutting-edge technology. Bell helmets come in a range of styles and price points, so you can find the perfect helmet to suit your needs and budget.



In conclusion, the SA2020 helmet expiration date is an important factor to consider when it comes to your safety on the track. Regular inspection, maintenance, and replacement of your helmet can help ensure that you are properly protected during your motorsport adventures. By choosing a high-quality helmet from a reputable brand like Bell, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are wearing the best possible safety gear on the track.

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