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The Moped, Scooter, Motorcycle Laws by State

The Moped, Scooter, Motorcycle Laws by State

July 25, 2021

What are the differences between motorcycle, moped or scooter?

Motorcycles
A motorcycle has 2-3 wheels without pedals and engine size larger than 150 cc.
A motorcycle with electric motor and battery instead of gas engine. No limit on speed or horsepower. License, registration and insurance required to be operated on roads (helmets in many states)
Motorcycles with 3 wheels or a side car require only a Class C driver license.
motorcycle register
Motor-Driven Cycles
A motor-driven cycle has 2-3 wheels and an engine size smaller than 149 cc.
You must register a motor-driven cycle, and you must have a motorcycle license (M1)
Mopeds
Also known as a motorized bicycle, a moped has 2-3 wheels and an electric motor with an automatic transmission that produces less than 4 gross brake horsepower.
New York defines limited use motorcycles, which are commonly called "mopeds" or "motorized scooters", as "limited use vehicles with two or three wheels."
Mopeds in the USA often require a driver’s license and insurance and some form of registration to drive it on streets and highways.
Mopeds that will be operated strictly on private property do not have to be registered.
A moped is generally allowed to have a top speed of 30MPH, Moped scooters capable of speeds greater than 30mph are generally classified as motorcycles.
Mopeds can often travel on street bike lanes, they cannot travel on sidewalks and park in bicycle areas.
moped scooter
Electric Scooters
A motorized scooter has 2 wheels, handlebars, powered by an electric motor, and on board rechargeable battery, electric scooters have a step-through frame and unlike a moped, have no pedals. Scooters resemble motorcycles more closely than mopeds and electric bicycles.
You can only drive motorized scooters on a bicycle path, trail, or bikeway, not on a sidewalk, a scooter may be a moped or a motorcycle depending on its size and potential speed.
You do not need to register motorized scooters, you can drive a motorized scooter with any class driver license (pic A&C).
electric chopper

What is the difference of 50cc/125cc in speed?

The classification into 50cc 125cc or 150cc depends on the power of the motor and the maximum speed. If the power is between 1000 (1 kW) and 4000 (4 kW) Watts, and the speed does not exceed 45km/h, then electric scooter is a 50 cc equivalence. 

50cc /125 cc bikes are made for daily office commuters, high wear and tear and main reason is to make it affordable to more people, till date the maximum bikes are sold in this category only. They are good for short distance rides, beach cruising, campus cruising, inner-town travel, etc. and in most states, you do not need a motorcycle license just a regular drivers license.

150 cc Bikes: are suppose to be the start point of premium segment and for more enthusiastic bikers who require more power and performance. they cost also higher than the 100/125 cc bikes. In most states you will need a driver’s license and most likely a motorcycle license to drive anything over 50ccs on public roads, and you will most likely need to register and possibly insure your 150cc motor scooter as well.

Keep that in mind, as having a 50cc / 125cc moped means with a top speed of either 30mph or 60mph.

Some scooters, such as the Fat Gator, have a 3000 (3 kW) Watts power, but reach a 70km/h speed and are thus also classified as the 125cc category. While due to the function to limit max speed to 45kmh, and it's fall under 50cc then.

How to register your motorcycle?

  • Your Certificate of Title, or the name and address of the lienholder (if you have a loan).
  • Get your vehicle insured: Proof of insurance, such as a vehicle liability insurance policy, a DMV-issued self-insurance certificate, or a surety bond.
  • A valid motorcycle license.
  • Submit your documents, application and payment to the DMV.
Unlike cars or trucks, motorcycles do not require a smog check before registration.

    Do you need a license for a scooter or moped?

    Check your state regulates and local requirements; they may not be similar from one locale to the next, and a scooter license age and requirements may not be the same as the moped license age.
    • In most states, riders must be a certain age to drive a moped and — for any engine over 50cc — have a regular driver’s license or permit, often with a motorcycle license or endorsement.
    • Some states don't require a motorcycle license under 50cc. It's best to check with your Department of Motor Vehicles about the requirement in your state.
    • License plates and registration requirements may also be determined by engine size.

    Do you need a helmet and insurance?

    Helmet laws vary according to the type of vehicle, many states do require wearing helmets. Nonetheless, wearing a helmet when riding any vehicle, including a bicycle, is highly recommended for safety reasons. Numerous studies show that helmets can protect against serious head injuries in the event of an accident.

    You don't need to have insurance for a moped or motor scooter in Florida, but if you’re found to be at fault in a crash, you will be held financially responsible for any injuries and property damage

    How much motorcycle registration fees & taxes

    Between 2019 and 2020, the average annual cost for a liability-only motorcycle insurance policy at Progressive ranged from $163.19 ($13.60/month) in North Dakota to $364 ($30.35/month) in Michigan. The cost of motorcycle insurance depends on many factors, including your location, age, type of bike, riding history, and coverage selection. Progressive offers liability-only motorcycle insurance policies starting at just $79 per year. In order to ride a moped, you need to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance:
    • $15,000 of bodily injury coverage per person
    • $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident
    • $5,000 of property damage coverage per accident
    Fees for registering and titling your motorcycle are listed below:
    • Title application—$20.
      • A $1.50 commission fee may be added on.
    • Motorcycle registration:
      • 12 months: $15
    • Vintage motorcycle registration—$10.
    • Local county taxes and surcharges—Varies by county.
    • Late registration penalty—$15.

    SCOOTER, MOPED AND MOTORCYCLE LAWS BY STATE 

    Before buying a two-wheeled moped / scooter or motorcycle, first thing comes to mind would be how do I get it registered, what would be state’s laws to ride my new bike on the streets legally! We sort up below moped / bike laws by STATE, read on to find the rules and regulations in your area.

    Motorcycle: https://www.dmv.org/motorcycle-registration.php

    Other Types like Scooters, Mopeds etc: https://www.dmv.org/other-types.php

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in California

    What exactly is a scooter? Motorized bicycle? Or an electric bike, for that matter? Do you need the same kind of license for them as you do a traditional motorcycle?

    Well, yes and no. Let’s find out how the state defines these other types of motorized vehicles and whether you need to get a special license or endorsement with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

    CA Motor-Driven Cycles

    California defines motor-driven cycles as motorcycles with engines of 149 cc or less. (The motor-driven cycle category doesn’t include motorized bicycles.)

    Note that you:

    Mopeds (Motorized Bicycles)

    You need a motorcycle license OR M2 endorsement to operate most motorized bikes or mopeds.

    Motorized bikes and mopeds in California are defined as having:

    • 2 or 3 wheels.
    • The ability to go no faster than 30 MPH on level ground.
    • A motor that produces under 4 brake horsepower.
    • An automatic transmission.
    • An electric motor.
    • Pedals IF it’s NOT powered only by the electric motor.

    NOTE: CA law requires manufacturers of mopeds to notify buyers that their insurance provider may not cover mopeds. Contact your insurance provider to find out if your motorized bicycle is covered.

    Specialty Plates and ID Card

    You will need to obtain a specialty license plate and ID Card for your motorized bicycle. To apply complete a Motorized Bicycle (Moped) Instructions/Application (Form REG 230) and submit it along with payment for the $23 fee to the address listed on the form.

    Motorized Scooters

    California defines motorized scooters as having:

      • 2 wheels.
      • An electric motor.
      • Handlebars.
      • A floorboard to stand on while riding.
    • The option of a driver’s seat.
      • The driver’s seat CAN’T restrict your ability to stand while riding, or the option of human propulsion.

    You can operate a motorized scooter with any class of valid CA driver’s license or permit and without registering it with the DMV.

    Electric Bicycles in California

    California electric bicycles have:

    • Fully operable pedals.
    • Electric motors of fewer than 750 watts.

    You don’t need a driver’s license or an endorsement to operate an electric bike in CA; however, it’s important to understand the state’s regulations when it comes to operating these types of bikes.

    There are 3 classes of electric bicycles:

    • Class 1:
      • Low-speed, pedal-assisted electric bike.
      • Motor provides assistance ONLY when you’re pedaling and stops providing assistance once you’ve reached the maximum 20 MPH.
    • Class 2:
      • Low-speed, throttle-assisted electric bike.
      • Motor EXCLUSIVELY propels the bike and does not provide assistance once you reach the 20 MPH threshold.
    • Class 3:
      • Low-speed, pedal-assisted electric bike.
      • Has a speedometer.
      • Motor provides assistance ONLY when you’re pedaling and stops assisting when the maximum speed of 28 MPH is reached.

    Class 3 electric bike operators:

    • Must be at least 16 years old.
    • Have to wear a bicycle safety helmet.
    • Can’t carry passengers.
    • Can drive in bicycle lanes ONLY if local ordinances allow it.

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Florida

    Florida defines mopeds, scooters, and motorized bikes differently than regular motorcycles, so the license and registration requirements tend to differ, too.

    Let’s find out what type of motor-driven cycle you’re zipping around on and whether you need a license and registration from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).

    Mopeds in Florida

    In Florida, a moped is a vehicle that has:

    • Pedals for human propulsion (i.e. you can operate it with pedals).
    • A seat or saddle for you (the operator).
    • No more than 3 wheels for traveling.
    • A motor of no more than 2 brake horsepower.
    • An engine displacement of no more than 50 cc (if it has an internal combustion engine).
    • No direct or automatic clutching or shifting gears after you engage the drive system.
    • The ability to operate no faster than 30 MPH on flat ground.

    To operate a moped in Florida, you must:

    Motorized Scooters

    FL Florida defines a motorized scooter as a vehicle that:

    • Does NOT have a seat or saddle.
    • Travels on 3 wheels or fewer.
    • Can operate no faster than 20 MPH on flat ground.

    When it comes to riding a motorized scooter in Florida, you:

    • Are NOT required to have it registered with the FLHSMV.
    • CANNOT operate it on public roadways and sidewalks.

    Motorized Bicycles in FL

    A motorized bicycle is one that:

    • Has 3 wheels.
      • Sometimes, these bicycles also have 2 front OR 2 back wheels.
    • Is propelled by a combination of human power (you) and an electric motor.
    • Can operate no faster than 20 mph on flat ground.

    You must be at least 16 years old to ride a motorized bike in Florida, but do NOT need a driver’s license to operate one.

    Contact your local FLHSMV agent if you have further questions about motorized bicycles.

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in New York

    Low-speed motor vehicles like scooters, mopeds, or motorized bicycles can be a fun way to get from Point A to Point B. If you’ve got your eye on one, make sure the vehicle is legal and that you have the proper driving credentials before you spend your money.

    The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is clear on which vehicles are legal and what you need to operate them. We’ll break it down for you below.

    Looking for motorcycle info?

    If your vehicle doesn’t fit the definitions below, it’s most likely a motorcycle. Jump over to our pages on motorcycle licensing and registration for details.

    Mopeds in New York

    Mopeds, also known as limited-use motorcycles, are legal to ride in New York as long as you have the proper license and registration for your vehicle. You DO NOT need a title for your moped.

    The New York DMV classifies mopeds based on the maximum speed they can travel. Let’s go through each classification.

    *NOTE: All mopeds must be registered and insured. The registration process is the same for mopeds as for all other vehicles in New York. Head over to our page on NY vehicle registration for a helpful guide.

    Class A Mopeds

    The fastest moped you can legally ride on New York streets belongs to Class A. They travel at a blistering speed of between 30 and 40 MPH maximum.

    While driving your Class A moped, you’ll be able to use all lanes of traffic.

    To operate these machines, you must:

    • Have proof of insurance and registration for your moped.
    • Hold a motorcycle permit or license (Class M or MJ).
    • Have your headlight switched on whenever you ride.
    • Wear a helmet and eye protection.
    • Get an annual vehicle inspection.

    Class B Mopeds

    Next up is the Class B limited-use motorcycle, which has a top speed range of between 20 and 30 MPH.

    Class B moped riders must ONLY use the right lane or shoulder, EXCEPT when turning left.

    These vehicles must be:

    • Registered and insured.
    • Equipped with a headlight that is turned on while the vehicle is in use.
    • Driven by someone:
      • With a valid driver’s license (any class).
      • Wearing a helmet and eye-protection.

    Safety inspections are recommended for Class B mopeds, but are NOT required.

    Class C Mopeds

    A Class C moped maxes out at a speed of no higher than 20 MPH.

    Similar to a Class B, while riding a Class C moped you must stay in the right lane or shoulder, unless you are turning left.

    You can ride a Class C moped if:

    • Your moped is:
    • You carry any class of driver’s license.
    • You wear eye-protection and a helmet at all times.

    The NY DMV recommends you get a safety inspection for your Class C moped, but it is NOT required.

    Ineligible Vehicles in New York

    The following vehicles cannot be registered and are illegal to drive on New York roads:

    • Motor-driven bicycles.
      • There may be exceptions for low-speed electric-assisted bicycles. Check with your local DMV office to find out if your bicycle qualifies.
    • Motorized scooters (motorized vehicles you ride while standing and steer with handlebars).
    • Golf carts.
    • Go-karts.
    • Mini-bikes and dirt bikes.

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Mississippi

    Before you hit the road with your motor scooter, you need the proper license or endorsement with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) and registration with the Department of Revenue’s (DOR) Motor Vehicle Licensing Bureau.

    You also need to know whether your cycle is actually a motor scooter or just a toy vehicle.

    Mississippi Motor Scooters

    Mississippi defines a motor scooter as a vehicle with:

    • 2 wheels.
      • 1 wheel must be 10 inches or more in diameter.
    • A step-through chassis.
    • A seat for the operator.
    • A motor with 2.7 brake HP or fewer (if the motor is an internal combustion engine).
    • An engine displacement of 55 CC or fewer.

    In Mississippi law, the term “motorcycle” includes motor scooters. As such, you must have a motorcycle license or endorsement to ride a motor scooter in MS. You’ll also need to register your motor scooter with the MVS the same way you would register a standard motorcycle.

    You MUST wear a helmet that meets American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) criteria whenever you ride your motor scooter.

    NOTE: If your motor scooter was manufactured in 1980 or later, it must have a vehicle identification number (VIN) with 17 digits and an attached decal verifying the VIN conforms to National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards.

    Toy Vehicles

    If your cycle doesn’t meet the federal safety requirements or the above criteria for motor scooters, the state considers it a “toy vehicle” and you can’t title or register it, meaning you CANNOT operate it on public roadways. Certain mopeds, electric bicycles, and other cycles can fall into this “toy vehicle” category if they don’t meet the criteria.

    Autocycles

    An autocycle is a type of motorcycle that has:

    • 3 wheels.
    • Automotive controls.
    • Seat belts.
    • A roll cage or roll bar that encloses it.

    GENERALLY, you need a license and registration to operate an autocycle. Contact the Mississippi DPS at (601) 987-1212 to find out the type of license you need and the Motor Vehicle Licensing Bureau (601) 923-7200 at (601) 923-7200 to learn about autocycle titling and registration requirements.

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Texas

    The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has specific license and registration requirements for vehicles that don’t quite meet the criteria for a full-on motorcycle. Let’s see what you’ll need to do to get that moped, scooter, or autocycle out on the road.

    Texas Mopeds

    In Texas, a moped is defined as a motor-driven cycle that:

    • CANNOT drive faster than 30 MPH.
    • Has an engine that CANNOT generate more than 5 HP (horsepower).
      • ADDITIONALLY, if has an internal combustion engine, the piston displacement must NOT exceed 50 CCs, and the power drive system must NOT require the rider to shift gears.

    If your vehicle exceeds any of the above criteria, then it’s automatically classified as a motorcycle.

    TX Moped License & Registration

    To legally ride a moped in Texas, you must:

    • Be at least 15 years old.
    • Register your moped by following the same process for registering a motorcycle in TX.
      • The registration fee for mopeds is $30, plus all other applicable county fees.
    • Hold a Class M motorcycle license with a “P36” restriction; with this restriction you:

    Once you’ve registered your moped and have the appropriate license, remember that:

    • Your moped will need to:
      • Be insured at all times.
      • Pass annual safety and emissions inspections.
    • Wearing a helmet is ALWAYS required while operating your moped.

    TX Scooters

    In the state of Texas, motor-assisted scooters are self-propelled devices that have:

    • At least 2 wheels on the ground while riding.
    • Working brakes.
    • An electric or gas motor that doesn't exceed 40 CCs.
    • A deck where the driver can sit or stand while riding.
    • The option for human-power operation.

    If this describes your scooter, contact your local driver license/registration and titling office for information regarding license and registration requirements—these can vary depending on local rules and regulations.

    TX Autocycles

    Autocycles are classified in Texas as vehicles with:

    • 3 wheels or fewer on the ground.
    • A steering wheel.
    • Seating that does not require the driver to straddle or sit astride.

    You need a Class C license to legally operate an autocycle in Texas.

    To title and register your autocycle, follow the same process and requirements for standard motorcycles—head over to our page on registering a motorcycle in Texas for details.

    Finally, you’re ALWAYS required to wear a helmet when riding an autocycle in TX, and must follow the same safety laws as motorcycles. Be sure to read through the Texas motorcycle manual for tips on riding and information on motorcycle rules and regulations.

    TX Electric Bicycles

    In Texas, electric bicycles are bicycles that:

    • Can be powered by either an electric motor alone OR with combined human power.
    • CANNOT go faster than 28 MPH without applying human power.
    • No more than 750 watts.

    Electric Bicycle Rules

    For the most part, the Texas laws and safety requirements for bicycles apply to electric bicycles as well. You must ALWAYS:

    • Sit on or astride a permanent, fixed seat.
    • Ride as close as you can to the right side of the road when moving slower than other roadway traffic, unless roadway conditions or hazards make it unsafe to do so, or you are:
      • Passing a vehicle driving in the same direction.
      • Preparing to turn left.
      • Riding in an outside lane that is:
        • Less than 14 feet wide.
        • AND
        • Doesn't have an adjacent designated bicycle lane, or is too narrow for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to be able to ride side by side safely.
      • Riding side-by-side with another person on a bicycle.

    You must NEVER use your bicycle to:

    • Carry more people than the bike is designed to carry.
    • Carry anything that could prevent you from riding the bicycle with at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
    • Attach it to a vehicle or a streetcar on a roadway.

    All bicycles and electric bicycles must have with proper working brakes. If riding at nighttime, your bicycle must have:

    • A front lamp that projects a white light that can be seen from 500 feet in front of the bicycle.
    • A rear red reflector that is visible from 50 to 300 feet to the back of the bicycle when directly in front of other vehicles' beams and headlights.
    • A rear lamp that projects a red light that can be seen from 500 feet away from the back of the bicycle.

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Louisiana

    When it comes to other types of vehicles that are allowed on public roads, the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) focuses mostly on motor-driven cycles, which are types of motorcycles that have motors with 5 horsepower or less.

    Read on to learn more about the license, registration, and riding requirements for these types of vehicles.

    Motor-Driven Cycles in Louisiana

    The most common types of motor-driven cycles include motor scooters and mopeds (also referred to as motorized bikes).

    Louisiana defines a moped/motorized bike as a pedal bicycle that:

    • Can be propelled by a human, helper motor, or both.
    • Has 1.5 brake horsepower or less.
    • Doesn’t exceed 50 cc.
    • Has an automatic transmission.
    • Can’t travel faster than 25 MPH.

    To operate a motorized bike/moped, you must:

    Again, because the state might categorize your motor-driven cycle differently based on its specifications, it’s best to contact the LA OMV before applying for a license or registration for your bike.

    Motor-Driven Cycle Safety Laws

    You must follow these safety laws when operating a motor-driven cycle such as a moped, motorized bike, or qualifying scooter:

    • Only 1 person at a time can ride on a motor-driven cycle.
    • You must wear a helmet with a lining, padding, visor, and chin strap.
    • Your motor-driven cycle must have at least 1 headlamp (but not more than 2 headlamps) that:
      • Emits white light only.
      • Is between 24 and 54 inches when measured from the center.
      • Is visible from at least:
        • 100 feet when you’re operating it at any speed fewer than 25 MPH.
        • 200 feet when you’re operating it at 25 MPH or more.
        • 300 feet when you’re operating it at 35 MPH or more.
    • The cycle must have at least 1 reflector that is:
      • Mounted at a height of 20 to 60 inches.
      • Visible from between 100 and 350 feet at night.
    • Your cycle must have at least 1 brake, which can be a hand- or foot-operated brake.

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Georgia

    On this page, we’ll find out how Georgia defines scooters, mopeds, motorbikes, and other motor-driven cycles and look at what kind of license you need to apply for with the GA Department of Driver Services (DDS) to ride these vehicles.

    Georgia Mopeds

    Georgia defines a moped as any motor-driven cycle with an engine displacement of no more than 50 cc.

    To operate a moped in Georgia you:

    Georgia requires you to follow the same traffic laws all other motor vehicle drivers must obey, noting especially that:

    • You must wear a motorcycle helmet compliant with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
    • You CANNOT operate your moped on limited access highways or any roadways that have a minimum speed limit over 35 mph.

    Refer to both the Florida Motorcycle Operator’s Manual and the Driver’s Manual for details about motor-driven cycle safety tips and traffic laws.

    Scooters, Motorbikes, & Mini-Bikes in GA

    Georgia classifies any motor-driven cycle that meets the following criteria as a motorcycle, which can include motor scooters, motorbikes, and mini-bikes:

    • Has a seat or saddle for the rider.
    • Travels on 3 wheels at most when in contact with the ground.
    • Has an engine displacement of greater than 51 cc.

    To legally ride a scooter, mini-bike, or motorbike, you must:

    Similar to moped operators, people who operate scooters, motorbikes, and mini-bikes must obey the same traffic and safety laws as other Georgia drivers. Study Georgia’s Motorcycle Operator’s Manual and Driver’s Manual for details

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Maryland

    The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has clear definitions of motor scooters and mopeds, and there are certain licensing and registration requirements you must heed before hitting the road on one of these vehicles. Keep reading for more.

    What Is a Motor Scooter in MD?

    A motor scooter in Maryland is a motor vehicle with:

    • A step-through chassis.
    • No pedals.
    • A seat for the driver.
    • 2 wheels.
      • 1 wheel must be at least 10 inches in diameter.
    • An automatic transmission.
    • A motor with 2.7 HP or fewer OR an engine displacement of no more than 50 CCs if the motor is an internal combustion engine.
      • NOTE: If the motor has an engine displacement of 51 CCs or more, it’s considered a motorcycle—even if it meets all other motor scooter criteria.

    The MD MVA requires you to apply for a motor scooter title and decals.

    You can operate a motor scooter with a valid driver’s license of any class. If you don’t have a driver’s license and are at least 16 years old, you can apply for a Maryland moped license, which permits you to drive both mopeds and motor scooters.

    What Are Mopeds in Maryland?

    In Maryland, mopeds are bicycles that have:

    • A motor to assist human propulsion.
    • Pedals to mechanically drive the back wheel(s).
    • 2 or 3 wheels.
      • 1 wheel must be more than 14 inches in diameter.
    • A motor with 1.5 HP or fewer OR an engine displacement of no more than 50 CCs (if the motor is an internal combustion engine).

    You must title and request a decal for your moped.

    Just like with mopeds, you can drive a motor scooter with a valid driver’s license of any class. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you can apply for a moped license as long as you’re at least 16 years old.

    MD Moped License

    You must be at least 16 years old to apply for a moped license. Do so by going to your local full-service MVA office where you will need to:

    • Provide:
      • The required identity documents.
      • A moped license application (the MVA office should have these for you).
        • If you’re younger than 18 years old, you must have a parent or guardian with you to sign the application in front of an MVA representative.
      • Your Maryland photo identification card (if applicable).
        • You can’t have multiple state-issued IDs, permits, or licenses with your photograph.
      • The $45 moped license fee.
    • Pass a vision and moped knowledge test.
    • Have your photo taken.

    Once you meet all requirements, pass the tests, and pay the fee, the MVA representative will give you a temporary moped license, which is valid until you receive your permanent license in the mail, typically within 10 days of making your application.

    MD Motor Scooter & Moped Laws

    When you’re operating a motor scooter or moped, you:

    • Must wear a certified helmet and eye protection.
    • Can’t drive faster than 30 MPH.
    • Can’t operate on a road with a maximum speed limit that’s more than 50 MPH.
    • Must ride as close to the right side of the road as possible.
      • If the roadway has a bike lane or paved shoulder, you must use the lane or shoulder.
    • Can ride side by side with another moped or scooter only if doesn’t obstruct the flow of traffic.
    • Can carry a passenger only if the moped or scooter is equipped for passengers.

    Be sure to review Maryland’s motorcycle manual for more in-depth safety tips and rules.

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Michigan

    The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) has its own definition, licensing, and registration requirements for mopeds. You could also have a scooter, motorized bike, or other cycle on your hands, which will require some correspondence with the SOS to determine the best course of action.

    Let’s find out what type of vehicle you have and what you need to do.

    What Is a Moped in MI?

    A moped is a motor vehicle that:

    • Has 2 or 3 wheels.
    • Doesn’t have a gearshift.
    • Has an engine displacement of no more than 100 CCS.
    • Can travel no faster than 30 MPH.

    You must have a license and registration to operate a moped, which we’ll go over next.

    NOTE: If your vehicle exceeds the above criteria, the MI SOS considers it a motorcycle and you’ll need a motorcycle license or CY endorsement and must follow motorcycle registration requirements.

    Getting Your Moped License

    You can operate a moped with a valid MI driver’s license or chauffeur’s license; however, if you have neither and are at least 15 years old, you can apply for a moped license*.

    Applying for a moped license in Michigan is similar to applying for a driver’s license. Head to your local MI SOS office and:

    • Show the required proofs of:
      • Identity.
      • Social Security number.
      • Legal presence.
      • Michigan residency.
    • Pass the vision, knowledge, and traffic signs exams.
      • Use the state’s motorcycle manual and driver’s handbook to study for your knowledge and traffic signs tests.
      • You DON’T have to take a driver education course or pass a skills test for a moped license.
    • Have a parent or legal guardian sign your moped license application (provided at the SOS office) if you’re younger than 18 years old.
    • Pay the $7.50 moped license fee.

    If you’re younger than 20 1/2 years old, your moped license is valid until you turn 21 years old. Otherwise, your MI moped license expires 4 years from your last birthday.

    Renewals are good for 4 years and cost $6.

    *NOTE: You can’t have a driver’s or chauffeur’s license while also holding a moped license; if you eventually obtain a regular driver’s or chauffeur’s license, you must surrender your moped license to the Michigan SOS.

    Moped Registration

    You must register your moped UNLESS you drive it ONLY on private property.

    To register your moped, head to your local MI SOS office with:

    • A completed Application to Register a Moped (Form R2-L).
    • The applicable fees:
      • $15 for the registration decal.
      • Taxes as outlined on the application.

    You’ll receive a registration decal to affix to the back of your moped. Your registration is valid for 3 years and expires on April 30 of the year on your decal.

    Moped Operation Regulations

    While riding your moped, you must follow all traffic laws and abide by the following regulations specific to mopeds:

    • You must wear a helmet if you’re younger than 19 years old.
    • You CANNOT operate your moped:
      • On freeways.
      • Between lanes of traffic.
      • On sidewalks.
      • On bicycle paths.
      • Side-by-side with another moped.
    • You must drive on the right edge of the road.
    • You can carry only 1 passenger at a time.

    For more information regarding rules of the road and moped safety tips, refer to the state’s brochure:  Riding a Moped Safely (Form SOS-321).

    Scooters, Pocket Rockets, & Other Cycles

    Depending on their specifications, some motorized or electric scooters, motorized bikes, pocket rockets, mini-choppers, and other types of cycles might fit the definition of mopeds OR motorcycles.

    GENERALLY, these vehicles don’t have the equipment required to legally operate on public roadways and therefore can’t be registered. However, sometimes these vehicles must be registered as a moped or motorcycle. Again, it all depends on their specs.

    Since the requirements for these types of vehicles are fairly subjective, contact the MI SOS for more information specific to your cycle.

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Minnesota

    Minnesota’s Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) has specific requirements regarding licenses, titles, and registrations for low-powered vehicles, and those requirements depend on whether you have a scooter, moped, electric bicycle, or less-common type of cycle. We’ll cover all of that with this guide.

    Motor Scooters in Minnesota

    Minnesota law doesn’t differentiate motor scooters from motorcycles in terms of licensing, title, and registration requirements.

    A motor scooter’s build is what differentiates it from a motorcycle: you know you have a motor scooter if the cycle has:

    • Low footrests for the operator.
    • An engine located beneath the operator’s seat.
    • A step-through design.
    • A lower weight and engine capacity than a motorcycle.
    • A top speed under 60 MPH.

    If your cycle exceeds the specifications of the vehicles below, you probably have a motor scooter (or motorcycle), and must follow the same processes for title, registration, and licensing that are applicable to motorcycles in Minnesota before riding it.

    If you’re unsure about whether you have a scooter or would like more information, contact the MN DVS for assistance.

    Moped Permits & Licenses

    You can operate a moped or motorized bike with a valid driver’s license. If you don’t have a license, you'll need to obtain a moped permit, which you must be at least 15 years old to apply for.

    BEFORE going in to apply for a moped permit, you must complete a state-approved moped safety course. You may take the class if you are 14 years old, but you must wait until you’re 15 years old to apply for the permit.

    Once you’ve completed your moped safety course, head to your local DVS office and:

    • Submit:
      • Acceptable documents to prove your identity.
      • A certificate of completion for the moped safety course you took.
      • A parental approval slip if you’re younger than 18 years old (these slips are available at the DVS).
      • The $6.75 moped examination and permit fee.
    • Pass the vision and knowledge tests.

    Once you pass your knowledge test, the DVS will issue you a moped instruction permit valid for 30 days*. The instruction permit allows you to practice driving within 1 mile of your home before you take your on-cycle skills exam.

    When your instruction period is up, it’s time to take your skills exam and apply for your full moped permit. Before going in for the skills test, review the Minnesota Motorcycle and Motorized Bicycle Manual for a quick refresher on moped riding laws and best practices.

    When you feel prepared to take your on-cycle test, go back to the DVS office with:

      • Your moped instruction permit.
      • Proof of insurance for the moped on which you'll test.
      • DOT-approved helmet and eye protection.
    • A parental approval slip (if you’re younger than 18 years old), which is available at the DVS.
    • The applicable full moped permit fee:
      • Under 21 years old: $17.75.
      • 21 years old or older: $23.75.

    *NOTE: If you’re younger 16 years old, you can only carry a parent or guardian with you as a passenger during this period.

    Moped Operation Restrictions

    When riding your moped or motorized bike in Minnesota, you must abide by the following moped-specific rules:

    • You may not ride on bicycle lanes, trails, or interstate freeways.
    • You must operate as close to the right side of the road as possible.
    • If you are younger than 18 years old, you must wear a helmet.
    • Your moped must have a working headlight and taillight for nighttime operation.
      • "Nighttime" means 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise.
    • If you are younger than 16 years old, you may not ride with passengers unless the passenger is a parent/guardian.

    Other Types of Cycles

    If your vehicle doesn’t fit into the moped or motorized bike category, you might have a low-power or unconventional vehicle. We’ve outlined some of the most common types below—including their licensing, title, and registration requirements—but you can refer to the state’s descriptions and regulations for traffic law details as well as additional vehicles.

    Motorized Foot Scooters

    A motorized foot scooter is a device that:

    • You can stand or sit on (although a seat isn’t required).
    • Has handlebars.
    • Is powered by an electric motor or an internal combustion engine.
    • Has wheels no larger than 12 inches in diameter.
    • Has a maximum speed of no more than 15 MPH on a flat surface.

    You must be at least 12 years old to operate a motorized foot scooter, and you DO NOT need a license or registration.

    Electric-Assisted Bicycles

    An electric bicycle is one that has:

    • 2 or 3 wheels.
    • A saddle and operable pedals.
    • An electric motor of up to 1,000 watts.
    • A motor that disengages when you brake.
    • A maximum speed of 20 mph.

    You DO NOT need a license or registration, but you must be at least 15 years old to operate an electric-assisted bike.

    Pocket Bikes

    In Minnesota, pocket bikes have various names: mini-bikes, mini-motorcycles, mini-choppers, etc.

    Regardless of what you call it, you have one if it:

    • Resembles a miniature motorcycle with wheels approximately 10 inches in diameter.
    • Has a saddle approximately 2 feet from the ground.
    • Is powered by a gas engine with a displacement of no more than 49 CC.
      • Some models have electric power.
    • Weighs anywhere from 30 to 100 pounds.
    • Has a maximum speed ranging from 30 to 50 MPH.

    MOST OFTEN, pocket bikes aren’t allowed on public roads, so you don’t need to title or register them or have a special license. However, because models vary, it’s safest to contact the DVS for requirements specific to your bike.

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Utah

    Who Needs a Motorcycle License?

    If your vehicle has no more than 3 wheels, a motor with any size engine displacement, and no pedals and you want to drive it on public roads, you'll need a motorcycle license. This includes scooters (like Vespas). The type of motorcycle you'll be permitted to drive will depend upon the type of motorcycle you take your driving test on.

    Motorized bicycles, which are also referred to as mopeds or electric-assisted bicycles, that have pedals and do not exceed 50 cc do not require a motorcycle endorsement. However, you will need a driver's license.

    Title & Registration

    You must title and register your two-wheeled, motor-driven vehicle, if you plan to take it out on public roads.

    NOTE: A moped does not require registration.

    Motor-Assisted Scooters

    Motor-assisted scooters are usually used by teens and children. Rules are a bit different for these. The state defines a motor-assisted scooter as a self-propelled vehicle that has:

    • At least 2 wheels on the ground
    • A braking system
    • An electric motor that does not exceed  2000 watts .
    • Either a deck designed to stand on, or a seat designed for a person to sit, straddle, or stand on while operating the vehicle
    • Been designed to be capable of being propelled by human power alone

    You don't need to register or title these scooters.

    Minors

    If you're under 15 years old and driving while using the scooter, you must be under the "direct supervision" of your parent or legal guardian. What does that mean? It's defined as overseeing the rider at a distance at which contact is maintained and advice and assistance can be given and received.

    If you're under 8 years old, you can't ride your scooter while using the motor on any public property, highway, path, or sidewalk.

    County Rules

    In addition, each county may have its own additional rules regarding these vehicles, so it wouldn't hurt to check with local law enforcement before taking it out on the road.

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Kentucky

    Kentucky defines many motor-driven cycles as mopeds—and implements both moped license and registration requirements. With this guide, we’ll teach you all the preliminary steps you need to take before hitting the road on your moped.

    What Are Mopeds in KY?

    In Kentucky, mopeds are motor-driven cycles with or without pedals that have:

    • An engine with no more than 2 brake horsepower.
    • A cylinder capacity of 50 CCs or less.
    • Automatic transmission that doesn’t require shifting or clutching once engaged.
    • Can’t operate faster than 30 MPH.

    If your vehicle doesn’t meet the above criteria and is not a motorcycle, it may fall under another class of motor-driven cycle that cannot be driven on public roadways.

    In Kentucky, you are NOT required to register your moped. You do, however, need specific credentials to operate a moped. We’ll go over those next.

    Getting a KY Moped License

    You must be at least 16 years old to operate a moped in Kentucky.

    You can legally ride a moped if you already have a valid Kentucky:

    • Standard learner’s permit or driver’s license.
    • Motorcycle permit or license.
    • Commercial learner’s permit or driver’s license.

    If you don’t have any of the above credentials, you can apply for a Class E Moped License by heading to your circuit court clerk’s office, where you’ll need to:

    • Submit:
      • A moped license application (available at the circuit court clerk’s office).
        • If you’re younger than 18 years old, a parent or guardian must come with you to sign the application.
      • Proof of your KY residency.
      • Your birth certificate.
      • Your Social Security card (cannot be laminated).
      • Payment for the applicable moped license fees—call the circuit court clerk’s office ahead of time to find out how much you’ll owe.
    • Pass the general knowledge and vision tests.

    Once you have your moped license, review the Kentucky Motorcycle Manual for tips and skills to keep you safe on the road.

    NOTE: If you decide to apply for a regular driver’s license, motorcycle license, or commercial driver’s license later on, you must surrender the moped license to your county clerk’s office after obtaining your other permit or license.

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in North Carolina

    If you have a moped, scooter, or motorized bicycle, make sure it’s street-legal before you take it on a ride. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has special rules that pertain to these vehicles.

    Read on to learn more about these transportation options and how to operate them legally in North Carolina.

    NC Mopeds

    A moped in North Carolina is classified as a motor vehicle—aside from a motorized bicycle—that has:

    • Either 2 or 3 wheels.
    • A motor that:
      • Has a piston displacement of 50 CC or less.
      • Is electric, alternative fuel, or gas powered.
      • Propels the vehicle at up to 30 MPH—and no faster—on flat ground.
    • No external device for shifting gears.

    To ride a moped on NC highways or public areas, you:

    • Must be 16 years old or older.
    • ALL riders have to wear a helmet.
    • Do not need a license.
    • Must have your moped registered with the DMV.

    Electric Bicycle

    Electric-assisted bicycles, or E-bikes, are defined by North Carolina’s DMV as cycles that have:

    • A seat or saddle.
    • Functional pedals.
    • Either 2 or 3 wheels.
    • An electric motor that:
      • Propels the vehicle no more than 20 MPH with no pedaling on flat ground.
      • Uses no more than 750 watts.

    E-bikes do not require:

    • A registration.
    • A title.
    • Riders to have a license.
      • Age restrictions often apply, however. Please contact your local DMV office with any questions about restrictions for minors.

    Motor-Driven Bicycle

    North Carolina’s definition of a motor-driven bicycle is a non-electric powered vehicle that has:

    • Handlebars and pedals.
    • Either 2 or 3 wheels.
    • 1 or 2 seats.
    • A motor that CANNOT push the vehicle more than 20 MPH on a flat surface with no pedaling.

    Sometimes law enforcement agencies put motor-driven bicycles in the same class as mopeds, so be sure to check with your local DMV office to see if you need to register your motorized bicycle.

    Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in South Carolina

    Mopeds, scooters, and motorized bicycles are great for enjoying the open road. But before you make that purchase, make sure you know the rules and restrictions that apply to your vehicle.

    Fortunately, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a clear set of guidelines so you can hit the road safely and legally.

    Mopeds Requirements in SC

    A moped is defined by South Carolina as a cycle that has:

    • An automatic transmission.
    • 3 wheels or fewer.
    • A motor that is fuel- and/or electric-powered and:
      • Is EITHER:
        • 50 CC or less for gas motors.
          OR
        • Between 750 to 1500 watts for electric motors.

    Mopeds can, but are not required to, have functioning pedals.

    Mopeds are required to be registered and have a license plate. Titling your moped is not required but is recommended.
    To register your moped you must bring to the DMV:

    • Completed Application to Title and/or Register a Moped (Form 400).
    • Proof of ownership (bill of sale and vehicle registration certificate, manufacturer's certificate of origin, or other proof of ownership).
    • Model name, serial number, date of sale, engine cubic centimeters or wattage, condition (new or used)
    • Previous plate number if transferring a previously registered moped.
    • Registration fee: $10. (an additional $15 if you are also titling your moped along with all the documentation for registration).

    You can ride a moped with a basic driver’s license in South Carolina. If you DO NOT have a basic auto license, you can get a moped license through the SCDMV. See the section below for details on getting a moped license.

    Apply for a SC Moped License

    If you DO NOT have a South Carolina driver’s license and you want to ride a moped, you can get a moped license instead. You must be at least 14 years old.

    Visit your local DMV office with:

    You’ll have to pass vision and knowledge tests. You are not required to pass a road skills test to get a South Carolina moped license.

    Trikes & Autocycles in SC

    To drive a motorcycle with 3 wheels—often referred to as a trike, you DO NOT need a motorcycle license. You can drive these vehicles with any license EXCEPT a moped license.

    Autocycles are similar vehicles that are rapidly gaining popularity. Like motorcycles and trikes, autocycles are vehicles that operate with no more than 3 wheels.

    Unlike trikes, autocycles have a:

    • Steering wheel instead of handlebars.
    • Seat that doesn’t require the driver and passengers to straddle it.

    Autocycle drivers are required to hold at least a Class D basic auto license.

    Both vehicle types are required to be:

    • Insured.
    • Titled.
    • Registered.
      • The registration fee for a trike is $10 every 2 years.

    For information on insuring, registering, and titling these vehicles please contact your local DMV office, or call the SC DMV at (803) 896-5000.

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