Moped License Requirements
- Mopeds, which are basically motorized scooters, are popular for their small size, efficiency, low cost, and great gas mileage. However, like any motorized vehicle, there are licensing requirements and operating laws that must be understood and followed. It is important to research the various types of mopeds and familiarize yourself with your state's laws before making a moped purchase.
- The requirements for a moped license vary from state to state. Some states consider mopeds to be a motorcycle and require a motorcycle license in order to operate them, while other states require only a driver's license. Some states don't require any license at all, and have an age requirement instead (i.e., over 14). To determine your state's moped policies, visit moped2.org or contact your local DMV.
- Because various states view mopeds differently, it can be confusing to determine the distinction between mopeds and motorcycles. Mopeds are typically defined as two-wheeled vehicles that have a motor of 50 cc and a top speed of 35 mph. However, there are mopeds with 125 cc and 250 cc motors that can reach speeds of up to 80 mph. These faster mopeds usually have the same licensing requirements as motorcycles.
- If your state considers mopeds to be motorcycles, you will need to get a motorcycle license before operating a moped. The process of getting a motorcycle license is similar to getting your regular driver's license, and consists of a road test and a written theory test. You will also have to get a license plate for your moped, as well as insurance coverage.
- If your moped is not considered a motorcycle by your state, the licensing process is simpler. No motorcycle license is required, and being above the age of 14 may be all you need to take your moped out on the street. However, you might still need to register your moped and purchase a license plate. Registration fees are typically around $10. Your moped may be permitted only on certain roads; for example, certain states don't allow mopeds on highways. This may not be an issue, because the low "top speed" of many mopeds prevents them from being suitable for highway driving anyway. Mopeds with larger motors are fast enough for highway use, so it is important to know if it is allowed in your state. Check with your local DMV to determine where moped use is allowed in your state.