Big Legal Hitch With Street Lights/horn

Discussion in 'Spare Parts, Tools & Product Developement' started by Mike S, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    After solving the lighting problem and applying for a patent, I have come into a big legal problem. I wanted to apply for a moped license in Illinois and was told by Illinois Secretary of State that it is illegal in Illinois to install a motor on a bicycle frame. They are in the process of making a decision on this, but to date, a motorized bicycle is illegal on the streets even if it has all the
    lighting/horn, etc. required by Illinois law for a motorcycle. I have to decide what to do. We were getting ready to make a video, and wanted to shoot with plates on the bike. What a bummer. The bike has turn signals, stop light, front halogen light and a horn, and is still illegal. Mike S
     

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I don't think I'd sweat it. That sounds more like a bureaucrat trying to get rid of you than actual law. He just figured he'd be done with you the easy way.

    Ride like a boy scout and the cops won't even notice you.
     
  3. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Perhaps you could licence it as a custom made motorcycle?
     
  4. DougC

    DougC Guest

    The IL motor vehicle code does not say that motorized bicycles are prohibited.
    As long as the engine falls under the moped engine size/speed imitations, no registration or insurance is required, as those are for motor vehicles only and can't be applied to bicycles under the current IL MVC. And anything with a moped-size engine wouldn't need a license endorsement anyway.

    Under Chapter 1 "Title and Definitions"-
    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilc...SeqEnd=29300000&ActName=Illinois+Vehicle+Code.

    the technical definition of a bicycle does not prohibit use of a motor:
    "... (625 ILCS 5/1‑106) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 1‑106)
    Sec. 1‑106. Bicycle. Every device propelled by human power upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels except scooters and similar devices.
    (Source: P.A. 85‑951.) ..."

    Note that no mention of motorized bicycles being prohibited is mentioned, only that it must be able to be propelled by human power.
    And the "scooters" this section refers to are children's unmotorized kick scooters, because any motorized street-legal scooter (like a Vespa) would have a VIN#, and codes elsewhere cover them.

    Under Chapter 11 Article 15, "Bicycles", there is no mention that motorized bicycles are prohibited or allowed:
    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilc...eqEnd=120700000&ActName=Illinois+Vehicle+Code.

    That might change in the future, but that's the way it is now.
    I emailed the state DMV website, and this was their explanation.

    ----------

    Who exactly told you this?
    I have noted elsewhere:
    a bicycle cannot be registered as a moped in IL at all, because there's no way to get a title for a bicycle, because a bicycle doesn't have a VIN# (just using any serial number for an IL title won't do; the IL registration system only accepts federal-format VIN#s).
    ~
     
  5. DougC

    DougC Guest

    In Illinois you cannot do this.

    To register a vehicle, you need a title, and to get a title issued, you need a VIN#.

    IL's registration system will not accept anything but federal-format 17-digit VIN#s. Bicycles have serial numbers, but don't have VIN#s at all. You can't legally make one up, and there's no way to get one from the IL Dept of Motor Vehicles.

    {When a motor vehicle manufacturer applies a VIN# to a vehicle, they are stating that the vehicle qualifies into some federal classification of motor vehicles.... and there's no federal class of motor vehicles that bicycles could technically qualify under}
    ~
     
  6. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    How would one register a custom built car there?
     
  7. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Typically, at the DMV for every state where I've ever lived, you can get a form for the sate to issue a VIN for 'one-of' vehicles, kit vehicles, and the like. You fill out the pertinent data, give 'em a few bucks, and you get a new VIN issued. Then, that VIN is used to register it.
     
  8. HERPER

    HERPER Member

    "Ride like a boy scout and the cops won't even notice you."


    sooo true. im from boston, kinda like illinois haha, but anyways i been riding alot lately and running into cops. the most ive been told is "hi, how are you" the rest just look at you. but what i figured is i was riding safley, wearing a helmet and have lighting on it.

    oo and btw i plan on registering. i havent yet
     
  9. QUOTE=Mike S;147321]After solving the lighting problem and applying for a patent, I have come into a big legal problem. I wanted to apply for a moped license in Illinois and was told by Illinois Secretary of State that it is illegal in Illinois to install a motor on a bicycle frame. They are in the process of making a decision on this, but to date, a motorized bicycle is illegal on the streets even if it has all the
    lighting/horn, etc. required by Illinois law for a motorcycle. I have to decide what to do. We were getting ready to make a video, and wanted to shoot with plates on the bike. What a bummer. The bike has turn signals, stop light, front halogen light and a horn, and is still illegal. Mike S[/QUOTE]

    GE mike It seems to me that all tour "hard work" patenting some thing a 10 year old with a soldering iron and basic knologe of OHMs lawcould build. Was for not. AH Justice:grin:
     
  10. DougC

    DougC Guest

    IL does do that--but the catch there is, that there is a technical inspection. The vehicle must be built to comparable roadworthiness standards currently in place for the class of motor vehicle that you are applying it under--and bicycles can't pass technical standards for motorcycles. It's not just lights and horns (which need to be DOT-rated)--it's wheel strength, frame strength and braking performance too.

    For another thing, all tires for street-legal vehicles need to be DOT-rated,,, and there's no bicycle tires that are DOT-rated. So they can fail your inspection for the tires alone.
    ~
     
  11. Notsure about Il. but many states you canfill out a form submit a fee and get a vin issued, regester it as "vintage replica" there are many states that will allow it , at that point you have to meet dot standards of the vintage vehicle. I.E. if its a reproduction 1910 whizzer you have to meet the standards of a 1910 whizzer, not a 2008 crotch rocket.
     
  12. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    Although the law in Illinois doesn't specifically oulaw motors on bikes, it makes putting a motor on a bicycle illegal from a different angle, by not granting a title to a motorized bicycle because the frame is not approved by the bicycle manufacturer for a motor. Without a title, one can not apply for plates, so in effect, it is not possible now to legally install a motor on a bicycle in Illinois. I didn't just talk to a clerk, but to a person in state office in Springfield who handles the paper work for granting titles for custom vehicles. She said she had many requests for titles from folks putting motors on bicycles, and that they are now making a decision whether or not to allow this. I also learned a title can not be granted for a modified go kart for street use, because the go kart frame is not designed for street use. To build a legal trike motorbike, the vehicle would have to be built from the ground up and the sales paper work for the parts supplied to the state, probably to prevent thieves from getting new titles for stolen vehicles. Anyway, I'm currently stuck in Illinois. Mike S
     
  13. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    One more point: I'd like to know if other states are like Illinois? Is this just an Illinois thing, or do other states outlaw motors on bicycles frames? How about Wisconsin? Maybe, I could ride up in Wisconsin. MIke S
     
  14. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    I'm going to check with the DMV again, to verify Doug's comments that a motorized bicycle does not have to be registered as long as it has a moped engine and doesn't exceed moped speed. This would be a very important point, which would allow me to ride in Illinois without plates. Doug, where did you get this info, and how sure are you? Mike
     
  15. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    I am checking with Illinois sources about Illinois law, but have already found an answer on: www.cyberdriveIllinois.com which under FAQ specifically states that motorized bicycles have to be registered under Illinois law, meaning Illinois plates would be required.
    Since they are not now granting titles, to allow for plates, this basically closes out motorized bicycles in Illinois at the present time. Mike
     
  16. DougC

    DougC Guest

    Exactly what part are you looking at that says this?
    ~
     
  17. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    Check the fAQ's and it states motorized bicycles also need to be registered in Illinois. Mike
     
  18. DougC

    DougC Guest

    Well, I'm riding mine.
    The DMV said it was legal, and no police have bothered me.

    I don't know what you're looking at when you see this stuff.

    If it says "motorized pedalcycles" then it means mopeds, and in IL your bicycle cannot qualify as a moped at all, and whatever requirements mopeds have doesn't apply to a bicycle.

    It would either need to be in the motor vehicle code, which is here-
    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilc...erName=VEHICLES&ActName=Illinois+Vehicle+Code.
    (chapter 11 article 15 is bicycles)

    or it would need to be in the 2007/2008 updates pdf on the cyberdrive website:
    http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/police/lawupdate0708.pdf
    but I checked a couple examples and and those changes are already rolled into the compiled statutes, of which the motor vehicle code is part of.
    ~
     
  19. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    Today, I got a definitive answer from three police investigators in Illinois responsible for informing the public and police about Illinois law. At the present time, a motorzied bicycle can not be driven legally on the streets in Illinois, regardless if it has lights, horn, etc. A custom moped built on an original moped frame could be registered, but not a bicycle frame with a motor. The state of Illinois is now making a decision whether or not to allow motorized bicycles to be registered for street use, and until the state makes a decision in the affirmative, it is illegal to ride a motorized bicycle on public roads in Illinois, period. Mike S
     
  20. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    Doug, you are absolutely wrong. Although a motorized bicycle is not a moped, it still is
    not legal to drive on public roads in Illinois. If you don't believe me, you may verify this by contacting Illiinois state police at 1-630-693-0551. You may also contact the the department responsible for registering custom vehicles in Illinois, at 1-217-557-2086.
    Luan will inform you about the decision now being made in Illinois to allow motorzied bicycles to be driven on Illinois roads. Whether or not you are stopped by police depends on their understanding of Illinois law. If you come accross an officer who knows the law, well, expect a ticket. Mike S
     
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