Going Legal in PA

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by scribbles, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. scribbles

    scribbles Member

    Well its going to be a long journey but i will soon have a street legal home made moped.... aka motorized bike.... With all my research finished. i learned i cant go over 50cc and must have break lights turn signals and a head lights to ride on the street... After the bike is finished i must get it approved for the road by an Enhanced Vehicle Inspector. Then i must buy moped insurance about 60 dollars a year. Summit all to the state and receive title and a registered PA moped plate for my bike.

    So to sum it all up
    50cc kit about $250
    Inspection $40
    Insurance $60
    Registration $6
    Look on Police Officers face when i get pulled over and im legit.....

    "SUPER HILARIOUS" since one of the cops at my college is a strict butt hole... :grin:

  2. StevePA

    StevePA New Member

    I have been wondering how that all works. There are an awful lot of contradictions in the PA vehicle code with respect to the definitions. If you are going for a Moped then go for it. If, however, you are driving a Motorized Pedalcycle then you are exempt from inspection. http://www.dot3.state.pa.us/pdotforms/pub_45/section_jk.pdf Check out the very end of section J.

    Keep us posted. I will be interested to know how you make out with PennDot!
  3. buck

    buck Member

    Yes, Pennsylvania laws are very confusing. I believe that the "motorized pedalcycle" is the route to take. Mopeds have all of the licensing requirements and "motorized pedalcycles" seem to be exempt. I have a friend that rides a happy time cruiser daily in nice weather. The police just wave at him and smile. I am no attorney, but take a look at the last paragraph of the fact sheet. Thanks / Buck

    Attached Files:

  4. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    Trying to get through all the contradictions in the vehicle code caused me to give up trying to get my '46 Columbia tagged for the street. On one hand, it says that "Motorized pedalcycles and side-cars for motorcycles are not titled in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." Yet on another page of the booklet I have it states that in order to be registered it needs to be titled. One hand doesn't know what the other is doing. I don't worry about it riding around town because the police in town are familiar with my bike, they know about the grey area and they know I won't be an idiot on it. They just wave at me and smile. But now that I have a Whizzer that is tagged for the road, I'm able to venture farther afield. :smile:
  5. Alan

    Alan Member

    The biggest hurdle is when you go for the inspection. They still call it a bicycle and fail you. I hope you get it legalized. And please let us know the outcome.

    PS. Don't forget mirror(s) and a horn.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  6. StevePA

    StevePA New Member

    Haaa! Alan, I just saw your location!
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  7. StevePA

    StevePA New Member

  8. Alan

    Alan Member

    PennDOT told me mopeds and motorized pedalcycles are one and the same. Moped is an abbreviation.

    What if I bought an old used junk moped for it's title, then stamp my MB with the moped VIN#, while also transferring the badges/ name plate/ stickers to the MB ? And of course, I'll make sure the bike has lighting, horn, etc.
    Am I nuts ? Well... I'll re-phrase that. Can it work?
  9. buck

    buck Member

    The DMV fact sheet came from Pennsylvania Bureau of Motor Vehicles - Research and Support Operations Section.

    The fact sheet is archived at:

    My friend that rides the happy time carries a copy of this with him, just in case. He also picked up a copy of the new fact sheet that doesn't have "motorized pedalcycle" listed in the last paragraph. He contacted his state representative about the difference in the fact sheets. He was told that the law is still in effect, and they didn't know why it was omitted.

    You could send both copies to your state representative, and ask him if
    "motorized pedalcycles" are not titled in Pennsylvania.

    Let us know how you make out. Thanks / Buck
  10. scribbles

    scribbles Member

    Ok i have talked to every one from Harrisburg to title agencies and to make every thing easy here is a step by step check list to go legal in PA

    1. Get a sturdy safe pedal bike. (gears dont matter since they are on the bike)
    2. Attach an engine that is under 50cc. Since it has one gear it is considered an atomatic.
    3. Configure a head light (dot approved is best) and working brake light. The best way is to use this lever with the front brake ElectricScooterParts.com - Brake Levers
    4. No need for turn signals
    5. Have some kind of horn
    7. Ask them to do an Inspection with a MV-426B form with pictures ($160)
    8. Buy Moped insurance for about 60 dollars a year
    9. Go to an title registration office. With prof of insurance and the MV-426B form and you pictures of the bike.
    10. Wait 3 to 8 weeks for title
    11. Get bike registered with new title and receive a MOPED plate
    12. Now YOU ARE LEGAL!!!

    I should be legal by Mid August ill keep every one posted if i encounter problems...
  11. Alan

    Alan Member

    Most importantly, tell us WHICH station you went to. I'll go to the same one.

    Is the inspection 160. ? I knew money was the problem. They just want to rob us. :lol:

    Either way, we are waiting to see the outcome. You might be the first that I know of.

    Wishing you the best of luck !!


    PS I believe you will need a rear view mirror too. Be prepared just in case.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  12. StevePA

    StevePA New Member

    Ok, Here is what I gleaned from the previous posts:
    Alan: No, I don't think that is a good idea. Besides, according to scribbles research, you need to submit form MV-426B (Request for title for Specially constructed/reconstructed vehicles). There is a checkbox on that form to have PennDot assign the VIN number.

    buck said:
    That is an extremely important distinction. If the first fact sheet is correct that they don't need to be titled then scribbles doesn't need to go through the title process.

    Given that Pennsylvania loves to regulate everything, my suspicion is that scribbles is correct. You would think, however, that as concerned as the present administration is with reducing Pennsylvania's energy consumption, they would make it easier rather than harder to use lower emitting alternatives. Personally I don't see why they don't fall under the same rules as regular pedal bicycles ('pedalcycles') since the only realy performance difference that I see is increased range.
  13. scribbles

    scribbles Member

    o yeah i for got about the mirror that is needed to...

    well the reason im doing all of this is so i can ride at my collage with out getting in trouble... I have to follow my colleges policy as well as the state... Technology you could ride on the streets with an engine under 50cc and consider it an assist but if you get that one jerk cop he could fine you 2500 dollars.... This total is right because he will hit u for no lights title registration blah blah blah.. And there is that kind of cop at My school because he fined my friend that total when pocket bikes were popular. Plus My schools policy is no unregistered motor vehicles on the streets at any time.

    so about 300 to 400 dollars to go legal compared to trying to ride free with the possibility of a 2500 dollar fine... hmmm ill pay 400 any day
  14. kengorman

    kengorman New Member

    Pennsylvania Enhanced Inspection Station

    A list of Pennsylvania Enhanced Inspection Stations can be found here.

  15. scribbles

    scribbles Member

    I all most got the bike finished i am going to post pictures and create a build thread tomorrow and ill post the link in this thread as well...
  16. autobo7

    autobo7 Member

    where do you insure your cycle for 60 bucks?
  17. kengorman

    kengorman New Member

    Cheap insurance

    I called my insurance agent inquiring about insuring what Pennsylvania calls a "motorized pedalcycle" - essentially a bicycle with a motor less than 50cc and 1.5 bhp.

    She had to do some research and call an under-writer to see if they'd even insure such a thing, but she got back to me later in the afternoon. She quoted me $190 total for similar coverages that I currently have on my auto-insurance policy ($100k/person $300k/accident liability). When I pressed about "minimum" insurance (the minimum required by the state), although reluctant to tell me, she did quote me a price of $18/year.

    I contacted both my local state representative and my local state senator about the motorized pedalcycle laws in PA. My representative, Katharine Watson got back to me. (actually, a staff worker in her office got back to me.) I expressed my concerns how Pennsylvania now grouped all forms of assist-type bicycles into the same category as mopeds whereas, previously, any bicycle with an assist type motor (i.e. less than 50cc, less than 1.5hp, or if electric, less than 750 watts) wouldn't alter the classification of a bicycle - it would still be considered a bicycle even though it had an assist type motor. Mopeds primary form of propulsion is the engine and the pedals are used on as as-needed or necessity basis. I intend to use a motor-assisted bicycle (probably using a small electric motor versus an internal combustion engine) as an assist means only where the primary source of propulsion will still be the rider and the motor will be used to "assist" on steep climbs, into strong headwinds, etc. Classifying any bicycle with an assist motor puts a great burden on the rider - both the financial burden of insurnace, registration, titling, inspection; and the time burden of researching the laws and regulations.

    To date, I don't know of anyone who has successfully registered and titled a motor assisted bicycle in Pennsylvania. I dare not ride on illegally on the streets - I'm not afraid of the police officers who'd fine me, I'm afraid of the financial liability should I get into an accident and injure someone. If I ride my bicyle on the roads, my homeowner's insurance covers me in that situation. By simply attaching a motor, no matter how small, to my bicycle, automatically disqualifies both my homeowner's insurance and my auto insurance until that bicycle is legally titled and insured.

    My next steps are getting in touch with an "Enhanced Inspection Station" and determine exactly what the steps are. Many here have reported back, however, the information has been conflicting. I'm still unsure whether one needs DOT approved tires (for instance)? Actually, I'm sure whether anyone even makes DOT approved tires that fir 26" rims.


  18. StevePA

    StevePA New Member

    Did you get a response from your state representatives? I have contemplated contacting mine but figured it you be more effective as part of a coordinated effort.
  19. kengorman

    kengorman New Member

    A staffer from my representative's office called me. My PA State Representative is Katharine Watson. The staffer didn't offer anything other than to listen my concerns and forward them along.

    I'd be happy to join any coordinated effort. If you know of someone organizing one, let me know.


  20. ashorn

    ashorn New Member

    Legal in PA yet ?

    Going to ask the Enhanced Vehicle Inspection Station near me here in Bangor PA.
    I found one on the list and low and behold he is a friend of my cousin. Going to
    stop out one day next week and get the real story from him.

    The Form MV-426B is a little confusing but I am going to have him look at it.
    I know he gets some of the "Rods" on the road for the local builders. I am sure
    he has been down this road before.

    Scribbles how far did you get, did you run in to any problems ??

    I have been riding my bike for almost a year now and have only one Cop
    give me a stare. I really ride the back roads and for the most part see
    one or two cars during a 20 mile ride.