Michigan Motorized Bicycle Laws

License Required & Registration Required

  1. FromDustinToAshes

    FromDustinToAshes New Member

    I have no license due to owing the S.O.S. several thousand dollars for D.U.I. and I was just wondering if I were to build a little motorized bike if it would be legal for me to buzz around on? Thanks in advance.
     

  2. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    Technically you would have to register it as a moped. However, I have never registered and never had a problem.
     
  3. FromDustinToAshes

    FromDustinToAshes New Member

    Alright. Thanks for the reply.
     
  4. jesse8931

    jesse8931 New Member

    iam not sure about a dui but michigan laws are very sketchy i have my bike registerd as a moped and i have a sticker for it cost me 15 bucks no need for turn signals head light etc just don't get caught going over 25
     
  5. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    If you build it as a moped, do you need a license to ride a moped in Michigan? I don't know. That is the question.
     
  6. jesse8931

    jesse8931 New Member

    yes but just putting a motor under 50cc makes it a moped not matter what you stick it on as long it has 2 or 3 wheels
     
  7. mac66

    mac66 New Member

    There really is no definition of a motorized bicycle in Michigan law. Michigan only defines mopeds, low speed vehicles and personal mobility devices. Technically, a gas powered bike could fall under the moped law. A moped is anything with a motor under 50cc with less that 2 brake horse power. A moped has to be registered but they also have to have lights, turn signals, brake lights. You have to have a driver's license.

    On the other hand, since a motorized bike cannot be registered without putting all the stuff on it, it kind of falls outside the moped law. Frankly, I don't know any cops (I am a retired cop) that considers a motorized bike a moped and I don't any who would give them a second look unless you were doing something stupid on one.

    My advice is that unless you have to ride long distances, get an electric which is more stealthy. If you get decide to get a gas bike, get one that doesn't look like a motorcycle and be discrete when you ride it. In other words don't run old ladies and kids off the sidewalks and bike paths and obey the speed limits. Oh, and don't ride it when you are drunk because they can bust you for DUI.

    FYI. A personal mobility device is a Segway. A "low speed vehicle" is a golf cart or other vehicle that has been modified to be able to drive on the roads with speed limits under 25 mph. A LSV has to have turn signals, lights, brake lights, a windshield and wipers and has to be registered and licensed. You have to have driver's license to operate it on the street.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2008
  8. jesse8931

    jesse8931 New Member

    well your wrong go look at this
    http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127--179815--,00.html
    it says nothing about turn signals etc and you do not have to have a driver license in mi because i do not have one and i have 2 mopeds i should know
     
  9. mac66

    mac66 New Member

    Jesse, The link you cited is just general information and does not go far enough to reflect the actual motor vehicle code. You are right however about turn signals, those are only required on low speed vehicles.

    Here is the exact citation in the motor vehicle code...

    "257.312a Motorcycle endorsement; issuance, suspension, revocation, cancellation, or renewal; special restricted license to operate moped; requirements; duration; expiration; fees.

    Sec. 312a.

    (1)

    (2) A person, before operating a moped upon a highway shall procure a special restricted license to operate a moped unless the person has a valid operator's or chauffeur's license. A special restricted license to operate a moped may be issued to a person 15 years of age or older if the person satisfies the secretary of state that he is competent to operate a moped with safety. The secretary of state shall not require a road test before issuance of a special restricted license to operate a moped."


    The motor vehicle code specifies what safety equipment is required for motor vehicles which include cars, motorcycles, low speed vehicles, mopeds etc.

    Headlight requirement....

    "257.685 Head lamps; number; modulator; height; auxiliary, spot, or other lamp; exemption.

    Sec. 685.

    (1)
    (2) A motorcycle or moped shall be equipped with at least 1 and not more than 2 head lamps that comply with this chapter."

    Brake light requirement...

    "257.697b Rear stop lamps.

    Sec. 697b.

    A person shall not sell or offer for sale or operate on the highways a vehicle manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1965, except those exempted from certificate of title requirements under the provisions of section 216, unless the vehicle is equipped with 2 rear stop lamps except on a motorcycle or moped meeting the requirements of section 697. A motorcycle or moped shall be required to have 1 rear stop lamp."

    Horn...

    "57.706 Horn or other warning device; siren, whistle, air horn, or bell; theft alarm signal device.

    Sec. 706.

    (a) A motor vehicle, including a motorcycle or moped, when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 200 feet but a horn or other warning device shall not emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle..."


    IMO, if motorized bikes become more popular, the police will either crack down on them as being mopeds, or the legislature will clarify what motor assisted bicycle is. Hopefully they will go with the federal guidelines and not the moped law.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  10. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Some states have it spelled out - that in the case of a DUI - can not even ride a motorized bicycle.. Others don't call it out - some need no drivers license... Might be time to do some more homework ? Mountainman
     
  11. Simonator

    Simonator Guest

    My license is revoked, so I have no idea when I will get it back. I owe The state of Michigan $5,100 in driver responsibility fees. I been riding my motorized bicycle all over the place for several months. I'm pretty sure it is illegal, but I really don't care. It's not that I don't have any respect for the laws. I have been pedaling a bike for over 2 years, and I can't stand it anymore. I used to go into work in a bad mood all the time because I didn't feel like exercising before I got to work, then exercising more at work! I don't want to be forced to exercise when I need to commute. So, I built my bike. I am not going any faster than I did when I pedaled, and now I don't have to walk into work dripping sweat. I ride by cops all the time, and I have NEVER got pulled over. They don't even pay attention to me. I have rode a few thousand miles already.

    Here is my advice. Just do it man. Don't ride stupid, and Treat it like a moped. Obey all traffic laws. If you see the cops, start pedaling. That way they will know its a bicycle. Stay off the sidewalks. I ride strictly on the road. I feel I will tick off alot of people if I fly by them on the sidewalk on a motorized vehicle. Good luck.
     
  12. orvw

    orvw Guest

    Michigan law

    I went to the SOS and tried to get a moped sticker and explained what I was trying to register a converted bicycle and was then given papers to apply for an assembled title. I knew that was wrong and called Lansing and made the mistake of using the term "moped" and was told to take all of the engine info with a bill of sale and go back to the office. When I did, and said converted bicycle the lady said to wait and went to the manager. She then apoligized for the wait and called the SOS in Lansing. When she finally returned, she said they told her that they fall under the same regulations as a regular bicycle and there is no license, registration or insurance requirement. She also said Lansing told here to expect to see a lot more of these. I have been stopped at 3:30am by the police, but he was only curious about the vehicle. As far as the DUI situation, I have heard of people getting arrested for operating lawn mowers and bicycles while intoxicated. If you are riding one just be sure not to break any other laws to draw attention to yourself. I wish I had known about this before, it would have saved me several hours and trips to the SOS office and I would have been on the road much sooner.
     
  13. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    So if I understand you right, the SOS recognizes a converted bicycle under state law? Are you running a gas motor? or electric?

    It would be great to find out what law they are recognizing this under. Maybe the federal law?
     
  14. mac66

    mac66 New Member

    It is interesting that I am starting to see more and more MBs. I was out on a long bicycle ride the other day and after fighting the wind for 10 miles coming back (averaging about 10mph), I stopped at a park a mile from my home to rest. While I was sitting there I saw a guy coming from the same direction into the wind tooling along at about 20 mph. As he got closer I heard the quiet whirrrr and looked and saw a hub motor as he zipped past me.

    A couple hours later, I was sitting at red light along another bike path and saw a bicycle approaching rather quickly. I looked at his hubs and saw a hub motor on his rear wheel. He was slowly pedaling but unless you knew what to look for, you would assume he was simply riding a bike.

    I hope that as MBs become more popular the state doesn't try to legislate them out of existence.
     
  15. orvw

    orvw Guest

    converted bicycle

    According to what they told me, they recognize them as any bicycle. I think that might change if you have an excess of hp or above 50cc as at some point it would become a moped or motorcycle both of which are regulated. Both of my rides are gas powered.
     
  16. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    The thing is according to the motor vehicle code, a motorized bike under 50cc is a moped by definition. They must recognize the federal exemption.
     
  17. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    What federal law? That I have seen to date, there are federal regulations which deal woth manufacturering standards, but none that control what is legal to be operated on the road.
     
  18. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    I found this Michigan State Police newsletter that discusses electric bicycles and states that they must be registered as mopeds. Look on page 21.

    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/Archived_Field_Updates_Table_203934_7.pdf

    It seems that any motorized bicycle, electric or gas, must be registered as a moped.

    The newsletter refers to TR-54 form that must be completed by a police officer.

    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/TR-54_38480_7.pdf

    This form does not have a section for mopeds, so you might want to have the section of law that applies to mopeds:

    Sec. 32b.

    "Moped" means a 2- or 3-wheeled vehicle which is equipped with a motor that does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement, produces 2.0 brake horsepower or less, and cannot propel the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on a level surface. The power drive system shall not require the operator to shift gears.

    257.685
    (2) A motorcycle or moped shall be equipped with at least 1 and not more than 2 head lamps that comply
    with this chapter.

    257.697b
    A motorcycle or moped shall be required to have 1 rear stop
    lamp.

    257.702
    Sec. 702. The head lamp or head lamps upon every moped may be of the single beam or multiple beam
    type, but in either event shall comply with the requirements and limitations as follows:
    (1) Every head lamp or head lamps on a moped shall be of sufficient intensity to reveal a person or a
    vehicle at a distance of not less than 100 feet.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  19. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    I think this section answers some of the previous questions:

    257.312a Motorcycle indorsement; issuance, suspension, revocation, cancellation, or renewal; special restricted license to operate moped; requirements; duration; expiration; fees.

    Sec. 312a. (1) A person, before operating a motorcycle upon a public street or highway in this state, shall procure a motorcycle indorsement on the operator's or chauffeur's license. The license shall be issued, suspended, revoked, canceled, or renewed in accordance with and governed by this act.
    (2) A person, before operating a moped upon a highway shall procure a special restricted license to operate a moped unless the person has a valid operator's or chauffeur's license. A special restricted license to operate a moped may be issued to a person 15 years of age or older if the person satisfies the secretary of state that he is competent to operate a moped with safety. The secretary of state shall not require a road test before issuance of a special restricted license to operate a moped.
    (3) A special restricted license to operate a moped shall expire on the birthday of the person to whom it is issued in the fourth year following the date of issuance. A license shall not be issued for a period longer than 4 years. A person issued a license to operate a moped shall pay $7.50 for an original license and $6.00 for a renewal license. The money received and collected under this subsection shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the general fund. The secretary of state shall refund out of the fees collected to each county or municipality, acting as an examining officer, $2.50 for each applicant examined for an original license and $1.00 for a renewal license.


    I found this by looking up the Michigan Vehicle Code, Act 300 of 1949 at this website, and then doing a search through it for moped.

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov

    By the way, I think it is misspelled as indorsement, it should be endorsement?
     
  20. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    And more interesting data from the state police newsletter listed above:

    Electric Bicycles
    A bicycle equipped with either an electric or gasoline motor meets both the definition of Motor Vehicle, MCL 257.33, and Moped, MCL 257.32b, and is subject to state laws and local ordinances applicable to motor vehicles rather than those governing the use of bicycles. Some retailers and operators of electric bicycles are under the misconception that a federal law exempts these vehicles from applicable motor vehicle laws. They will cite Public Law 107-319,
    which makes low speed electric bicycles consumer products rather than motor vehicles solely for the purpose of manufacturing requirements and safety standards.

    Contrary to the misconception of these retailers and operators, Public Law 107-319 has no effect on state laws or local ordinances governing the use of vehicles on public streets and highways. The federal law is very clear on
    this distinction. At least one manufacturer of these vehicles provides the correct information to the public. As always, common sense and good judgement should be used when taking enforcement action.

    Page 27:


    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ms...e_203934_7.pdf
     
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