registering motorized bike in springfield MA epic fail

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by RadicalxEdward, May 3, 2013.

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Have you had any luck in registering your MB in western MA

  1. Yes :-) (please comment with how)

    50.0%
  2. No :-( (please comment with why not)

    50.0%
  1. Well after seeing some on this forum having success getting their motorized bicycle registered i tried going in to the RMV in springfield ma yesterday, paper work filled out, and bike / engine receipts on hand. The lady at the counter says "I need to look this up to make sure it's a moped" I said it's a regular bicycle with an engine kit that I put together myself not a store bought moped. She looked at me confused and replied "you built it yourself?" (as if that was impossible to do...)

    I said I know there's some newer laws about motorized bicycles but mine meets the requirements. She said since it wasn't on their list of mopeds she couldn't register it. I politely informed her I had read over the requirements / law changes and there was nothing that said a motorized bicycle had to be on that list (in fact the only list I found was for "special use" motorcycles, which is separate from motorized bicycles "mopeds" or "regular use" motorcycles.)

    I wish I had gotten the lady next to her because she seemed like she would have just given me the stupid sticker. She also told the lady I was dealing with to just take down my info and give it to "Gene". The lady I was dealing with said she'd "put it in his mailbox but if it's not on this list there's nothing we can do"

    I asked her for any information on where it says an MB has to be on that list or laws or someone I could talk to about getting an exception/approval and she had no answers.

    This is the only branch I have access to because I work during business hours (and can't take time off right now), have no other form of transportation other than a bus, and the other RMv's in surrounding towns close at 5 every day and aren't open weekends (this one is open till 6 on thursdays).

    If anyone can help me get a sticker or has any advice I would be very grateful. This will soon be my only viable method of transportation ( I have to move and the bus stops many many miles from the apartment.)

    I'm tempted to just ride it anyway and keep the registration form on me just in case I get pulled over. Then I could say the RMV said if it wasn't on their list there was no registration process but that it still met the requirements. But I'm sure I'd get ticket raped (untitled vehicle, unregistered vehicle, uninsured vehicle, etc etc etc)
    I also have a DOT approved motorcycle helmet and head/tail lights for the bike.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013

  2. grinningremlin

    grinningremlin Active Member

    I don't understand this need for people to put themselves on the radar, nothing good comes from it.
    If you did nothing, rode it and got a ticket/played dumb, then you'd have to go through what you just did to find out you can't get it registered, got signed documentation and kept that with you next time you got pulled over.If you're under 50cc's and don't ride like an a.s.s. I'll assume you'd never have any problems other than engine stuff.I know,... assumptions.
    If you're that worried about it the leg work should be done prior to the purchase, and if you're THAT worried about it, just get a folding bike, ride to the bus stop and fold her up.Good luck, and I hope you didn't wake the hungry bear.
     
  3. Well unfortunately I bought it planning on using it for the less than 5 minute commute to work after totaling my car in the snow. But I've suddenly found myself having to move. So I've already bought the parts and started building. The only thing returnable is the helmet.

    I didn't think there would be any real issue based on the laws I've read and seeing people here get stickers.

    The only reason I wanted to get a sticker in the first place was to avoid getting pulled over even going under 25mph because it will happen.
     
  4. grinningremlin

    grinningremlin Active Member

    Yeah, I don't know the laws there, this is true.Try to find a rider there that has done it, and get their advise is the best bet.The other route I read here, is to get an old moped frame, cut the VINS, braze them to your ride, find some NOS stickers, and turn your ride into a Puch or Peugot etc etc.
     
  5. Thanks, (not trying to be snotty or anything, but getting advise from people who've registered around here is why I made this post.) Once I can get in touch with one of those people directly I will.
     
  6. Gene

    Gene Member

    First I do not know if other DMV offices are available to you if so try them all. Go late in the day when they just want to go home. Or be first in the morning when they are half asleep. If this fails buy a wreck weld off the numbers and weld to your bike. Use the previous registration and get tags. Also inquire as to classic, antiique, or Homemade moped procedures if they exist. I still see hope for you.
    Good luck
     
  7. BigBlue

    BigBlue Active Member

  8. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Massachusetts law: Chapter 90 Section 1 Definitions.

    "Motorized bicycle'', a pedal bicycle which has a helper motor, or a non-pedal bicycle which has a motor, with a cylinder capacity not exceeding fifty cubic centimeters, an automatic transmission, and which is capable of a maximum speed of no more than thirty miles per hour.

    "Motorized scooter'', any 2 wheeled tandem or 3 wheeled device, that has handlebars, designed to be stood or sat upon by the operator, powered by an electric or gas powered motor that is capable of propelling the device with or without human propulsion. The definition of "motorized scooter'' shall not include a motorcycle or motorized bicycle or a 3 wheeled motorized wheelchair.

    Section 1B.
    A motorized bicycle shall not be operated upon any way, as defined in section one within the commonwealth by any person under sixteen years of age, nor at a speed in excess of twenty-five miles per hour. A motorized bicycle shall not be operated on any way by any person not possessing a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit. Every person operating a motorized bicycle upon a way shall have the right to use all public ways in the commonwealth except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting bicycles have been posted, and shall be subject to the traffic laws and regulations of the commonwealth and the regulations contained in this section, except that: (1) the motorized bicycle operator may keep to the right when passing a motor vehicle which is moving in the travel lane of the way, and (2) the motorized bicycle operator shall signal by either hand his intention to stop or turn. Motorized bicycles may be operated on bicycle lanes adjacent to the various ways, but shall be excluded from off-street recreational bicycle paths.

    Every person operating a motorized bicycle or riding as a passenger on a motorized bicycle shall wear protective headgear conforming with such minimum standards of construction and performance as the registrar may prescribe, and no person operating a motorized bicycle shall permit any other person to ride a passenger on such motorized bicycle unless such passenger is wearing such protective headgear.

    A person convicted of a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five dollars for the first offense, not less than twenty-five nor more than fifty dollars for a second offense, and not less than fifty nor more than one hundred dollars for subsequent offenses committed.

    Section 1D.
    Any person who is engaged in the business of buying or selling bicycles or motorized bicycles shall, upon the sale of such motorized bicycle, affix a sticker or plate which shall bear a distinctive number, as prescribed by the registrar, to said bicycle upon a fee to be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section three B of chapter seven. Said fee shall be forwarded to the registry of motor vehicles by such person. Said sticker shall be renewed biannually in the manner prescribed by the registrar.

    Section 1E.
    A motorized scooter shall not be operated on any way by a person not possessing a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit, nor at a speed in excess of 20 miles per hour. A person operating a motorized scooter upon a way shall have the right to use all public ways in the commonwealth except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting scooters or bicycles have been posted, and shall be subject to all traffic laws and regulations of the commonwealth and the regulations contained in this section, except that: (1) a scooter operator shall keep to the right side of the road at all times, including when passing a motor vehicle which is moving in the travel lane of the way; and (2) the scooter shall be equipped with operational stop and turn signals so that the operator can keep both hands on the handlebars at all times. No person shall operate a motor scooter upon any way at any time after sunset or before sunrise.

    A person operating a motorized scooter shall wear protective headgear conforming with such minimum standards of construction and performance as the registrar may prescribe. No person operating a motorized scooter shall permit any other person to ride as a passenger on the scooter.

    A person convicted of a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $25 for the first violation, not less than $25 nor more than $50 for a second violation and not less than $50 nor more than $100 for a third or subsequent violation.

    Section 1H.
    In addition to the types of vehicles that may be registered under chapter 90, the registrar of motor vehicles may issue a registration for a motor vehicle meeting Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for that particular class of vehicle, other than a low-speed motor vehicle, if the vehicle is designed by its manufacturer to be operated on public ways and its speed on a paved level surface can exceed 30 miles per hour but is not capable of exceeding 40 miles per hour, as may be determined by the registrar. The registrar may adopt reasonable rules and regulations concerning requirements for registration, equipment, inspections and insurance for such vehicles. Every person authorized and registered to operate such a vehicle upon a way shall not operate the vehicle in excess of 40 miles per hour and shall have the right to use all public ways in the commonwealth except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibit bicycles, mopeds or low-speed vehicles have been posted and shall not operate the vehicle on a portion of a way where the speed limit increases beyond 40 miles per hour. This shall not prohibit a vehicle described in this section from crossing a public way at an intersection where the public way to be crossed has a posted speed limit between 40 and 55 miles per hour, provided the public way the vehicle is traveling on and the public way the vehicle is crossing the intersection to, both have a speed limit no higher than 40 miles per hour and the intersection is controlled by traffic signals or stop signs. Such limitations as to the vehicle's limited use of public ways may be conspicuously printed on the registration certificate of the vehicle by the registrar. The registrar may issue a distinctive registration plate for such vehicle indicating its speed restrictions.

    Many DMV workers don't know these laws. Maybe you should take this post with you to the DMV and ask to speak with a supervisor. Whatever section of law you try to register under make sure you're in full compliance with your bike.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  9. These are the laws I was quoting to them, not to mention the relevant section is actually on the registration form itself, but their excuse was "laws are changing all the time, you can try looking them up"... I THINK Gene is the supervisor that would be able to change it but he wasn't there. I'm going to call today on my lunch break and see if I can get ahold of him. Short of that I'm probably going to have to pay someone who can go down during business hours at a different rmv to register it for me. I'm going to be making a 30 mile (round trip) commute every day starting monday so it needs to be legal.

    I will also check out that new york thread.

    Unfortunately buying a junker scooter is not an option for me. I really don't have the money to do that, nor the know how to weld (or money to pay someone to weld) any plates or such.

    thank you all for your advice. Any other suggestions are welcomed and I will keep you all posted on how it turns out. I finished building the bike last night. Just have to get it to actually start for me lol.
     
  10. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Quoting the law and showing it is two totally different things. They can't say the law has changed when its right there in their face. However going to a different DMV may get you better results. Just be aware if your bike isn't in full compliance that's all they need to turn down.
     
  11. I wasn't just quoting it. The relevant section is on the registration form and I showed them that. It even says MA section 90 blah blah. I just didn't print out 10 pages from a law site that they're not going to read anyway. (and i'm sure they're not going to take the word of a forum post stating the law if they won't take it from their own forms that state the law) Their argument was that it has to be on their list of approved mopeds but there is no law (that I can find) stating that for mopeds (only for limited use motorcycles).
     
  12. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Looking on websites I couldn't find any statutes pertaining to a moped manufacturer's list. Such as states like Texas has. Texas even states the list is updated every 90 days. There's a tread about a rider in eastern Massachusetts that registered his bike. Rayn H said he got his in Plymouth. So a different DMV may be your only hope.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  13. For those wondering, you can see the law about motorized bicycles, low speed vehicles and limited use vehicles here: http://www.piratecycles1.com/newmamolayes.html (This page summarizes it, You can look up the full legalese law online by searching for Massachusetts general law Chapter 90 Section 1 (it goes on for a few sections).

    You can see the limited use vehicle list here: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/portals/16/docs/Limited_Use.pdf

    and you can see the MA dot info on limited use vehicles here: http://www.massrmv.com/rmv/regs/luv.htm

    a LUV is what the lady was considering my bike, but it's a motorized bicycle / moped according to the law. and that makes a big difference legally.

    the moped registration form is here: http://www.massrmv.com/rmv/forms/20017.pdf and you can see it references MGL chapter 90 section 1
     
  14. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    It seems like the DMV worker is putting your bike in MA Ch. 90 Sec. 1 H. Which applies to LUV's. So then the question becomes: Are you under 50 cc and have an automatic transmission system (no manual clutching)? If not that may be why you're being classified as an LUV.
     
  15. She didn't say anything about an automatic transmission but none of these bikes have auto transmissions. If it came up i would have just said it's single speed anyway ( i have a normal chinese 2 stroke kit). I have seen others in MA register their bikes with the same setup but most have been in eastern ma and have been able to go to multiple rmv's

    I also sent an email to pirate cycles to see what their advice is.
     
  16. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Massachusetts law: Chapter 90 Section 1 Definitions.

    "Motorized bicycle'', a pedal bicycle which has a helper motor, or a non-pedal bicycle which has a motor, with a cylinder capacity not exceeding fifty cubic centimeters, an automatic transmission, and which is capable of a maximum speed of no more than thirty miles per hour.

    Most states view a reduction gearbox with a centrifugal clutch as an automatic transmission. My bike has one. In fact its the only motorized bicycle in the world which shifts 5 gears automatically. You didn't mention your engine size. The rider who got a sticker in Plymouth said he had a 66 cc engine.

    It's seems like the DMV you're going to knows the laws and you need to go to one like in Plymouth where they don't know the law.
     

  17. I think that's the key, they weren't turning me down in springfield because of a clutch, they turned me down cause they didn't know what the heck they were even dealing with. They didn't care about engine size or transmissions or anything like that. All they cared about was that it wasn't on their list (which means if I had a 1cc engine with auto transmission and it couldn't go above 1 mph they still wouldn't have registered it without a vespa vin / bill of sale) So i'm going to have to figure out how to get to a few more rmv's somehow. and maybe next time just say it's used to save them the confusion. (she also didn't understand how it wasn't possible to have a bill of sale or certificate of origin even though it was a custom built bike, and YES I HAD MY RECEIPTS for those not reading ;-)
     
  18. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    From a legal prospective if your bike is under 50 cc and has an automatic transmission but you were denied a sticker then you have an arguable case. If your bike is over 50 cc and/or manually clutched then they're going to say the DMV worker was correct in classifying it as an LUV. This is what you're going to run into. For the people who got a sticker but didn't meet the definition of a motorized bicycle, they simply got lucky that's all.

    To conclude your choses are to try your luck at another DMV or build another bike under 50 cc with an automatic transmission then register it. Ask the DMV supervisor if you bring in a self built 50 cc automatic transmission motorized bicycle could you register it.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  19. Racie35

    Racie35 Member

    Huge struggle..... I'd ignore registering it and argue my case if ticketed...in court where the dummies have to listen
     
  20. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Get your problem fixed don't let it end up in court. You may lose a lot more than you can afford to. The courts have some of the best crooks in the state working for them. If your bike meets Massachusetts definition of a motorized bicycle (50 cc or less and automatic transmission), you can petition the courts if the DMV denies you a sticker.

    Take this from someone who cares, don't get yourself into trouble over this. It's not worth it.
     
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