South Carolina Laws

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by Bryan Smith, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Bryan Smith

    Bryan Smith Member

    This is everything I've ever found about South Carolina's moped and motorized bicycle laws. To the State South Carolina, a motorized bicycle is a moped and is subject to moped laws. Many Police don't know the particulars of the moped laws and will leave you alone, but then there's the ones who'll mess with you just because they can. It doesn't hurt to follow the law and to carry a copy of these with your bike.

    This link is the *Moped* section of the South Carolina Driver's Manual and it's good to have a copy if you are stopped by the police. It will help you plead your right to be on the road.

    Laws and Legislation:

    SECTION 56-5-160. Bicycle. [SC ST SEC 56-5-160]

    Every device propelled by human power upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, is a "bicycle".

    SECTION 56-5-165. Moped, defined. [SC ST SEC 56-5-165]

    Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 56-5-160, every cycle with pedals to permit propulsion by human power or without pedals and with a motor of not more than fifty cubic centimeters which produces not to exceed two brake horsepower and which is not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed in excess of thirty miles an hour on level ground is a moped. If an internal combustion engine is used, the moped must have a power drive system that functions directly or automatically without clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged.


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    SECTION 56-1-1710. Meaning of "moped".

    For purposes of this article, "moped" means a cycle with pedals to permit propulsion by human power or without pedals and with a motor of not more than fifty cubic centimeters which produces not to exceed two brake horsepower and which is not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed in excess of thirty miles an hour on level ground. If an internal combustion engine is used, the moped must have a power drive system that functions directly or automatically without clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged.

    SECTION 56-1-1720. Licensing requirement; minimum age; violations and penalties.

    Until January 1, 1987, no person under the age of twelve may operate a moped on the public highways and streets of this State. After December 31, 1986, to operate a moped on the public highways and streets of this State, a person must possess a valid driver's license issued under Article 1 of this chapter or a valid moped operator's license issued under this article, except that a person whose driver's license has been suspended for a period of six months or less is not required to obtain a moped operator's license or possess a valid driver's license during the period of suspension. From January 1, 1987, to December 31, 1987, the Department shall not issue a moped operator's license to any person who is less than thirteen years of age. After December 31, 1987, the Department shall not issue a moped operator's license to any person who is less than fourteen years of age.

    Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction of a first offense, must be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than fifty dollars and, upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense, must be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred dollars.

    The Department may not issue a beginner's permit or special restricted license as provided for in Sections 56-1-50 and 56-1-180 to any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of operating a moped on the public highways and roads of this State while under age, until that person is at least fifteen and one-half years of age.

    SECTION 56-1-1730. Eligibility for, and suspension, revocation, or cancellation of, moped operator's license.

    A person is eligible for a moped operator's license without regard to his eligibility for or the status of any other driver's license or permit. The department may suspend, revoke, or cancel a moped operator's license only for violations committed while operating a moped. A moped operator's license may be suspended, revoked, or canceled in the same manner and upon the same grounds for which any other motor vehicle operator's license or permit may be suspended, revoked, or canceled.

    SECTION 56-1-1740. Examination of applicants for moped operator's license; fees; expiration and renewal of license.

    The Department shall examine every applicant for a moped operator's license. The examination shall include a test of the applicant's eyesight and, as pertains to the operation of a moped, a test of his ability to read and understand highway signs regulating, warning, and directing traffic and his knowledge of the traffic laws of this State. The Department may require further physical and mental examination as it considers necessary to determine the applicant's fitness to operate a moped upon the highways, the further examination to be at the applicant's expense. The Department shall make provisions for giving an examination in the county where the applicant resides. The Department shall charge a fee of two dollars for each complete examination or reexamination required in this article.

    The expiration and renewal of moped operator's licenses must be in accordance with Sections 56-1-210, 56-1-220, and 56-1-225.

    SECTION 56-1-1750. Issuance of moped operator's license upon payment of fee; contents of license; validity and effect of license.

    A photograph of the licensee is not required in accordance with Section 56-1-150.

    SECTION 56-1-1760. Requirement that license be in immediate possession of operator of moped and that it be displayed upon demand of certain State officers.

    Every licensee shall have his license in his immediate possession at all times when operating a moped and shall display it upon demand of any officer or agent of the department or any police officer of the State.

    SECTION 56-1-1770. Application for moped operator's license.

    Application for a moped operator's license must be in accordance with the procedures and requirements of Article 1, Chapter 1 of Title 56.

    SECTION 56-1-1780. Applicability of Sections 56-1-100 and 56-1-230 to holders of moped operator's licenses. The provisions of Sections 56-1-100 and 56-1-230 apply to persons with moped operator's licenses.

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    ARTICLE 30. MOPED REGULATION

    SECTION 56-5-3710. Limitations as to riding position and number of riders. [SC ST SEC 56-5-3710]

    No person may ride upon a moped other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the moped. No moped may be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.

    SECTION 56-5-3720. Required equipment. [SC ST SEC 56-5-3720]

    It is unlawful for a person to sell a moped for use on the public highways and streets of this State or operate a moped upon the public highways and streets of this State without operable pedals if the moped is equipped with pedals, at least one rearview mirror, operable running lights, and brake lights which are operable when either brake is deployed. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days.

    SECTION 56-5-3730. Use of operating lights. [SC ST SEC 56-5-3730]

    The operator of a moped must have the operating lights turned on at all times while the moped is in operation on the public highways and streets of this State.

    SECTION 56-5-3740. Modification of equipment to increase horsepower or speed. [SC ST SEC 56-5-3740]

    It is unlawful for a person to modify or change the equipment of a moped so that the vehicle exceeds two brake horsepower and produces speeds in excess of thirty miles an hour on level ground. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days.

    SECTION 56-5-3750. Labeling requirements; violations and penalties. [SC ST SEC 56-5-3750]

    (A) A person who sells, solicits, or advertises the sale of mopeds clearly and conspicuously shall label each moped with its specifications including, but not limited to, the brake horsepower of the motor and the maximum speed of the vehicle on level ground. The seller also shall attach a metal identification plate to each moped without pedals identifying the vehicle as a moped. This plate must be designed by the Department of Motor Vehicles and must display information the department considers necessary for enforcement purposes. The plate must be displayed permanently on each moped without pedals and must not be removed. A seller of mopeds who fails to label a moped, fails to attach a metal identification plate to a moped without pedals, knowingly labels a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle as a moped, or attaches a metal identification plate to a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle identifying the vehicle as a moped is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

    (B) It is unlawful for a person to operate a moped without pedals upon the public highways and streets of this State without displaying the metal identification plate which must be attached to the vehicle. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days.

    (C) Each vehicle which is incorrectly labeled or plated and each moped which is not labeled or plated is a separate violation of this section.

    SECTION 56-5-3760. Sign to be posted by persons selling mopeds. [SC ST SEC 56-5-3760]

    The Department of Motor Vehicles shall design a sign which contains a brief explanation of the provisions of law governing the operation of mopeds. Persons selling mopeds shall post the sign in a conspicuous place in their place of business.

    I hope this helps. If you have proof otherwise please post it here as I would like to stay informed.:whistling:
     

  2. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    South Carolina has gotten a lot stricter since the " likker sickle " days !
     
  3. Porkchop

    Porkchop Member

    Bryan, I reviewed the laws here in SC before I built my first bike. I'm getting conflicting information from what I see on the web vs. talking to some moped dealers here. I talked to 3 dealers this past Saturday. One of them told me he recently recently bought an up to date hand book from the DMV so he can show his customers in writting what the laws are. I'm under the impression that we're to have brake lights that work from any and all hand brakes, along with turn signals. I have that set up, but it's not installed on my bike. Anyway, if I remember, tomorrow I'm going to the local DMV and get a new hand book. I don't trust the info I'm reading on our web sites. I think they're out dated. I'm a game player, not a renegade. I have every intentikkon of being 100% legal. I've never been pulled over, but don't want any conrfontations if and when I do. I doubt very seriously the cops around here know much about mopeds, especially motored bicycles , but I still want to be 100% legal. You too also might want to check into this matter, unless you already have. If you have, fill me in please. We may be stricter than most other states. I don't know other state laws, but I have no quarels with our laws as far as what I know. I think the only thing in question abuot my bike is the brake light and signal issue. I've been working an a design for a mounting bracket for mine this past week.
     
  4. Bryan Smith

    Bryan Smith Member

    Charlie,
    In SC, a motorized bicycle is the same as as a moped. According to the driver's handbook under mopeds, you have to have a headlight, brake light, and turn signals to be legal. You also have to run the headlight all the time (like motorcycles).
    The blue *Moped* link in my first posting is supposed to be from an up to date SC driver's manual. I run my headlight only from the white wire off the magneto so it's always on. My headlight was salvaged from a 6V. bicycle generator set. I have a supplementary battery powered flashlight mount for night riding.

    My turn signals and brake light are similar to this:

    [​IMG]

    They can be found here at this website. I got mine on E-bay a little cheaper with a clear lens on the front instead of the red.
    Note: These are NOT water resistant and the horn selection is poor as all but two are forms of sirens which are illegal. My brake light is giving me problems right now so "buyer be ware" as to the quality of these things. Otherwise I'm satisfied with the setup and I am 100% legal when everything is working.

    You will get conflicting information from the dealers as they are getting conflicting hearsay from the DMV. Much of what the DMV tells you is common practice in their office. Not necessarily the law. Most of the time they get it right, but in the case of odd things like motorized bikes, they don't know their hats from their elbows.

    Bottom Line:
    If it isn't in the Drivers manual or doesn't have a SC statute number to go with it, I consider all legal information given to me to be suspect.
     
  5. Wheres my dog

    Wheres my dog Banned

    Bryan,

    I have ridden past many a police officer on the sidewalk, as well as on the street, including local police, deputy sheriff, and state troopers... and have never once even been looked at twice or the officer slow down.

    I was at a local Taco Bell once and asked a state trooper in the parking lot about the MB I was riding right there with me, and told me as far as the law is concerned, it is merely a bicycle that just happens to have a motor on it.

    I have already rode past, I would say no less then 40 officers in town, and never once questioned!
     
  6. Bryan Smith

    Bryan Smith Member

    I've been riding my motorized bike for over a year now around Summerville, SC since starting this thread and I haven't had any problems with the police either. I guess the mopeds are not a big issue for the cops anymore as they were when I was a kid. It being a bicycle doesn't hurt the cause either. I try to keep my head light working (it vibrates loose sometimes) and I obey the traffic regulations as best I can. The turn signal lights from my previous post are available on Ebay now for dirt cheap from Hong Kong. They're pretty good but the rear mount is flimsy and broke when i hit a gully in the trail doing @20mph. I like having brake lights though. My headlight burns when the bike is running so I don't have to think about it. I have a battery flashlight mounted also to help with any night riding as the motor powered headlight is pretty dim and is more for signaling that "I'm here".
     
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