Email from Washington State DOT

Rain City

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Messages
48
To: Paul
From: Equipment
July 16, 2008

This is in response to your e-mail originally sent to the Department of
Licensing.

If a motorized bicycle is electrically powered it would be classified in
the state of Washington as an Electric Assisted Bicycle and would be
able to operate in most places a bicycle can be operated provided that
there are no local restrictions.

If however your motorized bicycle is gas powered, by definition it would
be considered a moped and would be required to meet all moped
requirements and be licensed as a moped in the state of Washington. In
addition the operator would be required to hold a valid drivers license
in order to legally operate the vehicle on the roadway.

A listing of the requirements for each of these types of vehicles along
with the restrictions as outlined in the law can be found on the
Frequently Asked Questions page of our Web site at:
http://www.wsp.wa.gov/newsfaqs/faqs.htm#vehclass

Thank you for your inquiry.
Sincerely,
Equipment




So... is there any real rebuttal for this? I can't go put turn signals, liscense plate ETC, cause then I would would just go get a motorcycle of some sort. Thoughts?
 

pumpbuilder

Member
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
110
I think it depends if the kit allows you to switch "on the fly" from the power assist mode of the engine to pure pedel power. Then what you have is a bicycle with a power assist. As most kits I have seen use a centrifiacl clutch or by using belts and chains the engine never quits having the ability or requirement to power the bicycle.

I have ridden the one as my avatar for more then 10 years all over the place,[Tacoma one week about 8 years ago.] and gotten pulled over but by showing the operational disconnect with the lever system never had an issue. I used to carry some old DOT papers I had found on .com that explained that position as how the federal rules applied. It might still be there.

I now see that website I mentioned as a source is junk now. So I have deleated its name leaving just the .com.
 
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bluegoatwoods

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
3,019
I don't know if this will help, but I simply refuse to go to anyone from my state, County, village, etc asking if my bike is legal for fear that they'll give me the easy (for them) answer;

"It's a moped. Now go away".

It's bound to happen, but they're not necessarily right about it.
That's not the answer that I want.

What I'm saying is that maybe that's what happened to you. I'd ignore it. When you ride, send out that "body language" that says "I'm being cool. You don't have to worry that I'll run down little old ladies and children".

And I wouldn't ask anyone from the DMV again.
 
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Zev0

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2008
Messages
697
I totally agree. It was insane to ask someone in the State. In fact is was even MORE INSANE to give them a link to this forum. All we do here is talk about how we can fool the police with fake CC motor plates and how we can make it go really fast. The police and legislators can and do read the internet for ideas. Don't you know that?
 

Mountainman

Active Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
3,572
I hear you ZevO -- there truly are those who's job is to think of ways to tighten laws and add more taxes and they are looking everywhere -- this is what we do not need -- more laws or more taxes... For the gentleman above -- maybe -- print out some parts of the Fed laws that seem to approve -- then -- go for it --- Happy Riding from - Mountainman
 

SimpleSimon

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
1,180
Federal laws are essentially meaningless and moot in regards to the central question here. Cops don't generally know them, and don't care - quite rightfully so. It is a state law and local code issue.
 

Warner

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
541
I don't know if this will help, but I simply refuse to go to anyone from my state, County, village, etc asking if my bike is legal for fear that they'll give me the easy (for them) answer;

"It's a moped. Now go away".

It's bound to happen, but they're not necessarily right about it.
That's not the answer that I want.

What I'm saying is that maybe that's what happened to you. I'd ignore it. When you ride, send out that "body language" that says "I'm being cool. You don't have to worry that I'll run down little old ladies and children".

And I wouldn't ask anyone from the DMV again.

I'm in agreement with you now. I tried to do everything the "right way" and just got completely blown off, even when I did get a response from someone. You're right...it's easier for them to just say "NO". When I called the Secretary of State's office, they knew much less about the laws with these things than *I* did! Disappointing to say the least. My take at this point is the same as yours.....don't ride it like an A-hole and follow the basic traffic laws and nobody will mess with me. We'll see if that plays out in practice. I DID come up with another possible idea though. I thought (and am still thinking!) about applying for a title for my bicycle. On the title application, I would state that it is a "Staton-Trek" moped (or whatever language made them happy) that was 43cc's, yada-yada. IF they titled it, then I could apply for the moped plates and be good to go. I don't know what all of the requirements for the title application are (and it's NOT a form that they have on-line available for download). We'll see....my kit is arriving today and I want to get it together and then see how I feel.....

Warner
 

pumpbuilder

Member
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
110
I went on a fishing trip to Lincoln City OR. We took a bunch of motorized bikes and one guy that was a moron. He managed to get a ticket on US 101 but from a city cop. At first we got blown off by the local PD etc. I sent a copy of the Federal regs to the judge pointing out he was traveling on a federal route and the ticket was dismissed w/o a court appearance.

So Sometimes the federal regs do work. This was in 2004 or 5.
 

Rain City

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Messages
48
After my $1700 battle with the law for my last traffic ticket(s) involving having old MI plates after moving to WA, I'm a little paranoid, oh and broke.

So motor bikes are like "don't ask don't tell" ?
 
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