help with registration in california. vin number required.


Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2011
I see, thank you for sharing this knowledge!! I'm not sure if either of my bikes has a 17 character serial number, I believe that the GT one has a shorter # than the Peugeot does, it's possible that the Peugeot is 17 characters and the GT is not, I will have to check again. Also, you are correct that the registration didn't ask for the year so I'm probably going to have trouble. Also, I do try to use political speech, I usually call it a "Moped" or a "Peddle Assist Bicycle." :)


New Member
Jan 20, 2017
In California Motorized Bicycles and Mopeds are considered one and the same when it comes to the laws. The idea is to use the right terminology when it best serves.

“Yes sir officer I have an identification card for my Motorized Bicycle, no my Motorized Bicycle is not insured, see it says right here in the vehicle code 406 that my insurance policy may not provide coverage for accidents involving the use of this “BICYCLE”. When I asked my insurance agent about coverage he just laughed and told me he doesn’t know of any insurance company that offers insurance for a Bicycle with a helper motor”.


“Hi Mr. insurance broker sir I need a quote to insure my MOPED. It’s a 1977 Peugeot that I just finished restoring. After making sure all of the lights and safety equipment work like new I finally got the registration paperwork squared away and received a new MOPED license plate from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Now I just need to show the DMV proof of liability insurance so I can take the driving skills test to get that M2 endorsement added to my drivers license”.

So yeah it’s not surprising when someone says their insurance guy just laughed after they described how a hopped up 2 stroke engine on their bicycle created a 50mph death machine that takes a city block to stop with a coaster brake, then ask how much will it cost them to insure this “Motorized Bicycle”.

If you go to purchase your Moped insurance online there’s a few things that can slow up or stop the process from going through. If the make and model is not in their data base and there is no provision to write in, and entering a VIN that doesn’t align with the year model, which is usually only a problem with a newer 17 character VIN.

In 1981, the NHTSA standardized the format requiring all on-road vehicles sold to contain a 17 character VIN number.

Remember the DMV will process the Reg 230 form using whatever VIN you provide them regardless of the number of characters.

Also the Reg 230 form doesn’t ask for a year model but when you apply for Moped insurance they do.

Since most people just use the serial number from their bicycle frame and add an e for the engine number they end up with a non standardized VIN regardless of the actual year of manufacture. It’s not hard to imagine why the majority of (insured) motorized bicycles (Mopeds) running around out there have a date of manufacture prior to 1981. Nothing wrong with that.

Moped Resources

Moped Parts Supplier; 1977 Mopeds

Moped Parts Supplier; Treatland

Moped Army,2786923,2930256#msg-2930256

Progressive Insurance
So you're saying if I put my motorized bike as manufactured in 1952(which Is when my bike was made). I can get insurance for it even though my registration ID card says the ID card was given to me in 2017? Progressive allows me insurance for 8 dollars a year if I put 1952 schwinn MP 49cc with a vin numbers that's only like 6 digits long. If I put the year 2017 as the model year it wont allow me to go through the website. Would they care if i put year 1952 or will they want the year I got my Id card?


Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2018
original manufacture date (1952) whether or not it's rebuilt, modified, or original parts. date of registration is just a paperwork date when it became legally registered to you. Them: "What is the vehicle?", You: "a fully restored and motor-assisted '52. we finally got around to registering it bcs well, it was buried in the barn for a while and we forgot we had it..."