Iowa Motorized Bicycle Laws

Iowa Motorized Bicycle Laws


Staff member
Feb 28, 2012
Anton submitted a new resource:

Iowa Motorized Bicycle Laws - License Required & Registration Required

A vehicle classed as a motorized bicycle in Iowa can not exceed 30mph on flat ground.


Depending on your age you may need a special moped permit to ride a motorized bicycle on public roads in Iowa.

14 -15 years old: Moped Permit AND Rider Education Course
16 - 17 years old: Moped Permit OR Intermediate License
18 years and older: Moped Permit OR Drivers License

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Karl Snarl

Active Member
Sep 20, 2019
in council bluffs, which i think goes by state law on these, it is no more than 1.5 bhp, and no faster than 20mph, no large than 50cc and the transmission can not be shifted manually, automatics are fine. also you must stay in the street to ride them. they are not allowed on bike paths or sidewalks, or byways of over 45mph. the pedals must work and be attached. no registration is needed. you must have a flashing light on the front and back of the bike ( any color besides blue is acceptable), no blue lights are allowed on non emergency vehicles. you must also have a drivers licesence or a motorcycle license. if under 18, a permit to drive is acceptable. no one under 14 years old may ride them on the street.


Sep 5, 2011
The definition of bicycle found in Iowa Code section 321.1(40)c is as follows:

  • "Bicycle" means either of the following: (1) A device having two wheels and having at least one saddle or seat for the use of a rider, which is propelled by human power. (2) A device having two or three wheels with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (one horsepower), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden, is less than 20 miles per hour.
The definition of motorized bicycle (moped) found in 321.1(40)b of the Iowa Code is as follows:
"Motorized bicycle" means a motor vehicle having a saddle or a seat for the use of a rider, designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, and not capable of operating at a speed in excess of thirty-nine miles per hour on level ground unassisted by human power.
This definition does not require that a moped have an engine of a particular displacement. Consequently, a moped may be equipped with either an electric motor or engine to serve as a source of propulsion.

Driver’s license
d. The holder of any class of driver’s license may operate a motorized bicycle.

More on Iowa’s motorized bicycle codes and regulations can be found here: