Michigan Motorized Bicycle Laws

Michigan Motorized Bicycle Laws



My license is revoked, so I have no idea when I will get it back. I owe The state of Michigan $5,100 in driver responsibility fees. I been riding my motorized bicycle all over the place for several months. I'm pretty sure it is illegal, but I really don't care. It's not that I don't have any respect for the laws. I have been pedaling a bike for over 2 years, and I can't stand it anymore. I used to go into work in a bad mood all the time because I didn't feel like exercising before I got to work, then exercising more at work! I don't want to be forced to exercise when I need to commute. So, I built my bike. I am not going any faster than I did when I pedaled, and now I don't have to walk into work dripping sweat. I ride by cops all the time, and I have NEVER got pulled over. They don't even pay attention to me. I have rode a few thousand miles already.

Here is my advice. Just do it man. Don't ride stupid, and Treat it like a moped. Obey all traffic laws. If you see the cops, start pedaling. That way they will know its a bicycle. Stay off the sidewalks. I ride strictly on the road. I feel I will tick off alot of people if I fly by them on the sidewalk on a motorized vehicle. Good luck.


Michigan law

I went to the SOS and tried to get a moped sticker and explained what I was trying to register a converted bicycle and was then given papers to apply for an assembled title. I knew that was wrong and called Lansing and made the mistake of using the term "moped" and was told to take all of the engine info with a bill of sale and go back to the office. When I did, and said converted bicycle the lady said to wait and went to the manager. She then apoligized for the wait and called the SOS in Lansing. When she finally returned, she said they told her that they fall under the same regulations as a regular bicycle and there is no license, registration or insurance requirement. She also said Lansing told here to expect to see a lot more of these. I have been stopped at 3:30am by the police, but he was only curious about the vehicle. As far as the DUI situation, I have heard of people getting arrested for operating lawn mowers and bicycles while intoxicated. If you are riding one just be sure not to break any other laws to draw attention to yourself. I wish I had known about this before, it would have saved me several hours and trips to the SOS office and I would have been on the road much sooner.


So if I understand you right, the SOS recognizes a converted bicycle under state law? Are you running a gas motor? or electric?

It would be great to find out what law they are recognizing this under. Maybe the federal law?


New Member
Local time
6:53 AM
Jul 22, 2008
S/E Michigan
It is interesting that I am starting to see more and more MBs. I was out on a long bicycle ride the other day and after fighting the wind for 10 miles coming back (averaging about 10mph), I stopped at a park a mile from my home to rest. While I was sitting there I saw a guy coming from the same direction into the wind tooling along at about 20 mph. As he got closer I heard the quiet whirrrr and looked and saw a hub motor as he zipped past me.

A couple hours later, I was sitting at red light along another bike path and saw a bicycle approaching rather quickly. I looked at his hubs and saw a hub motor on his rear wheel. He was slowly pedaling but unless you knew what to look for, you would assume he was simply riding a bike.

I hope that as MBs become more popular the state doesn't try to legislate them out of existence.


converted bicycle

According to what they told me, they recognize them as any bicycle. I think that might change if you have an excess of hp or above 50cc as at some point it would become a moped or motorcycle both of which are regulated. Both of my rides are gas powered.


The thing is according to the motor vehicle code, a motorized bike under 50cc is a moped by definition. They must recognize the federal exemption.


What federal law? That I have seen to date, there are federal regulations which deal woth manufacturering standards, but none that control what is legal to be operated on the road.


I found this Michigan State Police newsletter that discusses electric bicycles and states that they must be registered as mopeds. Look on page 21.


It seems that any motorized bicycle, electric or gas, must be registered as a moped.

The newsletter refers to TR-54 form that must be completed by a police officer.


This form does not have a section for mopeds, so you might want to have the section of law that applies to mopeds:

Sec. 32b.

"Moped" means a 2- or 3-wheeled vehicle which is equipped with a motor that does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement, produces 2.0 brake horsepower or less, and cannot propel the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on a level surface. The power drive system shall not require the operator to shift gears.

(2) A motorcycle or moped shall be equipped with at least 1 and not more than 2 head lamps that comply
with this chapter.

A motorcycle or moped shall be required to have 1 rear stop

Sec. 702. The head lamp or head lamps upon every moped may be of the single beam or multiple beam
type, but in either event shall comply with the requirements and limitations as follows:
(1) Every head lamp or head lamps on a moped shall be of sufficient intensity to reveal a person or a
vehicle at a distance of not less than 100 feet.
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I think this section answers some of the previous questions:

257.312a Motorcycle indorsement; issuance, suspension, revocation, cancellation, or renewal; special restricted license to operate moped; requirements; duration; expiration; fees.

Sec. 312a. (1) A person, before operating a motorcycle upon a public street or highway in this state, shall procure a motorcycle indorsement on the operator's or chauffeur's license. The license shall be issued, suspended, revoked, canceled, or renewed in accordance with and governed by this act.
(2) A person, before operating a moped upon a highway shall procure a special restricted license to operate a moped unless the person has a valid operator's or chauffeur's license. A special restricted license to operate a moped may be issued to a person 15 years of age or older if the person satisfies the secretary of state that he is competent to operate a moped with safety. The secretary of state shall not require a road test before issuance of a special restricted license to operate a moped.
(3) A special restricted license to operate a moped shall expire on the birthday of the person to whom it is issued in the fourth year following the date of issuance. A license shall not be issued for a period longer than 4 years. A person issued a license to operate a moped shall pay $7.50 for an original license and $6.00 for a renewal license. The money received and collected under this subsection shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the general fund. The secretary of state shall refund out of the fees collected to each county or municipality, acting as an examining officer, $2.50 for each applicant examined for an original license and $1.00 for a renewal license.

I found this by looking up the Michigan Vehicle Code, Act 300 of 1949 at this website, and then doing a search through it for moped.


By the way, I think it is misspelled as indorsement, it should be endorsement?


And more interesting data from the state police newsletter listed above:

Electric Bicycles
A bicycle equipped with either an electric or gasoline motor meets both the definition of Motor Vehicle, MCL 257.33, and Moped, MCL 257.32b, and is subject to state laws and local ordinances applicable to motor vehicles rather than those governing the use of bicycles. Some retailers and operators of electric bicycles are under the misconception that a federal law exempts these vehicles from applicable motor vehicle laws. They will cite Public Law 107-319,
which makes low speed electric bicycles consumer products rather than motor vehicles solely for the purpose of manufacturing requirements and safety standards.

Contrary to the misconception of these retailers and operators, Public Law 107-319 has no effect on state laws or local ordinances governing the use of vehicles on public streets and highways. The federal law is very clear on
this distinction. At least one manufacturer of these vehicles provides the correct information to the public. As always, common sense and good judgement should be used when taking enforcement action.

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