Motorized Bicycle Laws by states

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by Samdallas214, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. Samdallas214

    Samdallas214 Member

    A cut and past from another site
    some states missing if you have newer/missing laws please post









    District of Columbia:

    Florida: LE Guide-7ed-2006-09.pdf









    Kentucky: Motorcycle Manual.pdf








    New Hampshire:

    New Jersey:

    New York:




    South Carolina:


    Utah: 1/index.html




    West Virginia:

    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
    Trunker and joel lynch like this.

  2. IbedaYank

    IbedaYank Member

    current law is in ""Tennessee motorcycle operator manual"" available from all Tennessee DMV
    you may want to carry a copy when riding in case you get pulled over for those LEO that think they know the laws but don't

    (34) “Motorized bicycle” means a vehicle with two (2) or three (3) wheels, an automatic transmission, and a motor with a cylinder capacity not exceeding fifty cubic centimeters (50cc) which produces no more than two (2) brake horsepower and is capable of propelling the vehicle at a maximum design speed of no more than thirty miles per hour (30 mph) on level ground. The operator of a motorized bicycle must be in possession of a valid operator's or chauffeur's license, and shall be subject to all applicable and practical rules of the road. A motorized bicycle may not be operated on a highway of the interstate and defense highway system, any similar limited access multilane divided highway, or upon sidewalks;
    Samdallas214 likes this.
  3. daf

    daf New Member

    Michigan - As far as I can tell.

    Hello everyone. Thanks for the great info.

    The State of Michigan's DMV says my MB is classified as a moped in this state. A moped is defined by the State of Michigan as a unit that meets all of the following:

    A - The engine does not exceed 50 cc's piston displacement
    B - The engine is rated at 2.0 Hp or less
    C - The power drive system does not require the operator to shift gears and
    D - The top speed is 30 miles per hour or less on a level surface

    Michigan requires mopeds to be registered upon purchase and then again every 3 years unless they are used on private property only.

    A decal is provided that is to be displayed on the rear of the vehicle. (This sticker is vertically long and horizontally narrow, so a rear fender, or some sort of way of mounting the sticker is needed. It must be visible to law enforcement.)

    That said, the first thing I was missing were OWNERSHIP papers to go with my MB. Once I explained that I'd put the engine on myself, they gave me the paperwork I'll need to get a VIN assigned to my bike. I can't register it, they explain..without a VIN, and they can't issue me a VIN until it's been deemed road worthy.

    So starting from a bike and a motor..this is what the DMV says I need to do to get my MB registered and legal on public roads in Michigan:

    1. Equip it with the following:

    a) Front and rear brakes capable of stopping the vehicle safely CHECK
    b) A horn capable of being heard from 200 feet away
    c) A rear view mirror (some sources say left side mirror, some say rear view mirror. Left side should cover both bases.)
    d) A headlight mounted 24 to 54 inches from ground height powerful enough to illuminate objects 100 feet away
    e) A tail light
    f) A brake light is
    g) A muffler The inspection sheet (more on that in a second) check box says: [] Exhaust system (good working order, no excessive noise or annoying smoke) So I packed my muffler tube with fiberglass screen til I pass inspection just to be safe. CHECK
    h) A permanently mounted seat (Apparently my butt doesn't count since the seat has to be permanently mounted to the moped and not the rider.) CHECK
    i ) Handlebars which are no higher than 15 inches from the lowest point of the seat to the highest point of the hand grips CHECK

    * The items marked CHECK should be on your MB already.

    2. Take the vehicle to be inspected by the local police.

    The DMV provided me with a green form that has a checklist. They also provided me with a separate piece of paper that has the specific equipment list for mopeds. This is important, because the inspection checklist does NOT have a section for mopeds, so the officer will have to use the motorcycle section. That section lists extra equipment that is NOT required on mopeds. Make sure you make that obvious to the officer. I highlighted only the required moped equipment on the motorcycle checklist so the cop wouldn't be asking me for DOT tires and license plate light. Also there is no VIN, so make sure the officer is aware of the fact that the inspection is for the purpose of issuing a VIN.


    3. Return the signed inspection sheet to the DMV and apply for a VIN.

    Apparently, this is the part that takes the most time. 3 - 5 weeks is what I was told because it has to be done manually. I have no idea what that means, but I'll take their word for it.


    4. Once the MB has a VIN, it can be registered and legally ridden by a licensed driver (no motorcycle endorsement required.)

    There is a special moped license for people who have no license. The special moped license is NOT available if your license is suspended or revoked.

    You will receive a large sticker that is to be displayed on the back of your MB. It will expire April 30 of the year displayed on the sticker.

    No insurance is required.

    No helmet is required for riders over the age of 19.


    So far I'm still equipping the bike out. I only just got her 4 days ago. Just need to build a decent brake light system and buy a mirror and I should be good to go. I did manage to get all of these forms and information from the DMV. They weren't REAL familiar withthe process, but they were reasonably friendly about it.

    I'll let everyone know how my journey through the red tape goes.

  4. IbedaYank

    IbedaYank Member

    The motorized bicycle does not have to be registered,nor does a certificate of title need to be obtained. An owner may register the vehicle under regulations issued by the Commissioner of Revenue. No endorsement is required on a driver license in order to operate a motorized bicycle; thus the motorized bicycle may be operated by
    anyone with a valid drive license. Goggles, windshields and other special equipment required for motorcycles and motor
    drivencycle are not required for operation of a motorizedbicycle. However,crashhelmets are required regardless of the operator’s age. page 4
  5. occchopperfl

    occchopperfl Member

    FLORIDA LEGAL as of 05/12/2014 via FLHSMV Procedure RS-68

    In addition to the above info via the link, here is some additional info I just found out by calling number below:
    Of course, this info. is for the benefit of our Gas MB - Moped Community.

    A. Division of Motorist Services Regional Office - (For vehicle inspection)
    3200 Armsdale Road Suite 13
    Jacksonville, FL 32218
    (904) 924-1524

    B. Vehicle (Safety) Inspection Requirements Highlights:
    (will follow motorcycle guidelines)

    (see above Chapters 316.40 - 316.46)

    Bullet Points:
    WORKING Stoplight
    Reflectors 1 Red? 2 Amber?
    Rear View Mirror
    Front and Rear Brakes
    Throttle - Twist or Thumb
    License Plate Light

    From the conversation with the person over at The Division of Motor Services:
    a. They will not go into a detailed inspection ie how many feet the headlight or taillight can be seen from, etc
    b. He did not clarify what is acceptable safety equipment. ie Is Walmart bicycle headlamp ok?
    c. He did say that you will be signing an affidavit stating that your vehicle meets the safety standards of "Title 49 of Florida Statutes Chapter 316"?
    (his wiggle out clause)

    Please verify all the information PRIOR to you doing anything.

    Yes we are legal, and now we have to abide by the law. (To comply, we have to jump through hoops)
  6. Barnfresh

    Barnfresh Member

    Your link to Florida Statutes does not work. Any chance you could provide direct link to "Title 49 of Florida Statutes Chapter 316" or copy paste it. TIA
  7. occchopperfl

    occchopperfl Member

    a. 316.400 - 316.460>2013->Chapter 316

    No, I dont have a direct link for that, sorry. Couldn't find it either on my own.
    Maybe it was Title 46, but it really does not clarify much.
  8. tigatron

    tigatron Member

    Just figured I should add info for Nebraska.

    Nebraska DMV: Moped

    A moped is defined as a bicycle with fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power, an automatic transmission and a motor not exceeding 50 cc that produces no more than two brake horsepower at a maximum design speed of no more than 30 miles per hour.

    Mopeds are exempt from titling and registration. They can be operated on public roads as long as the operator complies with the laws regarding mopeds and the pedals are not removed. The laws regarding the operation of mopeds may be searched and reviewed on the Legislative website at Nebraska State Laws - QuickSearch.

    Nebraska State Laws: Moped
    *60-6,309. Moped; statutes; applicable.
    Mopeds, their owners, and their operators shall be subject to the Motor Vehicle Operator's License Act, but shall be exempt from the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Certificate of Title Act, the Motor Vehicle Registration Act, and the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act.
    *60-6,310. Moped; operation; license required.
    No person shall operate a moped upon a highway unless such person has a valid operator's license
    *60-6,311. Moped; operator; Nebraska Rules of the Road; applicable.
    (1) Any person who rides a moped upon a roadway shall have all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle under the Nebraska Rules of the Road except for special moped regulations in the rules and except for those provisions of the rules which by their nature can have no application.

    (2) Regulations applicable to mopeds shall apply whenever a moped is operated upon any highway or upon any path set aside by the Department of Roads or a local authority for the use of mopeds
    *60-6,312. Moped; restrictions on operation.
    (1) Any person who operates a moped shall ride only upon a permanent and regular seat attached to the moped. A person operating a moped shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a moped unless such moped is designed by the manufacturer to carry more than one person.

    (2) A person shall ride upon a moped only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward.

    (3) No person shall operate a moped while carrying any package, bundle, or other article which prevents him or her from keeping both hands on the handlebars.

    (4) No operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that interferes with the operation or control of the moped or the view of the operator.

    (5) Any moped which carries a passenger shall be equipped with footrests for such passenger.

    (6) No person shall operate any moped with handlebars more than fifteen inches above the mounting point of the handlebars.
    *60-6,313. Operating mopeds on roadways laned for traffic; prohibited acts.
    (1) A moped shall be entitled to full use of a traffic lane of any highway with an authorized speed limit of forty-five miles per hour or less, and no vehicle shall be operated in such a manner as to deprive any moped of the full use of such lane, except that mopeds and motorcycles may be operated two abreast in a single lane.

    (2) No person shall operate a moped between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.

    (3) Mopeds shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.

    (4) Any person who operates a moped on a roadway with an authorized speed limit of more than forty-five miles per hour shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable and shall not ride more than single file.

    (5) No person who rides upon a moped shall attach himself, herself, or the moped to any other vehicle on a roadway.

    (6) Mopeds shall not be operated on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways or on sidewalks.

    (7) Notwithstanding the maximum speed limits in excess of twenty-five miles per hour established in section 60-6,186, no person shall operate any moped at a speed in excess of thirty miles per hour.

    Now from my personal experience and 8 years total of MB/moped riding in Nebraska:
    This is a big one... The laws only stare automatic transmission but I have always had a manual clutch (single speed) and have never had any issues; upon way too much talking to the police department, sheriff's department, highway patrol, DMV, & department of roads the conclusion everybody gave me is that manual clutching a single speed is fine (to them its like an automatic being shifted to neutral) but if there'd becomes multiple gears (multi speed transmission) such as use of a shift kit that the gears must be automatic; but ultimately most law enforcement officers won't care.
    They don't care if the seat is removable as long as it can't be shifted easily by pushing or pulling on it.
    They don't tent to care about handlebar height as long as you can safely control the bike. The reason being the seat may need to be higher than the mounting point of the handle bars to accommodate the operator.
    I have never been questioned about the CC of my motor.
    I have been pulled over doing 40mph and only got a verbal warning once.
    I have had many cops tell me that I should be sure to stay at 35mph or less; they don't care if you do 35 as it helps keep you from impeding traffic on any of the mean streets.
    I have been stopped by many cops in the 3 years on a MB and 5 years on a true moped and maybe 1 in 50+ cops get picky about helmets. I had my old non-dot skull cap confiscated by a cop and had to call for somebody to pick me and my MB up.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
  9. seanshonda

    seanshonda New Member

    in Kansas, a motorized bike is a moped. if its a bicycle w/ pedals that can propel, even w/ a motor on it, its just a bicycle, not sure if the 50cc law applies, but I doubt they even check anymore. good ridin all.
  10. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    In many parts of America, the laws surrounding motorized bicycles are much more sensible than in Australia.

    In Australia, a motorized bicycle engine must not have more than 0.27 horsepower (you read that right - zero point two seven horsepower) and is commonly understood not to be allowed to travel faster than 12.54 miles per hour.
  11. fiery

    fiery New Member

    Questions on Melbourne's legal rules

    Hi Fabian,
    I see that from your profile that you are from Melbourne, I am from Melbourne too(international student). I am considering to buying a petrol engine to fit onto my bicycle so that I can get from home to the CBD & other places. However, i am very concerned with the legality of having a 250w engine I can't seem to find much information regarding the legality with motorized bicycle and it is rare to see one on the road. Is it illegal to be riding a motorized bike? Would be legal if you get a motor from zbox which has a certified 200w limit or it makes no difference at all? What is your experience so far with the police? What advice would you give me regarding riding a petrol powered bicycle? Do I need to keep to the 20kph limit? What are the dos and donts to avoid trouble with the police? What is the police viewpoint on this matter?

    I wouldnt want to take any risk if the fines are high and it is not worth the money at the end of the day.

    I really appreciate your help and your valuable experience. Thanks for taking the time to read and answer!

    Thanks so much!

  12. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Hello John

    A friend of mine is a police office in the Victorian highway patrol so i have the most up to date information, which even at this point in time isn't well known to most police officers, unless they search for the correct rules and regulations.

    As things are, and because most police officers and councils still refer to the rules that they are familiar with, you'll find that """any""" motorised bicycle with a petrol powered engine is considered to be "illegal", because the view held by police makes note that "any" petrol powered bicycle exceeds the 200 watt power limit and can exceed 20 k/ph, thereby falling into the category of a proper motorbike.

    When your motorised bicycle is categorised as a motorbike it breaks just about every rule in the book: becoming an unregistered vehicle, a non emissions compliant vehicle, a non ADR compliant vehicle, and a vehicle which requires a motorcycle licence.
    By the time it's all said and done, the traffic operations police can hit you with infringement fines of around $3,000+ and even more if you don't have a valid motorcycle licence and you don't even want to think about how much trouble you'll be in if riding the bike DUI.

    Because of the situation in Victoria, i have $3,000 set aside in my bank account for the day when a highway patrol police officer pulls me over and hits me with every infringement and issues penalty notices for every one of those infringements.

    That said, i enjoy riding my bike more than the $3,000+ worth of fines.
    Every day i ride my bike is another day closer to meeting that police officer who wants to make an example of me.
  13. El Sid

    El Sid Member

    Ya Florida, I got your WORKING brake light right here. [Sticks left arm out, bends elbow down so hand reaches for ground] HA!
  14. El'Zilcho

    El'Zilcho New Member

    New York question.

    So anyone get around this by adding blinkers, spedo and running lights?

    "Motor-assisted Bicycle - a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle doesn't qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and doesn't have the same equipment."

    I figured i might be able to add all the stuff and register it as a home made non highway motorcycle, I'm sure someone must have tried that by now.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  15. NY is a giant black hole for motorized bicycle hobby

    Unfortunately like everything else in NY it is listed in the unregistered category because it's top speed can not be certified by some bureaucracy. While the motor might have a rating on it the sprockets can be difficult to make the speed standard. Therefore NY won't let you register it no matter if it has lights, horn, mirrors, speedo. You can search or speak with your local DMV supervisor. Here is the stink of it, if you read the New York State DMV posting for non registered vehicles prohibited for use on SIDEWALKS, parking lots and streets. It includes any motorized scooter or go kart. However you can go to Toys R Us and buy a Power Wheels Jeep for your kid, to use on the sidewalk or any number of the hundreds of electric powered scooters. In which case the police will never bother your kids for doing so. Ride a motorized bicycle in the street and "some" cops lose their minds.
    Headlight, taillight/turn signals/horn and handlebars rear view mirrors and helmet. I was operating it carefully and safely at the curb line, out of traffic on side streets only. I was told I could not operate it in the street and that if I was seen operating it again. I could have been given a ticket for operating any illegal vehicle in a public street and the bike could be seized. I am friends with several local police officers. The police officer who pulled me over I did not know; however he was nice enough to sit with me and look up on his computer the laws for motorized bicycles. I was then informed and read the statement for myself that it was an unregistered vehicle. I had read the DMV site 2 years ago and motorized bicycles were allowed in as long as they had lights, horn and a helmet. I still ride it but only up and down my own street. if you can find out something different please post back. I've put some money into my motorized bicycle and would love to use it more. if I have to invest a little more into it I will.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  16. Caplain

    Caplain New Member

    yes because a bicycle with a motor on it is such a detriment to society. fortunately if the rider is smart enough to build it then there is a chance they're smart enough to ride it safely...most of them at least. since i'm legally blind (like 10 pts off the vision test, mind you) i can't get a license. my bike is my car essentially. i can't register it here in michigan cause if i got pulled over i would be in bigger trouble if it were registered, right?
  17. 45u

    45u Active Member

  18. johnsteve

    johnsteve Member

    According to this Indiana website you can go up to 35 MPH and have a motor under 50cc and still be legal. The only thing that is required is to get an Indiana state ID with the proper endorsement. It also says nothing about having a transmission, which is great. It sounds like they have some pretty liberal laws regarding MB's. Now if only they could get their sh_t together with MM laws it would be alright.
  19. sparky

    sparky Active Member