Motorized bicycles legal in MA

License Required & Registration Required

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  1. sk8freak8989

    sk8freak8989 Guest

    i live in Massachusetts any wanted to know if anyone knows if these bikes are legal here.


  2. etheric

    etheric Guest

  3. sk8freak8989

    sk8freak8989 Guest

    i thought these were considered assited bicycles not mopeds.
  4. Cookie

    Cookie Guest

    Different states different names like in Mas if it is 50cc or more even if it has pedels...















    Alabama - researched by SherryB
    I got this reply from an email query to the Alabama Department of Public Safety (9/20/99):
    "I hope the following information will be helpful. A motorcycle license is required to drive a moped. Contact the probate office to register and get plates for the moped. Interstate highways are the only prohibited area for operation. Insurance is required effective June 2000. A motorcycle helmet is required. If you have proper lighting, night driving is permitted."

    Additional info: Alabama requires a title, registration, and a license plate. Registering a moped from a non-title state is a real pain, it has taken us 2 trips to the County Courthouse already. Our particular county (Lauderdale) is requiring a signed, dated, and notorized document on letterhead from the previous owner's county courthouse stating that mopeds are a non-titled object in that state. The previous owner is not willing to wait in line at their courthouse for such a document, so we are hoping that a faxed non-notarized document on letterhead will work.

    Motorcycle licenses can be issued at age 15 in Alabama.


    More on Alabama - sent by D. Eugene Davis
    In State of Alabama, mopeds are classed as motorcycles, thus motorcycle license is needed to operate one. Standard operator's license is NOT sufficient.
    Titles NOT required for any vehicle pre-1975. Otherwise, switching of title is 18 dollars. Also, a sales tax of 3.75% is levied unless one can offer proof of tax payment on bill of sale. Motorcycle plates are about 11 dollars.

    Insurance is needed effective 6/2000. I estimate 10 to 20 dollars per month.


    Arizona - researched by
    After almost a month of hassle with the state of arizona concerning licencing and registration of mopeds - here is what I found -
    Mopeds are any bike with a helper motor of 50cc or less, 1.5 braking hp, and no speed faster than 25 mph. To lisence a moped you need only a bill of sale. A lot of mopeds were incorectly titled as motorcycles, so if you need to change the "title" over, have a class 1 inspection done to verify it is a moped, then take the paperwork to the DMV to have the title destroyed, and a registration issued.

    Registration is $5.00 + $4.50 for tax. Registration for all mopeds expires on Oct 31 of every year. Insurance is required. To drive a moped you need only a valid drivers lisence (dunno about permits) and moped restriction do exist in some cases (if you are unable to drive a car - not for DUI).

    Moped Dealers can NOT get dealer plates for their mopeds.

    No titles shall be issued to mopeds.

    Any new moped bought out of state shall have a 5% tax added to the registration fee (taken from the cost of the moped)

    I think that about covers it.


    Arizona - reported by Ryan Price
    The laws are you must have a valid AZ drivers liscence. Second you need to register the moped, but you are not allowed to title them. Also some insurance is required as well. For driving them, they are treated as a combination bicycle/scooter. I was told to "use your best judgement." Hope this helps.

    Ryan Price
    Tucson Az.


    Arizona - updated on 21 Oct 2005 by Owen Bensen
    I just went to transfer the title of my 2003 Yamaha Vino Classic 49cc scooter, and the Arizona Motor Vehicle office here would not register or title it. They checked with someone in Tempe, and now apparently any scooter under 50cc is treated as a moped, where previously it had to have working pedals and be 1.5 bhp or less. No plates or proof of insurance are needed. We'll see what happens if I am ever stopped by a police officer.........

    Arkansas- submitted by
    From state code 27-20, 101 through 107: Required: Automatic transmission, 50 cc or less, headlight, tail light, reflector, brakes, horn,tags, registration, helmet under 21yo. Rider must use goggles or have a transparent windshield in place. Motorcycle licence required.

    More Arkansas info


    California Moped Laws


    Colorado - submitted by
    Te state law in Colorado is that 1. you must have a valid drivers license to ride a moped, 2. the moped doesn't have to have a plate on it if it is 50cc or under or doesn't exceed 30mph. You also have to have pedals on the moped, for it to be considered a motorized bike... I can't remember where I found the info, but I think it was in the drivers license handbook or maybe an internet site... I think you'll find the police aren't well informed of moped laws. I live in Fort Collins and ride almost daily using bike lanes, and other then a strange look from the police once in a while I have not been hassled.

    More Colorado info


    Connecticut - submitted by John Nimlo
    Dear 50 cc fans:
    As far as i can tell a moped is considered a bicycle with a helper motor in the nutmeg state provided:

    a. goes no faster than 30 mph

    b. displaces less than 50 cc

    c. has an automatic transmission

    d. less than 2 brake horse power

    e. and after 7/1/97 the need for pedals is deleted from the requirements.

    However the operator of this vehicle must possess a valid motor vehicle operators license or a motorcycle license. It would seem then that many 50 cc scooters would qualify under this amended rule.

    There is no need for a tag or insurance or emissions testing and i would assume no personal property tax.

    Being a bicycle of course they are prohibited on limited access highways and turnpikes.

    Respectfully submitted,



    Delaware Moped Laws


    Florida - submitted by Steven W. Buehler


    Georgia Moped Laws


    Hawaii Moped Laws


    Idaho Moped Laws


    I have called the DMV in illinois and talked to the Secretary of State office too and I know the following facts about moped in IL:
    1) You must have a valid drivers licence
    a) for a car if under 49cc's
    b) for a small motorcycle if between 49 and 150 cc's
    c) for a big motorcycle if above 150cc's
    2) You must have a title for the moped
    3) You must register the moped with the state
    4) You most have plates on the moped
    5) You must have insurance for the moped.


    P.S. Here's some more info (found in Illinois driver's guide)

    Motorized pedalcycles, often called mopeds, are low-speed, two-wheeled vehicles. They can be pedaled like a bicycle or driven like a motorcycle. Mopeds are intended for limited use on public roadways. Here are some of the responsibilities of moped drivers:

    Moped drivers must have a valid driver's license.

    LAWS: Moped drivers must obey all signs, signals and traffic laws. They also must obey most bicycle laws.

    SPEED: A moped may not go over 30 miles per hour.

    PASSENGERS: Moped drivers may carry a passenger only when the moped is made for two people. Equipment must include a passenger seat and a passenger footrest.

    EQUIPMENT: If a moped is driven at night, it must have a headlight visible from at least 500 ft. A moped must also have a red reflector on the rear visible from at least 100 to 600 ft.


    Indiana - submitted by Larry and Ian
    The rules are as follows:
    you must be 15 years or older
    You have to have head gear
    You have to have proof of an enrollment in a motorcycle class
    Proof of vision test
    50cc or smaller
    you don't need a license
    stay off the freeway (Duh)
    keep to the far right of the road
    I have officers names and badge numbers and phone numbers I keep them in my walet if you need them - it pays to do your homework and i love my Zuma.


    Indiana - update by Chris Peters
    Some police officers around the Lafayette/Indianapolis area are pulling kids over for no eye gear. (Ex. Goggles, Face mask, exc.) There is an $80 fine for no eyewear. Even if you have a visor for example, but you are riding with it up. They give no mercy. 80 bucks! Just some warning.

    More Indiana info


    Iowa - submitted by Ace
    "Mopeds" are any single-passenger two-wheeled vehicle with a displacement of 50cc or less. In fact, you almost never see actual pedal mopeds here, it's all scooters and bikes like my '79 QT50. You can drive one at 14 (if you take a moped safety course) or with a normal drivers' license.

    Mopeds must display a dippy neon flag. As far as I know, no helmet is required. Enforcement is pretty lax -- I ride without a flag, with a passenger, no helmet, etc. quite often and I have never had police trouble yet.

    Oh yes -- top speed 25, but I've never seen it enforced as long as posted speed limits are obeyed.

    More Iowa info


    Kansas- submitted by
    Code KSA8-1439A. 3.5 BHP, 130cc, Automatic trans., 30 mph, registration, drivers licence, headlight, tail light, reflector, brakes, helmet if under 18yo, minimum age 14yo. No mention of reciprocity.
    More Kansas info


    Kentucky Moped Laws


    Louisiana Moped Laws


    Maine Moped Laws


    Maryland - submitted by
    Section 11-134.1. Moped. "Moped" means a bicycle that: (1) Is designed to be operated by human power with the assistance of a motor; (2) Is equipped with pedals that mechanically drive the rear wheel or wheels; (3) Has two or three wheels, of which one is more than 14 inches in diameter; (4) Has a motor with a rating of 1.5 brake horsepower or less and, if the motor is an internal combustion engine, a capacity of 50 cubic centimeters poston displacement of less. (1978, ch. 328; 1979, ch. 65). 16-101 (b) "Motor-assisted bicycles" require a driver's license or moped operator's permit regardless of residency status. and 16-104.2. "Moped operator's permit" precludes anyone under 16 or whose license or privelege to drive in any State is revoked, suspended, refused, or cancelled.

    More Maryland info


    Massachusetts - submitted by Garo Der Hagopian
    Need a valid driver's license or learner's permit to operate a moped. Some limitations:
    must be at least 16 and hold a valid driver's license or learner's permit
    may NOT drive at speeds greater than 25mph
    may Not ride on state highways or limited access roads with signs prohibiting bicycles
    must use proper hand signals before stopping/turning
    you may use bicycle lanes along roadways, but NOT off-street recreational paths
    You and any passenger must wear DOT standard helmets; the fine for not wearing a helmet is $35
    you may not carry a passenger if you are operating on a permit
    registering your moped at the DMV does not alter your insurance in any way (as long as it travels <30mph)
    the cost to register is $20 (for 2 years); the fine for riding an unregistered moped is $100
    other stuff: bike considered a moped when:

    cyclinder capacity is no more than 50cc
    has automatic transmission
    max speed of 30mph, and operated at no more than 25mph
    complies with all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards
    I hope this helps a new MA mopeders
  5. update to the MA info:

    have gone to work on it about a dozen times - I have passed cops going full speed and they don't do anything. I would just feign ignorance If I get stopped by a cop. If you aren't wearing a hemlet you could get a ticket for that though.

    from the 2006 motorcycle information manual:

    A pedal bicycle which has a helper motor, or a
    non-pedal bicycle which has a motor, with a
    cylinder capacity not exceeding fifty (50) cubic
    centimeters, an automatic transmission, and
    which is capable of a maximum speed of no
    more than thirty (30) miles per hour (mph).
    Under Massachusetts law, mopeds fall into the category of
    "motorized bicycles"(with or without pedals) and are therefore
    regulated by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. Individuals must
    have a valid learner's permit or driver's license to operate a
    motorized bicycle or moped.
    Mopeds must have automatic transmissions and cylinder
    capacities of no more than 50 cubic centimeters. In addition,
    mopeds must meet all federal motor vehicle safety standards
    and have maximum speeds of no more than 30 mph. The
    following limitations apply:
    - Individuals may not operate at speeds greater than 25 mph;
    - Individuals may not operate on state highways or limitedaccess
    roads with signs prohibiting bicycles;
    - Individuals may not operate on off-street recreational paths;
    - Individuals may use bicycle lanes along roadways;
    - Individuals must use the proper hand signals before
    stopping or turning;
    - Individuals and their passengers must wear United States
    Department of Transportation (US DOT) approved helmets
    when operating;
    - Individuals may not carry passengers while operating on a

    link to the application form you take to the RMV for the sticker:
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  6. sk8freak8989

    sk8freak8989 Guest

    if i got a engine under 50cc would it be legal.
  7. etheric

    etheric Guest

    You shouldn't worry about displacement unless you really want to be technically legal. Noone is going to measure displacement, the engines generally aren't marked, and it is pretty hard to notice a 30cc difference between jugs. The main thing they could get you on is your speed. But if you get pulled over I'd say stick to the "this is a 49.3cc engine sir" story and you should be fine on that end of things. Otherwise be cool and ride safely and respectfully and that'll cover most of the things that the cops could bust you for. I didn't read any of the information on MA seeing as how I live in Indiana, and they really don't care much about anything here, so I'd suggest re-reading the info given. That way you will have the legal knowledge and be familiar with the way in which it is worded in your brain for that one time you may have to use it. Sometimes law-enforcement really doesn't know what the law is and will just pull you over, other times they do but will still try to bully you about it and assume that you don't know. So it will be very valuble if you are familiar with the law to the "T" so you can either illuminate the officer, or hold your ground if he is trying to bully you. Plus you'll be able to tell other people in your area exactly what you can and can't do (especially what you shouldn't do but can get away with)
  8. Zzakas

    Zzakas New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I also live in MA. If I'm only 15 is it illegal for me to be riding a motor assisted bicycle? Are these bikes considered mopeds? I'm thinking of building one but afraid I will get pulled over.

  9. Zev0

    Zev0 Member

    Jan 6, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Read read read. I did it for you this time..

    "Under Massachusetts law, mopeds fall into the category of
    "motorized bicycles"(with or without pedals) and are therefore
    regulated by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. Individuals must
    have a valid learner's permit or driver's license to operate a
    motorized bicycle or moped."
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  10. cheeseman

    cheeseman New Member

    Apr 25, 2008
    Likes Received:

    Hey, so I noticed there is a line for a VIN on the moped registration fourm. Did you have to go through the trouble of having a VIN assigned or can you register without the VIN?
  11. eljefino

    eljefino Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    Likes Received:
    A lot of times you can get by with the frame serial number, usually found underneath the crankset.

    As beauracracies go, they just want a unique number. :)

    They aren't the 1981+ car VINs that can be unrolled into make, model year, motor, airbags, etc.
  12. sensationpdx

    sensationpdx Member

    Jan 7, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I just got my bike registered here in VT. It is a GEBE 32cc. Tanaka Kit. Its cool to have a plate because now, cops cant say &#@*! It was only $21.00 and I did it as a "Home Built Moped" They even gave me a VIN# for it!
  13. John-Forrest

    John-Forrest Member

    Jun 23, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I'm reading this thread with great interest. I live in Amherst, MA and currently ride a regular bike. I've been thinking about getting a bicycle with a 70 cc or 80 cc engine. I'm wondering if I can get away with it as long as I just say it's 49cc and don't ride it more than 30-ish. Anyone in Massachusetts doing that?

    Frankly, I think they should alter the law to go up to 80cc and go no faster than 35 before you get insurance & plates.

    The other thing I'm wondering is supposing I did want to register as "motorcycle" - does that mean I'm going to have to put on turn signals and all the lighting just to go around 30? In that case, it'd be safer to stick to 49cc engine.
  14. wmassregulators

    wmassregulators Member

    Jun 25, 2008
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    howdy neighbor
    I am right over the Calvin Coolidge bridge from you in northampton
  15. cheeseman

    cheeseman New Member

    Apr 25, 2008
    Likes Received:
    If you want to try to register as a motorcycle in mass look here it is very hard to register a morotized bike as a mototcycle. Yes, you need all of the lighting and a horn. Also you need dot approved tires, I have never heard of dot bike tires. Imo a motorcycle is a motorcycle and a motorized bike is a motorized bike, motorcycles have a much stronger frame, big suspension, big brakes and big wheels for big speeds (as well as big insurance costs). I'm not sure, mabey you could get it registered with big time modification, but I have never heard of someone registering a motorized bike as a motorcycle in any state and I definetly don't think its worth it to go a few more mph on a road legally. Your better off having a keen eye and watching out for thoes cops above 30 imo.

    On your other question people get 70cc or 80ccs all the time and just say that they are 50ccs. You can't tell the difference between a 50cc and a 70cc just by looking at it anyway. Now I think what you need is a little motorcycle radar detector :) jk.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  16. sensationpdx

    sensationpdx Member

    Jan 7, 2008
    Likes Received:
    When I registered mine, I did it as a "Home build Moped" They didnt ask about lights or horn and I didnt tell. There is no inspection or insurance requirments. I dont even think I had to do it because the size of my motor. But now I dont even have to think twice about riding right up Main Street in any town because I have a plate. It only cost $21.00! Well worth the lack of worry and grief that a grouchy cop could give me.
  17. sensationpdx

    sensationpdx Member

    Jan 7, 2008
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    They will issue you a VIN #. Its pretty cool, you get a little sticker plate with a VIN# to put on your bike!!
  18. CheapskateNH

    CheapskateNH Member

    Jun 14, 2008
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    Anyone know if a similar pheonomenon of getting issued your own VIN sticker type thing happens here in NH? -Evan
  19. secondchancevt

    secondchancevt New Member

    Jul 11, 2008
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    Hey sensationpdx - was just looking at your post and saw you were from VT. I also just registered mine as a home made moped, however the state DOES require both insurance and an inspection sticker, so be careful. You'll need lights, horn, mirror, etc. to be legal. I'm in the process of tracking down insurance for mine now. Anyhow, greetings from a fellow VTer and happy motoring!
  20. John-Forrest

    John-Forrest Member

    Jun 23, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I just wanted to mention that I did get a bicycle/moped from WildFire Motors and went right to Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. They didn't even want me to show title or bill of sale; for VIN # I just wrote down engine #. Woman just asked me if motor was 50 cc and didn't go faster than 25 mph. I imagine one could get away with 80 cc as long as you don't go faster than 30-ish and say it's 50 cc. I passed several cops who didn't bother me. I certainly got a look of funny looks from people; everywhere I parked, people asked me questions about it. Today WildFire sent me a title (which is only necessary in Ohio apparently). I would recommend registering in MA as moped; cops (especially troopers) can be nasty.

    Oh, and you got to wear DOT helmet. Other day, I lost balance getting off and fell off bike and knocked my head right smack against pavement; if I wasn't wearing helmet, my head would had been smashed open like a pumpkin.