New Hampshire MB Law

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by Axlerod, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Axlerod

    Axlerod Member

    I just talked w/ NH DMV about Motorized Bicycles. I was told bicycles w/ motors < 5 HP do not require registration.Woo Hoo.!

    Sat Apr11 while riding my bicycle w/ attached motor N on Rt 1A in Hampton, NH I was cited for unregistered moped. RSA261:44, carries a hefty fine of $100.My friend also on MB was also charged . We ended up pedalling South ~ 5 mi back to our truck.

    In NH the law seems rather vague concerning MB's, but there are some Regulations Statutes & Ammendments (RSA's) that apply. Specifically RSA259:65 defines Motor-driven cycle. Besides motorcycles & motorscooters < 5 HP, bicycles w/ attached motors are defined. Here Mopeds are excluded as Motor Driven cycles , yet are defined as such in the following RSA. Mopeds are defined in RSA 259:57. Mopeds are required to be registered & to display a small metal license plate. There is no other mention of Motor driven cycles as far as I can tell, gas or electric.

    There is a section that discusses self balancing Electric vehicles. It seems to refer to the expensive & eccentric Segways. Well NH is the home of these strange contraptions so why not.
    Maybe we can pursuade our foreign creditors to purchase millions of them.

    I have requested written notice from the state.

  2. tacoshell4

    tacoshell4 Member

    good deal geo
  3. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    In NH, you have three classifications for 2/3 wheelers
    • Motorcycles: engine power 5HP or more
    • Motor Driven Cycles: Engine power less than 5 HP. Can include Bicycles with attached motors.
    • Mopeds: A more restrictive subset of Motor Driven Cycles, with engine power less than 2 HP, 50cc max, no shifting, and max speed on flat 1 mile run is 30 MPH. (This description could also include bicycles with motors attached...)

    The key may be NH's definition of VEHICLE. A VEHICLE requires registration, whereas a non-vehicle does not.
    So, a motor driven cycle would require registration, but, a moped might not. If your MB meets all the requirements for moped, then, you MAY be able to avoid the fine. But, if it doesn't, you've got a 'motor driven cycle...' :-( (at least in NH, you do.) (However, RSA264 deals with "Accidents and Financial Responsibility...")

    RSA 261-80 says
    Like most states... something of a mish-mash.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
  4. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    RSA261:44 deals with repricosity. I think you mean RSA2612:40
    At that, be glad you're not in AZ... ours are defined as bicycles, but, the speeds are 20 MPH, and if you exceed that, it's a MUCH larger fine. (larger fine for unregistered motor vehicle, plus fines for uninsured M.V.)
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
  5. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Did some more digging. Go to Saf-C 500, then search for MOPED, and MOTORCYCLE. It discusses registration/plate requirements for mopeds and motorcycles.

    It looks like the NH DMV office steered you wrong. I think your only alternative is to tell the judge what they had said, and show them RSA 259:122, which might muddy the water enough to show the judge that you tried to get a plate beforehand...
  6. HseLoMein

    HseLoMein Member

    i just say, if you can actually get the registration, just get it, it will save you life times of headaches. Thats what i did to my bike, even though MA does require anything with a motor to be registered, i got the registration without doing the research, because i dont want to deal with the BS. the registration saved my but this past weekend when i was riding in NH and got pulled over.
  7. Axlerod

    Axlerod Member

    Not Guilty

    I'm hoping not to have to go to court. This is the State of NH, which needs to make the rules clear. I have contacted the Director of Registration @ the DMV ,
    & hope to soon have a response. I do have an e-mail dated
    June 15, 2009 from the Supervisor of Burea of Registration, NH DMV, that states " The DMV does not currently register Electric Vehicles. " I got a copy from the owner of E-Bikes of New England, in Derry, NH. They have a nice collection of electric bikes , & it's a nice place to test ride. ( I have no commercial connection w/ these fine folks). There is no mention of electric bikes in the RSA's , yet DMV Authorities have made a clarification concerning E-Bikes. So why not Motorized Bicycles?

    Thanks for the note Lou. RSA 261:40 is the one that applys.

    Corey perhaps just getting a moped sticker is the easiest thing to do. Maybe I will get some moped tags on my gas power bikes after all this. But it would be best if the State makes the rules clear. Stay tuned. George
  8. tacoshell4

    tacoshell4 Member

    how do i reg in mass>?
  9. shawnshank

    shawnshank Member

    Just fill this out and bring it to the RMV.

    When I went to register mine, the woman didn't check any of the documentation so it was quite easy to get one. I went to the rmv in downtown Boston because they are the busiest and therefore the least likely to scrutinize the paperwork.

    Oh yeah...and you have to have a license to get one.

    Requirements listed here:
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  10. Axlerod

    Axlerod Member

    NH Update/ Court Date

    I have been trying to get some clarification on NH MB Law from the DMV. The good news is there are some people there that are aware of the problem. The bad news is I have a court date next Month.
    Since getting cited Apr 10, I have been trying to get clarification on NH Law. On following Tues. met w/ town DMV. Was told Reg. not req for MB. They called NH DMV got same response. I asked if I could have something in writing, & was refered to the RSA's Regulations Statues & Ammendments. I have spent hours reviewing the pertinent RSA's, & there seems to be a lot of room for interpretation concerning MB's. The next week I called NH DMV 3 times. If you leave a message they will call back. 3 different folks from DMV told me , No reg. req. for MB., but I was not able to get something in writing. I did get an e-mail address for supervisor. I sent e-mail explaining the problem & asking for clarification about Law. after 1 week no response. I sent another e-mail & called
    after leaving several msgs. got to talk w/ another agent. I was told again no Reg req, but when I requested for something in writing, I was told you have 2 options send another e-mail or call NH State Troopers & have them call Hampton PD to stop pulling over MB's. I still havn't tried this, it seems like grass roots Law Enforcement. I asked why NH DMV couldn't do this , & was reminded of my 2 options. Three weeks pass w/ no response. I again left several msgs @ NH DMV explaining situation. After playing phone tag for most of the morning, I finally got a DMV rep. This person really seemed like they wanted to help, but was not sure if a Reg. was Req. for MB's. I finally got an e-mail from supervisor. I replied w/ more info & pic's of two of my MB's.
    Hopefully this will result in some clarification about Law.
    Frustrating yes, waste of time? I hope not. The laws need to be clear, if not
    confusion will result.
  11. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    This might be your chance to get a judge to make a ruling on the matter.

    Take the specs of your bike, a picture would help too.
    Print out the part of the law(s) that favor your position with the appropriate numbers.
    Don't forget to check the Bicycle statues too.
    Then take it all to court with you.
    Hopefully you won't have to plead to get it dismissed, but if not, plead not guility and get official.
    You won't need an attorney, just plead your case, if you loose ohh well, you are the $100 and some time.

    If you get a favorable ruling, get a copy of the ruling and case name/number.

    The State of NH
    Case number#

    Carry a copy around on your MB like a Registration, have your friends do that too.
    No cop is going to site you for something when you show them a court ruling showing a judge ruled you are not breaking the law ;-}
  12. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    Can you elaborate loquin?
    I haven't looked for a case and what was actually done for simply exceeding 20MPH.

    Regarding: Revised AZ Statute 28-2516
    I can't see that as completely reclassifying your bike a motor vehicle, that would devastate those of us that use them because we don't have a drivers license.

    I hope there has been some ruling saying that the "offense" was something like "exceeding vehicle specified operation speed" with a low fine per mile over limit so long as the speed was below the posted roadway speed.

    That would be handy to tuck in the ziplock bag along my copy of Revised AZ Statute 28-2516 under my seat for uninformed cops ;-}

    I mean come on...
    Busting you like you were driving a car with no drivers license, tags, registration and insurance for riding 25MPH on the side of a 40MPH roadway simply can't be the laws intent.
    Bicyclers ride faster than that for heavens sake!
  13. chrisnbush

    chrisnbush Member

    It's so location dependent.

    I am over here in Keene, southwest corner of the state. I have a centermount 80 cc, and a rear mount DAX Titan. Have been riding the centermount for going on 3 years now - the DAX is going on a year old.

    Never had a problem, pass by cops all the time. I originally took the centermount to th DMV in Keene, to make sure it was legal. The clerk showed me a photocopy of something that looked like a Whizzer, I think it was just a centermount. "Look like this ?" I said yes - she said "Its legal".

    One time I thought I would try to get the centermount VIN'd so I could register it. Went up along side route 101 where the cop does it on Tuesdays or sometime - normally for salvage guys trying to get VINs for restored wrecks. He told me without suspension, and directionals he wouldn't do it - I needed to take it to Manchester or somewhere.

    If I could get it registered, I could take it with me to Canada, as mopeds registered in the U.S. are grandfathered in Canada. Although now after some discussion, I suspect the Mounties (described as FBI in a squad car) might not look too kindly on my efforts, legal or otherwise, to twist the Canadian truth...

    I wish it WAS cleared up. I have seen / heard "5 horse" also. Holy **** - I don't need to go any more than the 30 limit, but think of the torque - I could climb Mount Monadnock (and trailer my dog).

    I am concerned - their are more of us on the road every day I think. All it takes is for someone to get hurt (a kid or something), and the confusion over the legislation would clear up real quick.

    alias BigKid
  14. mralaska

    mralaska Member

    I share your interpretation, confusion, and frustration with NH regulations. When I asked my local registration desk their answer was fairly direct, "I don't know".

    I am curious whether you have had your day in court or whether you have any updates or resolution on this issue.
  15. Axlerod

    Axlerod Member

    On my way to Court

    Hopefully things will turn out well. Doc's & pic's in hand. I will bring some MB's for show & tell. Stay tuned Gtr
  16. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Good luck with it, interested to see how it turns out.
  17. Axlerod

    Axlerod Member

    Case Dismissed

    I showed up at court w/ my friend Fred also charged w/ unregisterd Moped, $100 fine, we were ~ an hr early. There was a guard at the front & he said
    court would start @ 1PM. The DA was also at the front door there & I started to talk to him about my case.

    I told him I & my friend were charged w/ unregistered Mopeds, but we were riding Bicycles w/ attached motors. I told him NH Laws define motorized cycles which include bicycles w/ attached motors as not being mopeds. I showed him 2 motorized bikes I had in my pickup, ( a rack mount Robin Subaru, & a HT w/ Columbia Cruiser ). He agreed they were bicycles w/ attached motors & not mopeds. I mentioned that there is a lot of ambiguity & confusion about the laws regulating motorized bicycles, but that I was sort of an expert in the field as a custom bike builder for over 25 years. He mentioned that perhaps I should write the legislation for MB's, & to sit at a table in a back room. I would gladly help clear up the confusion, my reply.
    I grab my documents & pic's. After a few min. I showed him the RSA defining Moped & the distinction from Bicycle w/ attached motor.

    He told me I could go w/ just a warning! I said I'd rather go see the Judge,
    as I felt that the law needs to be clarified, or it will be continued to be
    wrongly enforced. I was able to explain in more detail, & provided him w/ pictures , RSA's & e-mails from the DMV. He dismissed the cases & said he would post a notice for the Hampton PD about the Motorized Bikes.

    There are many towns, hamlets, shires & fifedoms in NH, fortunately most of them are not tagging MB's as unregistered vehicles. But the NH DMV needs to step up & clarify the law or more confusion will ensue.

    Live Free & Die Gtr

    Quest: What's the new name for the Old Man In the Mountain?

    A: Cliff
  18. skipS

    skipS Member

    thats great news! do you have a case no? I will be bringing my motorized bike to Exeter NH last week of July and plan on riding into hampton beach. I would like to have some proof that my bike is legal in NH. Did you follow up with the Hampton police dept to see if they got the notice? what was the judges name and the prosecutor name? you can pm with the info if you like
  19. Axlerod

    Axlerod Member

    NH Senate Bill 403

    Looks like NH will rewrite Motorized Cycle definition to be included w/ Mopeds & thus will req reg. Vote to be tallied soon. If nothing else it may clear up the confusion.
    During Motorcycle week in Laconia, NH I had a chance to ride up to the big
    rally. There were several mile long motorcycle traffic jams. Cars are not allowed near Weirs Beach. There were cops & troopers everywhere. My friend & I flew & pedaled under the radar w/ no problems. We were able to travel on the shoulder of the roads & had no delays. We parked our steeds between the thousands of Harley's & custom Hogs. When we got back to our bikes there were a bunch of Harley dudes scoping out our rides. I ask them if there was a problem? Cool bikes man! One guy was saying these things are more like the original Harleys w/ pedals than anything around here. Me, I didn't think we'd fit in. Oh well, Live free & ride. Then we strapped on our bicycle helmets w/ attached mirrors pedaled & putted away.
  20. kingdavidcoffee

    kingdavidcoffee New Member

    Latest NH laws

    Hi, I've read the NH posts with interest since I live in Nashua. I googled the senate bill and it seems bicycles with motors now need to have the registration. Here is the 2010 session bill which has a couple of changes to it.

    CHAPTER 163


    2010 SESSION




    AN ACT relative to motor-driven cycles.

    SPONSORS: Sen. Letourneau, Dist 19; Sen. Gilmour, Dist 12; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Rep. Packard, Rock 3; Rep. R. Williams, Merr 11; Rep. Nedeau, Belk 3; Rep. Coffey, Merr 6

    COMMITTEE: Transportation and Interstate Cooperation


    This bill modifies the definition of motor-driven cycle in the motor vehicle laws.

    This bill was requested by the department of safety.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

    Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

    Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.




    In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten

    AN ACT relative to motor-driven cycles.

    Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

    163:1 Motor-driven Cycle. Amend RSA 259:65 to read as follows:

    259:65 Motor-driven Cycle. "Motor-driven cycle" shall mean any motorcycle or motor scooter with a motor which produces not to exceed 5 horse-power, and any bicycle with motor attached[, but not including mopeds] except any electrically powered bicycle that has a less than 750 watt motor, has functional pedals, and is capable of a maximum speed on level ground of less than 20 miles per hour.

    163:2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

    Approved: June 17, 2010

    Effective Date: June 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2015