New Hampshire MB Law

iwasgandhi

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Joined
Jul 1, 2010
Messages
22
I have read with great interest Axelrod's efforts to get some clarification from the NH DMV concernering whether or not it is legally necessary to register MB's in NH. I want to motorized my bicycle and, fortunately, I have had great success in a two-week long volley of polite, civil, and informative e-mails back and forth with the NH DMV in Concord (state cap) on this matter. It has taken an exacting, razor-sharp, and lawyer-like mind on my part to tease out all the right questions in order to get clarifying answers. If Axelrod or anyone else would like to know the gist of what I found out I'd be happy to share.
 


chrisnbush

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
135
Please post. I am a NH rider, and although I haven't had ANY problems in 3 years of riding HT centermount, rear mount Titan, and now centermount Titan. One time a cop stopped me and in an around about way tried to get how many CC's my centermount HT was, but he was pretty nice about it. Never been stopped otherwise by local or staties. My experience with DMV was, they showed me a poor copy of a picture of a Whizzer and said "Does it look like this ?". I said "Yes", and they said "Well you don't have to register it". Don't know how that would cover my rear mount or centermount Titans as they look quite different, but it might just be my area of NH - I am 15 miles south of Keene in the sticks (no problems ever in Keene though and I spend a lot of time riding to / from).

Regards
 

iwasgandhi

New Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2010
Messages
22
lots of rules, no wiggle room

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply. I don't have an internet computer at home, and I have a disability which sometimes prevents me from getting out of the house, so my access to the internet depends on my ability to get to the library.

The gist of NH laws are thus (and I could cut & paste my e-mails to and from the NH DMV in Concord if necessary): in NH, any bicycle with a gas-powered motor attached must be registered either as a moped or as a motorcycle in order for that vehicle to be road legal.

It is generally easier and less expensive to register one's motorized bicycle as a moped but it must fall into the following strict category: the engine must be 2hp or less, the cc's must be 50 or less, and (here's the catch) the maximum operational speed attained in one mile must be 30 mph or less. If any one of these does not conform (such as the speed ) it must then be registered as a motorcycle.

As for the speed, it is not sufficient that the operator of the motorized bicycle voluntarilly keep the speed below 30 mph. Rather, 30 mph must be the top speed the engine is able to produce in one mile. I realize many factors can influence the max operational speed, and the NH DMV was a real stickler on this point. "The rules are the rules" seemed to be their attitude despite my pointing out the fact that many variables can influence an engine's max op speed (weight of rider, tire rolling resistance, wind direction, wind speed, whether or not your elbows are tucked in, weight of groceries in backpack, etc.).

Oh, and if upon registration you don't provide documentation from the engine manufacturer as to the expected max op speed, the NH DMV will do research, I was informed, in order to determine that speed. And before you go to register your motorized bicycle as a moped you must first get a VIN # for it from the NH State Police for $30 (there's a number you can call to reach the Troopers about getting a VIN).

It all seems absurd, like we're trying to get away with stealing a nuclear weapon or something. I mean, really, it's just a bicycle with a weed whacker engine on it, why all the strick legal codes?

The fee, I believe, for getting pulled over by the cops without a registration: $100.:eek:
 

jmcoon

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Joined
Jun 7, 2015
Messages
4
license and registration

Hi, I just got pulled over and chalenged for the first time. Luckily it was a local officer who was kind enough not to cite, or arest me, but our dicussion was cerianly enough proof positive that there are varying perspectives on what the letter of the law actually says. even more pertanent to me is that I am building up to open a local e-bike dealersahip, and one of my biggest selling points has been; in fact my company moto is: No Gas, No License, No worries. (obviously this may not be the case in the eye of the law.

PLEASE let me know if you find any helpfull resources on the matter, I will be doing my homework, and will do likewise with anything I find out.


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.
 

shawnshank

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
306
Hi, I just got pulled over and chalenged for the first time. Luckily it was a local officer who was kind enough not to cite, or arest me, but our dicussion was cerianly enough proof positive that there are varying perspectives on what the letter of the law actually says. even more pertanent to me is that I am building up to open a local e-bike dealersahip, and one of my biggest selling points has been; in fact my company moto is: No Gas, No License, No worries. (obviously this may not be the case in the eye of the law.

PLEASE let me know if you find any helpfull resources on the matter, I will be doing my homework, and will do likewise with anything I find out.


What did he pull you over for...riding a bike with a motor on it?? In MA you have to have a license to register a motorized bike (or a moped) which it considers one in the same.
 

shawnshank

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
306
I just pulled this from the NH DMV:

TITLE XXI
MOTOR VEHICLES
CHAPTER 259
WORDS AND PHRASES DEFINED
Section 259:57
259:57 Moped. – "Moped'' shall mean a motor-driven cycle whose speed attainable in one mile is 30 miles per hour or less; if an internal combustion engine is used, the piston displacement shall not exceed 50 cubic centimeters and the power-drive system shall not require the operator to shift gears.
Source. RSA 259:1, XIII-a. 1976, 4:4. 1977, 272:1. 1981, 146:1. 1983, 147:1. 2011, 25:1, eff. April 28, 2011.

Now all you have to do is find out if mopeds need to be registered in NH. If so...have it registered and bring this definition and the registration with you every time you go out for a ride.
 

Barnfresh

Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
239
Then there is this which is the lead in:

TITLE XXI
MOTOR VEHICLES
CHAPTER 259
WORDS AND PHRASES DEFINED

Section 259:65

* * 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 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.
Source. RSA 259:1, XIV-a. 1967, 415:3. 1976, 4:6. 1981, 146:1. 2010, 163:1, eff. June 17, 2010.
 

jmcoon

New Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2015
Messages
4
I just got this email back from the state a couple days ago:

per RSA 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 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.


Based on our laws in rules this is how you would register a motor driven cycle:


You would need to have a bill of sale which shall in clued the description of the vehicle, including make, model, color vehicle identification number and year of manufacture. Name and legal address of person selling the vehicle as well as their signature and the signature and legal address of the owner.


If the motor driven cycle does not have a VIN, a VIN must be obtained through one of our salvage locations (attached). The trooper will mark the comment section of the DSMV 547 form if it is a MOPED or MOTOR DRIVEN CYCLE. With the NH issued VIN, proof of ownership, and the DSMV 547 form, you would bring all the documents to any DMV location. There are no town fees involved. The motor driven cycle will have a model of MDC and you would need a valid NH driver's license or moped license to operate this.


Motor-driven cycles will be issued MOPE(moped) plates. The law amended is 259:65, motor driven cycle.


259:57 Moped. - "Moped'' shall mean a motor-driven cycle whose speed attainable in one mile is 30 miles per hour or less; if an internal combustion engine is used, the piston displacement shall not exceed 50 cubic centimeters and the power-drive system shall not require the operator to shift gears.


The licensing requirements are: If you do not have an operator's license and it is registered with a moped plate you must have a moped license, per RSA 263:1 and RSA 263:33 and RSA 263:33(a).

Thank you,


The Agent Help Desk
Division of Motor Vehicles
Bureau of Registration
Agent Help Desk
 
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