Paper Work Carried - if stopped by police ?

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by Mountainman, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Well - here in Ca I have run into some different legal opinions in regards to riding under 2 hp MBs without a drivers license. Carry with me printouts from two e-mails from law enforcement agencies - stating that - NO DRIVERS LICENSE REQUIRED.. Many will say that this is not true - will it work if pulled over - don't know haven't pulled over yet. If you are in one of those (grey area states) what do you have planned if stopped ??? Happy Riding from - Mountainman

  2. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    hi mm; i think at this time that is a fairly good plan. with so many of us unsure of how to deal with the regs, including the cops. if it puts a question in the cops mind it may help. good luck to us all.
  3. JinbaIttai

    JinbaIttai Member

    Of course every cop is different.
    If the discussion is anything less than completely friendly, I'd carry the printouts clipped to your license and hand the whole thing to the cop if asked for your license, politely,

    This gives him the opportunity to see the law passively, and then possibly to empower him to feel that he is letting you go.

    If you lecture him on the law, when he is used to lecturing others, you run the risk of damaging his pride, then he might end up screwing you with an illegitimate ticket which you may or may not be able to reverse.

    The goal isn't to win the argument and fuel your pride with the power of legal knowledge & printed law, it's to ride away free of citations.

    This is probably paranoia, but then so is carrying the laws around with you. I will be carrying the laws around, personally.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  4. TwoWalks

    TwoWalks Member

    Mountainman, I have talked with both the local men in blue as well as the Highway patrol in my area of Central California. Both have stated that any bicycle with a engine is considered a Moped and requires licensing both the vehicle and the rider. Both stated that an EBike does not require a drivers license or plates. Farther down into the Valley I brought this topic up with another Highway Patrol Officer and he said, no you don't need a license. Anyone confused yet?

    If we license and obey moped laws, then we should never be asked for the drivers license. If we license and hand the officer the papers showing no drivers license required we are toast. What is a person to do or think?

    When I read the Vehicle code, It sounds to me like any gas motorized bicycle is a moped and as such requires a moped plate. Beyond that personal choice!!!
  5. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

  6. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Hi TwoWalks -- yes - it can be hard to fully understand
    Sounds like you have the same kind of thing going on there -
    two officers same dept -- two different answers

    Calif. Motorcycle Handbook 2007 page 3 Motorized Bicycles
    a motorized bicycle is

    in part (a) of code 406
    fully operative pedals
    less than 2 hp
    auto transmission

    in part (b) of code 406
    or elect motor - not more than 1,000 watts
    speed not greater than 20 mph

    note - no speed mentioned above in (a) for gas powered ????

    Little grey area here noted --
    it states that for riders in the (b) group - elect
    no insurance, moped plate or drivers license required

    makes no memtion of requirments for type (a) riders ????

    If meeting all of the requirments for motorized bicycle
    we can apply for a motorized bicycle Ca plate
    one time cost 18 dollars
    not the same thing as a mophead plate
    hard to understand - because above it states - not needed ????

    Ride That Thing - Mountainman
  7. Bronzebird

    Bronzebird Member

    Power assisted Bicycle

    This is the correct verbiage in Oregon DMV description of vehicle. Human powered design with power assist. The electric bicycle has clear verbiage and description of less the 1,ooo kilowatts needs no license or registration. Any gas power assist they automatically "say" can be modified to "Moped" regulations. Which is a slap in the face to citizens that engineer a bicycle to power assist as an alternative to Automotive transportation. I would like to participate in promoting this "Power Assisted Cycle" into public view. I suggest news and radio stations be contacted with a collective effort to "get the word out" on viable means of alternative vehicular transportation. Anyone with the ability to build and maintain a bicycle with the ingenuity to get 100 plus MPG should be allowed to ride the power assisted cycle without being an "outlaw"! My HT 80 is riding at a gas saving speed of 18-20 mph. The gearing ratio regulates the speed and not the power assisted H/P rating!
    Information needs to be compiled and presented to local sources of news providers who are "pro" for the "little man". Who is thinking outside the box and putting his tools to work on being part of the solution to the human carbon foot print.
    Anyone else want to be classified as power assisted bicycle by their DMV and not shifted over into another category that does not have pedal power?
  8. seabillco

    seabillco Member

    Hi, BronzeBird
    The temptation is to call a MB a moped because of the similarities. The problem is that bicycles have no certificate of origin, certificate of title or VIN because they have not been through the federal DOT certification for crashworthiness, pollution, etc.
    This means a bicycle CANNOT be licensed in Oregon (and probably most states).
    A moped, however, goes through that whole process and gets a title and a VIN so it can be licensed, insured, registered, taxed, etc.
    So, as far as I can tell, there is simply no way to comply with the moped laws in Oregon if you're actually riding a MB.
    I'd guess that most cops don't know all this and it's going to be VERY hard to convince one that you know more about the vehicle code than s/he does...
    I carry the Oregon Pocket Bike Guide to the Oregon laws even though it doesn't actually apply (nothing does!)
    Here's a link to the Oregon guide:

    FWIW, I'll show it to the cop and tell him I'm doing my best to comply but I'll be darned if I can figure out which category I fall into.
    I wear a helmet, have a light, go slow and stay to the right all the time. I follow all the laws for bikes and I turn off the engine when I'm downtown and just pedal.
    So far, in 2 months of riding around Southern Oregon, I've never been stopped.
    Frankly, after fretting over this for a few weeks, I just gave up and started enjoying the ride. I ghost pedal when I see a cop and most people ignore me.
    It bothers me to feel that we "NEED" permission from our government to be creative, inventive and come up with cool solutions to our problems (such as the price of gas). I'm not interested in letting 'the man' decide what I can do any more than he already does. If the Oregon legislature takes a shot at MB laws in the 2009 session, I'm afraid they might screw it up as, IMHO, they normally do with everything they touch.
    They don't really care about ENCOURAGING people to come up with novel solutions to problems. They care about exercising their power to prove the need for their positions and their overall superiority. They also care A LOT about taxing everything in sight because there is never enough money for government.
    And, lest you think I'm some wacko, right wing nut case, I've been a lawyer for 25 years and worked in the Oregon State Senate in the 1989 session with my brother who was a State Senator at that time. I have seen the process up close and personal and it's not pretty...

    Good luck!
    Steve G.
    Grants Pass, Oregon

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  9. loquin

    loquin Active Member

  10. seabillco

    seabillco Member

    Hi, loquin
    If Oregon would follow AZ's lead, that would be nice! It seems like a reasonable approach that keeps it simple and fun.
    Somehow, that doesn't sound like the normal approach to things here in Oregon...

    Steve G.
    Grants Pass, Oregon
  11. JinbaIttai

    JinbaIttai Member

    I agree with you there!

    IMHO, there are different levels of government requiring different kinds of our attention.

    Up on top, with record profits from US oil companies, the price of gas is a problem that they don't want us to solve, at least in masses, and they have enough influence over our gov. to alter the law to their benefit.
    They come up with the solutions.
    They take care of everything, creating the elaborate problem with lots of funded research to back it up and the extremely expensive (profitable) solution. All we have to do is go about our daily business as always, and simply give them more tax money. As MBers, we need to remain invisible to them, IMHO.

    In the middle, local lawmakers want to be re-elected. It looks good enough to the public to get voted if these politicians are all about promoting ways to avoid high gas prices. This isn't to actually catch on virally, but as something that sounds good to get the vote. As MBers, we need to promote ourselves as the solution, without too much attention from the guys up top.

    Best balance: State laws change in our favor, state politicians get the vote, MBing remains just unpopular enough so that the hand of big gov doesn't strike us all down.

    Not sure how to become invisible to local police.
  12. Bronzebird

    Bronzebird Member

    More like an electric motor assisted bicycle that goes 20mph

    I am convinced that the pedal power of the MB and EB are essential to maintain a common thread of governing laws. I can't see the discrimination of a gas power assisted bike vs the electric? Seems like a legal leg to stand on to me? The EB needs no license or DOT helmet (just biking helmet), and laws of the road apply to regular bicycle laws. The noise factor can be reduced with the Honda Goldwing muffler technology. Sounds like a car exhaust. Keeping it simple is a very hard thing to do by individuals that make decisions based on state tax gouging and not common CENTs. (pun intended)
  13. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Statement from TwoWalks
    If we license and obey moped laws, then we should never be asked for the drivers license. If we license and hand the officer the papers showing no drivers license required we are toast. What is a person to do or think?

    Hi TwoWalks - just some thoughts here - you mention obey moped laws - yes - if I or we do that at all times and a pooolice officer pulls us over - I think there has to be reasonable cause for the stop ? Looking for an out - before I am even in trouble - what's my problem - Ride That Thing - Mountainman
  14. Bronzebird

    Bronzebird Member

    The probable cause is no valid registration tag on the plates. You can not get the tags unless you show a valid drivers license. Only way is for someone with a license have the vehicle registered in their name. Should you be pulled over for a burned out light or suspicion of under the influence then your are toast any way. Jumping through the hoops for now seems logical. I still think the ebike laws should govern the MB? My gearing has my speed between 18 and 20 while cruising. CC ratings are non sense because of the rev factor of gearing? The 80cc should not be an outcast like the redheaded step child of motors. We need to find some serious points to bring to the table for legislatures. I would like to see the arguments sent to mayors, governors, states men, and judges!
    Are you guys with me?
  15. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Bronzebird -- no - here in Calif anyway - one can get a motorized bicycle license plate and needs NO Calif drivers license to attain said plate.. The little Calif plate - one time fee of 18 dollars - seems to be a good thing - I have mine a hanging - haven't seen many of these plates around - have had an officer drive by slow and take a long look at plate ?? He didn't stop to say hi - that's a GOOD THING.. Happy Riding from - Mountainman
  16. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    we don't obey moped laws -- nor need to

    we don't obey moped laws -- nor need to

    if we did have to obey moped laws we would need lights horn and the works

    we are a bicycle with a little motor assist -- motorized bicycle

  17. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    paperwork carried for the past year has been posted

    stating no drivers license of any kind required in Calif

    do pooolice make mistakes -- we know that they do !! yes

  18. RMWdave

    RMWdave Member

    i wont carry no law with me. i have a nova scotia drivers licence and no ontario identification, so i say (and have said once) that im a summer worker, and this is how i travel. arent these legal here?

    i get let go on account of confusion.
  19. pdxrhett

    pdxrhett Member

    Honestly, I have been pulled over once. My rear tail light fell off. However, I have stopped multiple police officers in SE Portland and asked if it was legal. All have said that they do not know and to take it to DMV. I have done so, and DMV said ask the cops. What do I do now?

    Basically, if I get pulled over, I do everything the cop asks, answer all the questions, and then explain that under 50cc's and as long as it's not a moped or motorcycle, there is no license. Then I hope the cop asks me to make him one :D

    Also, I think I read once that gears are not allowed on a vehicle under 50ccs (oh well...)
  20. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    I have an operator's and motorcycle I carry those. I have them, so why not?

    As for the bike itself, it is arguably legal under Indiana law (some may say it exceeds the HP and speed- 2hp, 25 mph). If I get tagged on those counts, I'll make my best argument (in court), but to tell the truth, I have a little advantage seeing as how I carry a licensed attorney with me wherever I go.

    However, I have rolled past many of the county's finest without a single issue. It probably helps that I am a properly attired adult on a bike that does not look like a Sanford and Son special (a lot of fun with those, however). Now I have full lighting (turn, stop, tail, head) and tomorrow, a '30s vintage horn.