Do You Need A License To Drive A Moped? (Solved 2023)

A moped is a convenient and affordable alternative to a car. It looks like a motorcycle but is smaller and has a lower power output.

In most states, you need a driver’s license to operate a moped or a similar vehicle. However, a few states allow you to operate a moped without a license if you meet certain requirements.

That’s why, before you go out and purchase a moped, you should know whether you need to acquire a license in your state. The requirements for a license and license plate vary from state to state, so ask the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

In some instances, you may not need a motorcycle license as long as you are at least 16 years old and have a valid driver’s license. You will also need to get a moped permit and get insurance.

Some states however do require that you have a motorcycle license before you can operate a moped on public roads. In these cases, you will likely need to take a written exam and road test.

States Where You Need a License

These are the states where you need a license to drive a moped:

  • Alabama – Drivers must be 14 years old and get a “B” restricted motorcycle license.
  • Alaska – Drivers must be at least 14 years old and obtain one of three different classes of a motorcycle licenses.
  • Arizona – Drivers must be at least 16 years of age to obtain a motorcycle license.
  • California – Drivers need an M1 or M2 license for mopeds. However, there’s no need for a license if the vehicle cannot reach 20 miles per hour.
  • Connecticut – Drivers need a general license or Class D driver’s license.
  • Delaware – Drivers need a motor vehicle license.
  • Georgia – Drivers must be at least 15 years old to obtain a driver’s license. Motor scooter owners may apply for a license waiver program.
  • Hawaii – Drivers need a motor vehicle license.
  • Idaho – Drivers need a driver’s license.
  • Illinois – Drivers need a valid state driver’s license.
  • Indiana – Drivers need to obtain one of three different licenses.
  • Iowa – Drivers need a motorcycle license.
  • Kansas – Drivers need a regular driver’s license.
  • Kentucky – Drivers need a regular driver’s license or a specific moped license.
  • Louisiana – Drivers need a regular driver’s license.
  • Maine – Drivers must reach the minimum age of 16 and have a driver’s ID card.
  • Maryland – Drivers need a regular license.
  • Massachusetts – Drivers must be at least 16 years old and obtain a driver’s license.
  • Michigan – Drivers need a motorcycle endorsement on their license.
  • Minnesota – Drivers need a motorcycle license.
  • Mississippi – Drivers need an endorsement on their license.
  • Missouri – Drivers need a motorcycle license.
  • Montana – Drivers need a valid license.
  • Nebraska – Drivers need a valid license when driving on public streets or interstate highways and a motorcycle license for motorized scooters.
  • Nevada – Drivers must hold any driver’s license class to drive a moped on public roads.
  • New Hampshire – New Hampshire drivers, need a valid or moped license.
  • New Jersey – Drivers need a motorcycle endorsement on their license or a separate motorcycle license.
  • New Mexico – Drivers need a valid license.
  • New York – A moped operator needs any class of driver’s license.
  • North Dakota – Drivers must be 14 years old and have a valid license to drive pocket bikes.
  • Ohio – Drivers must be at least 16 years old and obtain a motorcycle endorsement on their license or a separate motorcycle license.
  • Oklahoma – Drivers must obtain a Class A, B, C, or D license.
  • Oregon – Drivers need a valid license.
  • Pennsylvania – Drivers need a Class M license.
  • Rhode Island – Drivers need a standard driver’s license.
  • South Carolina – Drivers need a Class D, G, or M license.
  • South Dakota – Drivers need a Class 1 license.
  • Tennessee – Drivers need a valid license; no need for a motorcycle endorsement.
  • Texas – A moped driver needs a Class M motorcycle license for vehicles that can reach a top speed of 30 miles per hour.
  • Utah – Scooter riders need a motorcycle license.
  • Vermont – Drivers need a Class C driver’s license.
  • Washington – In the state of Washington, drivers need a valid driver’s license.
  • West Virginia – Drivers need a valid license.
  • Wisconsin – Drivers need a regular license or a special license for moped riders.

States Where You Don’t Need a License

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado – No need for a license, but it requires registration.
  • Florida
  • North Carolina – In North Carolina law, there’s no need for a license, but drivers must be at least 16 years old.
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming

What Are the Penalties for Riding Without a License?

The penalties for riding without a license vary from state to state, but they can include fines and points on your driving record. In some states, you may even have your moped impounded.

Other times, the penalties are more severe. You may have your license suspended or revoked, and you could face jail time.

Knowing the rules of the road for each state is crucial if you’re planning to bring your moped on a road trip. You don’t want to get caught riding without a license, especially when riding over the speed limit or in cases of a moped accident, and you end up getting in trouble for not knowing the state’s laws.

Make sure to have access to a personal injury attorney and insurance coverage from a reputable insurance company to protect yourself while driving your moped.

How To Get a Motorcycle License

Mopeds are classified as two-wheeled vehicles with engine size and displacement of 50 cubic centimeters (cc engine) or less and a maximum speed of 30mph. They can have manual or automatic transmissions.

To get a motorcycle license in most states, you’ll need to take a written knowledge test and pass a road test. Some states also require that you take a rider’s education course and vision tests. The best way to prepare for the written exam is to study your state’s motorcycle manual.

If you’re under 18, you’ll likely need to get a learner’s permit first.

This allows you to ride a motor-driven cycle while supervised by a licensed rider. You’ll need to practice for a certain number of hours and wait a certain amount of time before you can take the road test.

The road test will assess your ability to control the motorcycle and follow traffic laws. You’ll need to be able to demonstrate basic maneuvers, such as starting, stopping, turning, and shifting gears.

Once you pass the road test, you’ll be issued a motorcycle license. This allows you to ride without supervision in most states. However, restrictions may be placed on your license, such as a requirement that you wear a helmet at all times or that you do not ride on highways.

Takeaway

If you’re wondering, “do you need a motorcycle license for a moped?” the answer depends on the state in which you live. In some states, you need a motorcycle license to operate any motorized vehicle with two or three wheels.

Meanwhile, other states have different requirements, and some have no requirements at all. It’s best to check with your local DMV office to find out the specific license requirements and helmet laws in your state.

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