Moped Laws: Northeast

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Laws for legal moped usage vary by state in America. You may be able to find information on your state's transportation website but the following are likely to be more useful as some states make it hard to find moped related information.


Moped Definition

  1. Top speed may not exceed 30mph
  2. Must have an automatic transmission
  3. Seat height must be at or above 26"

Licensing, Registration, and Insurance

  • Must have valid drivers license
  • No registration required under 50cc
  • No insurance required under 50cc

Rules and Regulations

  • Eye protection must be worn


Moped Definition

  • A moped is a vehicle with not less than 2 brake horsepower.
  • A moped does not exceed 50 ccs and cannot exceed 30 miles per hour on a flat surface.
  • A moped is equipped with a power drive system that functions automatically and does not require shifting.
  • A moped may or may not have foot pedals

Licensing, Registration, and Insurance

  • You must have an operator's license, motorcycle, motor-driven cycle or moped endorsement/restriction to operate all scooters and mopeds on a public way.
  • All mopeds and many scooters must be registered.
  • Liability Insurance is required

Rules and Regulations

  • A moped must be operated single file and as far to the right at all times, except when turning left.
  • Operator of a moped must obey all other traffic laws.


Moped Definition According to Massachusetts law, a moped is a "motorized bicycle." In order to be classified as a moped, the vehicle must:

  • Have a cylinder capacity of no more than 50 cubic centimeters.
  • Have an automatic transmission.
  • Be capable of a maximum speed of no more than 30 miles per hour.
  • Comply with all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Licensing and Registration

  • A moped sticker, issued by the RMV, must be affixed to the moped. This sticker will not be issued unless the vehicle meets the above requirements.
  • When stamped with the Registrar's stamp, the registration form becomes the moped's registration. The operator must carry his/her registration and license/learner's permit whenever operating that moped.
  • Mopeds will not be operated:
    • By any person under 16 years of age.
    • By any person who does not have a valid license or permit.
    • At a speed greater than 25 miles per hour.

Rules and Regulations
Operating Requirements:

  • Moped operators are subject to the traffic laws, rules and regulations of the Commonwealth.
  • Mopeds will have the right to use all public ways in the Commonwealth, except limited access or express state highways where signs prohibiting bicycles have been posted.
  • Mopeds may use bicycle lanes next to various ways but are excluded from off street recreational paths.
  • Moped operators must signal their intention to stop or turn by using either hand.
  • Mopeds may keep right when passing a motor vehicle which is in the travel lane of a way.
  • The operator and any passenger must wear a DOT standard helmet.

Taken from Massachusetts RMV moped page and Massachusetts RMV Motorized Bicycle (Moped) Registration Form.

New Hampshire

259:57 Moped. – Moped shall mean a motor-driven cycle whose speed attainable in one mile is 30 miles per hour or less which is equipped with a motor that produces 2 brake horse power 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, eff. Aug. 6, 1983.

263:33 Driving Mopeds. – No person may drive a moped upon any way in this state unless he holds a current valid driver's license issued by any state, a special motorcycle license issued pursuant to RSA 263:31 or a special moped license. A person who holds a special moped license may drive any moped without holding any other class of driver's license. Source. RSA 261:11-b. 1976, 4:13. 1979, 11:1. 1981, 146:1; 301:1; 301:4, eff. Jan. 1, 1982, at 12:01 a.m.

263:33-a Special Moped Licenses; Driving Mopeds. – The department shall cause to be issued a special license for persons without a driver's license or special motorcycle license for all applicants who successfully complete the requirements for a moped license. Applicants for such license shall be required to pass a written examination prepared by the director. No person shall drive a moped on a way of this state unless such person possesses a driver's license or special motorcycle license or is duly licensed to drive a moped by a special moped license issued under this section. No person shall knowingly authorize or allow the driving of a moped owned by him or in his charge on a way of this state by any person who does not hold a driver's license, a special motorcycle license or a special moped license. Source. 1981, 301:5, eff. Jan. 1, 1982, at 12:01 a.m.

265:152 Bicycle Parking(Moped Applicable) . –

I. A person may park a bicycle on a sidewalk unless prohibited or restricted by an official traffic control device.
II. A bicycle parked on a sidewalk shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of pedestrian or other traffic.
III. A person shall not park a bicycle on a roadway in such a manner as to obstruct the movement of a legally parked motor vehicle.
IV. In all other respects, bicycles parked on a way shall conform with provisions of law regulating the parking of vehicles.

Source. 1981, 422:14, eff. Jan. 1, 1982, at 12:01 a.m.

266:86 Headlamp Required at Night. – Every bicycle operated upon any way during darkness shall be equipped with a lamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet in front of the bicycle and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the director, which shall be visible from a distance of 300 feet to the rear when directly in front of the lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from 300 feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector. Every moped driven upon any way during darkness shall be equipped with one headlamp which meets the specifications for headlamps established in RSA 266:31. Taillamps and stop lamps are required on mopeds. Source. RSA 250:11-d. 1971, 319:1. 1981, 146:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; 479:57, eff. Jan. 1, 1982, at 12:01 a.m.

266:88 Brake Required. – Every bicycle and moped shall be equipped with a brake or brakes which will enable its driver to stop the bicycle or moped within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement. Source. RSA 250:11-a. 1971, 319:1. 1981, 146:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; 479:57, eff. Jan. 1, 1982, at 12:01 a.m.

266:89 Sirens Prohibited. – No bicycle or moped shall be equipped with a siren, nor shall any person on a bicycle or moped use a siren. Source. 1981, 479:57, eff. Jan. 1, 1982, at 12:01 a.m.

New Jersey

Motorized bicycle (moped) license

A moped (motorized bicycle) is defined by law as a pedal bicycle with a "helper-motor" capable of a maximum speed of no more than 25 miles per hour on a flat surface. A moped has a maximum displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters (no more than 1.5 brake horsepower).

How to get a moped license:

  • You must be at least 15 years old .
  • Visit an MVC Agency to complete an application for a moped permit.
  • Pass the 6 Point ID Verification.
  • Pay $5 examination permit fee.
  • Pass the knowledge and vision tests to validate your permit. Study by reading the Driver Manual and Motorcycle Manual [524k pdf]
  • You must practice with a permit for at least 20 days before being eligible to take the road test
  • If you pass the road test, take your permit, ride slip and score sheet to an MVC Agency to receive your license and pay the $6 license fee.

Possible reasons you can fail the road test:

  • You lack the equipment required by state regulations.
  • Have no helmet.
  • Have unapproved goggles or face shield.
  • Your horn cannot be heard from at least 100 feet away.

Moped license information

New Jersey moped manual

New York

Moped class determined by range of top speed:

Class A Mopeds

  • Mopeds over 30mph to 40mph
  • Class M/MJ license required
  • Headlight must be on at all times when operating
  • Insurance required
  • Registration required
  • Helmet & eye protection required
  • May operate on any traffic lane
  • Inspection required
  • No title required

Class B Mopeds

  • Over 20mph to 30mph
  • Any class license
  • Registration required
  • Headlight must be on at all times when operating
  • Helmet and eye protection required
  • May operate on Right-Hand lane or Shoulder only
  • Insurance required
  • No inspection required
  • No title required

Class C Mopeds

  • 20mph or less
  • Any class license
  • Registration required
  • Headlight must be on at all times when operating
  • No helmet and eye protection required
  • May operate on Right-hand lane or Shoulder only
  • No insurance required
  • No inspection required
  • No title required

On August 12, 2010 Dave Seley spoke with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) supervisor 'Shirley' in the Albany District Office (1-518-473-5595). After much explanation on his part, she agreed with his argument that New York must honor Massachusetts registrations including mopeds. She advised him to fax the NYDMV legal department so they can fax him back something in writing to carry so as not to get ticketed by an officer who does not know the federal law regarding interstate registration reciprocity. She confirmed the requirements for mopeds in the Polk, the book the cops use. The initial fax by Dave may be seen here and their response may be seen here.

See: How to Register a Moped in New York


  • Class C (car) required on Driver’s License.
  • Insurance is required.
  • Annual registration fee is $9.00.
  • A title is required for registration - What - you don't have one?
  • Moped plate issued.
  • No helmet or eye protection required for driver.
  • Does not require inspection.
  • Design speed may not be more than 25 miles per hour.
  • Engine may not exceed 50 cubic centimeters.
  • Engine may not exceed 1.5 brake horsepower rating.
  • Operable pedals are now required (see Note, below).
  • Automatic transmission required.
  • An electric motor-driven-cycle equipped with operable pedals and powered by an electric battery is defined as a moped also.

Note: Mopeds such as a Honda Express can be registered as mopeds as long as you have an original title that lists the Body Type as "Moped." A new, sub-50cc scooter cannot be registered as a moped.

Rhode Island

31-3-2.1 states that "Out-of-state residents owning motorized bicycles, whose state of residence does not require the registration of those vehicles, shall register the vehicles in the state of Rhode Island and upon payment of the registration fee shall be issued stickers to be placed on the vehicle evidencing registration." It is not clear as to whether or not the state expects one to register in advance. If this were the case, it could be a violation of federal law.

I spoke with the RI DMV enforcement department on 03/30/2011 regarding this matter and was told that the issue is not the plate, but the insurance. In other words, if you can prove you are registered in Massachusetts or another plate-less state (carry the paperwork that came with your sticker) and can show that you are insured, the state of RI will be happy. I am in the process of contacting the representatives from the registration department to discuss how the 'full faith and credit' clause of the Constitution affects their laws.


Definition is 50cc. License required. Registration required. Insurance required. Inspection required-horn, lights, front fender, no cracked tires. With pedals is about $13.00 plus mandatory 6% taxation on minimum $200.00 value on transfers and new registrations. Without pedals is classified as a motorcycle and subject to a higher fee of about $39.00 plus tax.

U.S. Moped Laws by region
Midwest IllinoisIowaKansasMichiganMinnesotaMissouriOhioSouth DakotaWisconsin
West ArizonaCaliforniaColoradoHawai'iMontanaNevadaNew MexicoOregonUtahWashington