Do You Need A License To Drive A Moped? How Old To Ride?

Mopeds are a comfortable and practical way to wind through cramped public streets. Though the engines are less powerful than those of motorcycles and cars, these vehicles help cut down on running costs and the hassle associated with ownership paperwork. 

Even so, there are some basic needs for you to ride a moped in the US legally. So do mopeds need a license? Scroll down to learn!

Do You Need A Motorcycle License For A Moped?

It depends on which state you are living in. In general, only 2 states (Virginia, North Caroline) allow you to drive mopeds without any license. In contrast, 48 out of 50 states have strict licensing requirements for moped operators.

Moped license

States Allow Driving A Moped Without A License

Only two states, including North Caroline and Virginia, allow driving a moped without a license. However, the moped operator must be at least 16 years old and comply with general traffic laws. You must also follow the traffic laws for mopeds to avoid trouble.

States Where A Motorcycle License Is Necessary

Most US residents must apply for a special license to drive a moped, as 48 states have this requirement. However, the type and class of license varies from place to place. Here is a quick breakdown of moped laws in some states:

StateLicensing Requirements
AlabamaB restriction license
AlaskaClass M1 motorcycle license
ArizonaStandard driver’s license
ArkansasClass M or Class MD license
CaliforniaM1 or M2 motorcycle license
ColoradoValid driver’s license
ConnecticutStandard driver’s license
DelawareStandard driver’s license
FloridaMotorcycle license or class E driver’s license
GeorgiaDriver’s license, instructional permit, or limited permit.
HawaiiValid motorcycle license
IdahoValid driver’s license
IllinoisClass L or Class M license
IndianaClass B MDC endorsement or valid driver’s license or
IowaValid driver’s license or a moped permit
KansasValid driver’s license or a moped permit
KentuckyStandard driver’s license or moped license
LouisianaValid driver’s license or learner’s permit (for operator under 16)
MaineStandard driver’s license or moped license
MarylandStandard driver’s license or moped operator’s permit
MassachusettsValid driver’s license
MichiganStandard driver or moped license
MinnesotaValid driver’s license or a moped permit
MississippiMotorcycle endorsement
MissouriValid driver’s license
MontanaDriver’s license (any class)
NebraskaMotorcycle license or endorsement when you remove the pedals from your moped
NevadaDriver’s license (any class)
New HampshireValid driver’s or moped license
New JerseyValid driver’s license
New MexicoNew Mexico driver’s license or a moped permit
New YorkValid driver license
North DakotaValid driver’s license or a moped permit (for operators under 14)
OhioStandard driver’s license or moped license
OklahomaDriver’s license or a motorized bicycle license
OregonStandard driver’s license or moped license
PennsylvaniaClass C driver’s license
Rhode IslandStandard driver’s license 
South CarolinaDriver’s license or a special moped license
South DakotaDriver’s license (any class)
TennesseeDriver’s license (any class)
TexasStandard driver’s license 
UtahStandard driver’s license 
VermontDriver’s license (any class)
VirginiaValid government-issued photo ID 
WashingtonDriver’s license (any class)
West VirginiaDriver’s license (any class)
WisconsinClass D valid driver license or a Special Restricted License for mopeds designed to travel less than 35 mph
WyomingDriver’s license (any class)

Do I Need Insurance To Ride A Moped?

Motorcycle Insurance

Again, it depends on where you live. Some states in the United States implemented insurance requirements for mopeds, such as Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, California, Florida, Louisiana, etc.

The insurance cost of your vehicle varies according to the conditions outlined in state law. For example, some states reduce costs when you attend their training classes. Plus, the driver’s age and the time since the steering wheel or the moped model also affect the price.

Do I Need A Certificate Of Title To Ride A Moped?

The answer is yes if you are a resident of one of the 35 states that commit to this legal issue. Some governments that enforce vehicle registration include Virginia, Wisconsin, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, North Dakota, etc.

Some states, like South Carolina, also include a valid license plate in their moped rules. Still, the actual implementation depends on each model’s engine capacity and top speed. Usually, you need to pay about $30 for a lifetime subscription.

Some Traffic Laws For Riding A Moped

Driving a moped is not done with just paperwork. Instead, you have to learn about the traffic laws for your vehicle that vary from department to department.

For example, the legal age to operate a moped is between 14 and 16 years old depending on local regulations. There is also no uniform regulation of protective gear regarding mopeds across the United States. 

Case in point, Texas, Tennessee, and some areas require a DOT-approved safety helmet at all times regardless of rider age. Meanwhile, Rhode Island or South Carolina only applies this condition to drivers under 21 (a few places even lower this level to 18). 

In contrast, some governments, such as Iowa, Illinois, or Wisconsin, are extremely lenient with these safety standards.

In general, traveling between lanes and entering highways is completely prohibited. Riders should stay close to the right-hand lanes on public roads except when turning left. Headlights, turn signals, tail lights, and horns are needed before you are on the wheel.


Do I Need A License To Drive A Scooter?

It varies according to your state laws. In general, scooter drivers need an endorsement if their vehicle features an engine displacement of over 50 cubic centimeters or produces a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour or more.

Is Driving A Scooter The Same As A Moped?

Though both are two-wheeled vehicles, they have different engine sizes. While the average moped is limited to 50cc, scooters may increase to 250cc.

See more: Motorcycle vs. Moped Vs. Scooter


It is best to consult the Department of Transportation or a trusted attorney at your local for detailed regulations about a moped license. Don’t hit the road without understanding the moped operation. Otherwise, you could end up with expensive fines or lawsuits.

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Daniel Barker


Daniel Barker was introduced to racing in 2006 when he experienced his first track day on his Suzuki sv650. With more than 15 years of experience on his track. Daniel is known as for his high-energy riding, drifting, precision stoppies and technical riding ability on virtually any motorcycle.

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