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  • Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Connecticut

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    Introduction

    In Connecticut, the state motorcycle manual defines scooters and mopeds as “motor-driven cycles” and provides guidelines on what constitutes a motor-driven cycle. Engine size and seat height are the main factors in whether a vehicle is classified as a motor-driven cycle.

    Connecticut Motor-Driven Cycle (Scooter or Moped)

    A motor-driven cycle is determined by the Connecticut DMV as any vehicle that has:

    • A seat height of at least 26 inches.
    • An attached motor that produces no more than five-brake horsepower (or less than 3.7 kW).
    • A motor under 44 cubic centimeters.

    If your vehicle meets all of the above criteria, it is classified as a motor-driven cycle. You cannot ride your motor-driven cycle on sidewalks, limited access highways, or turnpikes. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must also wear a helmet while driving.

    NOTE: Because of the reduced performance of motor-driven cycles, the state requires that if the maximum speed of your vehicle is less than the speed limit of the road that you are driving on, you must drive in the right hand lane or on a usable shoulder on the right side of the road. The only exception is when you are making a left turn.

    Licensing and Registration for Your Motor-Driven Cycle

    You are required to hold a valid Connecticut driver's license to operate a motor-driven cycle. The earliest you may acquire a Connecticut driver’s license is 16 years old.

    If you are a Connecticut resident getting your license for the first time OR if you are 16 years old or 17 years old with a valid license from another state, you must complete the following requirements:

    • 8-hour Safe Driving Practices class at either a commercial driving school or secondary school in Connecticut.
    • 2-hour parent/legal guardian training required by the state.

    To learn more about obtaining a license in Connecticut, see our pages on obtaining either an adult license or a teen license. For more information about renewing a license in Connecticut, visit our page on license renewal in Connecticut.

    Registration of a motor-driven cycle is not required. However, if your vehicle is classified as a motorcycle, registration is required. Also, you need a Class M motorcycle endorsement, which can be added to your regular license.

    CT Insurance Requirements

    Since insurance is only required on vehicles that are registered, you do not have to have insurance to operate a motor-driven cycle. However, we recommend insuring any vehicle you plan to operate. If you’d like more information on insuring a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, please visit our page on motorcycle insurance.

    CT Motor-Driven Cycle Equipment Requirements

    All motor-driven cycles must have all necessary equipment to be legally operated on CT roadways. This includes:

    • Brakes
    • Lights
    • Horn
    • Mirrors

    Pocket Bikes in CT

    Pocket bikes (aka mini-motorcycles) have seat heights of less than 26 inches and look like a very small motorcycle.

    You do not need a driver's license or title to operate pocket bikes, and they cannot be registered in Connecticut. In fact, it is illegal to drive a pocket bike on any public road or sidewalk in the state of Connecticut. Pocket bikes can only be driven on private property.

    Connecticut Snowmobiles and ATVs

    Connecticut prohibits operation of a snowmobile or All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) on public highways, except in one case: If you are a licensed driver, you may cross a public highway that is not limited-access at a 90 degree angle. You must bring the snowmobile to a complete stop before crossing, and yield the right of way to other vehicles on the highway.

    Licensing and Registration for Your Snowmobile or ATV

    Any snowmobile or All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) operated in Connecticut must be registered, except if it is operated solely on the ATV owner’s leased or owned property.

    To register a snowmobile or ATV, bring certain items to your local DMV hub office or limited service office based on whether your vehicle is new or used.

    New snowmobiles or ATVs:

    • Bill of Sale from the dealer or manufacturer which includes all of the following:
      ―Buyer/seller information.
      ―Purchase price.
      ―Sales tax payment, if applicable (ATV only).
      ―Year, make, and body style.
      ―Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
    • Certificate of Origin.
    • Completed Application for Registration and Certificate of Title (Form H13).
    • Proper identification.
      ―For snowmobile registration, you may submit photocopies of ID if you do not register in person.
    • Payment for all applicable fees:
      ―Registration: $20.
      ―Plate fee: $5.
      ―Clean Air Act fee: $10.
      ―Sales tax, if applicable (7% for vehicles over $50,000, and 6.35% for vehicles under that amount).

    The Connecticut DMV provides a full list of registration fees and charges.

    Used snowmobiles or ATVs:

    • Bill of Sale (form H-31), which includes all of the following:
      ―Buyer/seller information.
      ―Purchase price.
      ―Sales tax payment, if applicable (ATV only).
      ―Year, make, and body style.
      ―Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
    • Proof of registration by previous owner.
    • Completed Application for Snowmobile or All-Terrain Vehicle Registration (Form H13).
      ―The application must be completed by new owner.
    • Proof of identification.
      ―For snowmobiles, you may submit photocopies of ID if you do not register in person.

    Out-of-State Registered Snowmobile or ATV

    If you own a snowmobile and are an out-of-state resident, you may register your snowmobile in Connecticut. To register your out-of-state snowmobile, present the following at your local DMV full service or satellite office:

    • Out-of-state registration.
    • Out-of-state operator license(s). The name(s) must match the registration certificate. For ATVs, if you cannot appear in person, a Power of Attorney and photocopied identification are accepted by the state.
    • A completed Application for Registration and Certificate of Title (Form H13).
    • Payment for all applicable fees:
      ―Registration: $20.
      ―Plate fee: $5.
      ―Clean Air Act fee: $10.

    Once you’ve registered your snowmobile, attach the registration plate to the back of the vehicle. You must also display your registration number on each side of your snowmobile’s front section, halfway between the top and bottom. The letters and numbers must be at least 3 inches high and must be constructed of reflective material.

    You must always have your registration on your vehicle and have it available for inspection.

    Registration of a Snowmobile or an ATV to a Minor

    A snowmobile may be registered to a minor 16 years old or 17 years old; however, the minor must have parental consent and special financial responsibility insurance.

    Snowmobile-Specific Restrictions

    You should be aware of some of the restrictions for operating your snowmobile:

    • You may not operate the vehicle on any lands managed by the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) unless it is specified as a snowmobile trail by DEEP.
    • DEEP will deny use of trails if they are unsafe due to insufficient snow cover, or if there is not enough staff or parking.
    • Connecticut only allows snowmobile operation between 8 a.m. and sunset.
    • Snowmobiles must not exceed 20 mph.
    • All snowmobiles must be registered if operated on any public land. See below for information on registering your snowmobile.
    • You may not register your snowmobile or ATV in Connecticut if you owe any delinquent property tax or parking tickets, or if you’ve had your registration privilege suspended.

    NOTE: The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has proposed an All-Terrain Vehicle policy, which has not yet become effective.

    Shopping for a Moped or Scooter

    Did you know that motor-driven cycles require less gas and are environmentally friendly? They reduce emissions, and their production actually leaves a lighter carbon footprint than most vehicles. To help you decide if a moped or scooter (or for that matter, a motorcycle) is right for you, DMV.org has compiled the following list of resources in the hopes that they will help you make your decision.

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