Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Connecticut
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Before you hop on your scooter, moped, or pocket bike, or what the DMV refers to as "motor driven cycles", you need to know what Connecticut requires for you to operate your two-wheeled motorized vehicle. The rules differ for each vehicle.
If your motor scooter has an engine capacity of at least 50 cubic centimeters, it falls into the category of motorcycle in Connecticut. That means you have to follow the same laws motorcycle drivers and owners do.
You need to register your motor scooter, hold title and registration, and carry a motorcycle operator's license. It is illegal to ride your scooter on sidewalks. Your scooter must have brakes, lights, a horn, and mirrors.
If your scooter's engine capacity is less than 50 cubic centimeters, it is classified as a moped, or a "bicycle with helper motor." You are only required to hold a valid driver's license to own and ride it.
NOTE: You may ride a moped or scooter on a Connecticut roadway without registering it if it has seat height of at least 26 inches and a motor that produces five brake horsepower or less. You still, however, must possess a valid operators license.
Registering a New Motor Scooter
The owners of scooters with an engine capacity of at least 50 cubic centimeters will need to register their vehicles at a full-service or satellite office. You need to show the following documents:
- Manufacturer's certificate of origin.
- Federal odometer statement.
- Application for registration and certificate of title, including full sales tax information. You may request the application online.
- Social Security number.
- Proof of insurance.
Registering a Used Motor Scooter
To register a used scooter with an engine capacity of at least 50 cubic centimeters, you need to take the following documents to the DMV:
- Title, signed over by the former owner.
- VIN verification, if purchased from another state.
Motor scooter registrations cost $40 and are good for two years. You can pay with cash, check, or money order at a full-service Connecticut DMV office. Credit cards are not accepted.
The state of Connecticut classifies mopeds as "bicycles with helper motors," and does not require riders to register their vehicles, hold titles, or get license tags for them. Low-power scooters also fall into this category.
You cannot ride your moped or low-power scooter on sidewalks, limited access highways and turnpikes. You must hold a valid driver's license to drive a moped, and you cannot ride your moped on sidewalks or limited access highways. Violators face fines of up to $100.
Before you hop on your moped and zip off, make sure it meets Connecticut's definition for these low-powered vehicles. State law defines mopeds as two-wheeled motorized vehicles with automatic transmissions that go no faster than 30 mph. The moped's "helper motor" must have a piston displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters. The seat height can be no less than 26 inches.
Pocket bikes or rocket bikes have seat heights of less than 26 inches and look like mini-motorcycles. You do not need a driver's license, registration, or title to operate pocket bikes.
It is illegal to drive pocket bikes on public roads or sidewalks in Connecticut. They are considered too small to be driven safely in traffic. They only can be driven on private property.
Police have the authority to seize pocket bikes operated illegally. Owners are subject to fines of up to $100. There is an additional fee to retrieve impounded pocket bikes.
Motor scooters are growing in popularity, with the introduction of new models with stylish designs. New owners may want to read a how-to guide on operating scooters, or check out these tips for touring. It's not a bad idea either to learn how to fall safely to avoid getting hurt in a mishap.
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