Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Iowa
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Mopeds and scooters offer affordable and convenient transportation for Iowa residents. However, it's important to be aware of Iowa's special rules and regulations regarding these vehicles.
In Iowa, a moped is defined as "a motor vehicle that has a saddle or seat for the use of the rider and is designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground and not capable of operating at a speed in excess of thirty miles per hour on level ground unassisted by human power."
Drivers 14 Through 15
A moped permit is required. To obtain one you must:
- Complete a moped rider education course approved by the Iowa Department of Transportation.
- Pass the same knowledge test required for a driver's permit.
- Pass a vision test.
- Pass a skills test (this depends on the discretion of the examiner).
Contact your nearest driver's license station for information on courses in your area.
Drivers 16 Through 17
You only need a permit if you don't have, at the minimum, an intermediate license. To apply for a permit, follow the same steps as described in the Drivers 14 Through 15 category above.
Drivers Over 18
If you're 18 or older and already have a currently valid driver license do not need to complete any additional licensing requirements in order to operate a moped. If, however, you don't have a license, you must apply for a moped permit.
Iowa Moped Rules of the Road
When operating a moped on Iowa roads, you are expected to obey all traffic laws if you wish to avoid receiving a traffic ticket.
In addition, you must remember the following regulations:
- A moped is required to display a flag that is 30 square inches and five feet from the ground to increase the vehicle's visibility while on Iowa roads.
- It is against the law to carry a passenger on your moped.
- When operating a moped, you cannot carry a package that prevents you from having both hands on the handlebars at all times.
Electric- or gas-powered scooters that resemble long skateboards with handlebars, a motor, and a seat are popular among teenagers and young adults.
Unfortunately, the Iowa Department of Transportation states that the vast majority of these vehicles do not meet the requirements for vehicle registration. This means that they can not be legally operated on public streets and most bike trails. In some locations, it may also be illegal to operate this type of vehicle on city sidewalks.
Scooters that are two-wheeled motor vehicles with step-through frames are considered to be a type of motorcycle. Some have their engines located to the forward of the seat and affixed directly to the frame.
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