Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Illinois
In Illinois, mopeds are defined as two-wheeled low-speed vehicles, which can be either driven like a motorcycle or pedaled like a bicycle.
Mopeds are intended for limited use on public roadways. All riders are required to hold a valid driver's license and obey all traffic laws, road signs, and signals at all times.
There are different classifications of powered two-wheeled vehicles, so be sure of the type you have, as different regulations may apply.
IL Moped Classification
A moped is actually a sub-class of a motor-driven cycle, restricted to:
- Only attaining a speed between 20 MPH and 30 MPH within 1 mile.
- A motor capable of producing 2 brake horsepower or less.
- An engine displacement that does not exceed 50cc (cubic centimeters).
- A transmission that does not require gear shifting.
All four criteria must be met for you to be able to operate your moped with a regular IL driver's license.
If your vehicle exceeds any of these criteria, it is considered a motor-driven cycle, and you will need to obtain a separate Class L license (see below).
IL Moped License
You may drive a moped if you possess any valid class of Illinois driver's license. You must have your license with you at all times while riding.
Class L Motor-Driven Cycle License
If your vehicle exceeds the criteria of a moped but has an engine of less than 150 cc, it is a motor-driven cycle. You will need to apply for a Class L license, the first step of which is a Class L instruction permit.
Earning Your Instruction Permit
There are two types of Class L permits, which depend on your age:
- Applicants under 18 years old may apply for a 24-month permit (must have completed a driver's education program).
- Applicants 18 years old or older can apply for a 12-month permit.
To obtain your permit, go to your local Driver Services facility and:
- Present proof of identification, residency, and birth date.
- Show your Social Security number.
- If under 18 years old, show proof of completion for Driver's Ed.
- Take the written knowledge exam.
With a Class L permit, you are allowed to ride only:
- During daylight hours.
- Under the direct supervision of a licensed motor-driven cycle operator 21 years old or older with at least 1 year of driving experience.
Earning Your Class L License
Depending on your age and whether you earned an instruction permit, you may be exempt from taking certain exams for your Class L license.
- If you have gone through the permit process, you are exempt from retaking the written exam.
- Drivers under 18 years old will be required to pass an on-cycle driving test.
- Drivers over 18 years old may be exempt from the on-cycle driving test if they show completion of a motorcycle training course.
If you did not complete a motorcycle training course or earn an instruction permit, you will be required to take both the written and the on-cycle exams.
Make an appointment at your nearest Driver Services facility and:
- Bring your instruction permit (if applicable).
- Submit proof of identification, birth date, residency, and Social Security number.
- Show your Motorcycle Rider Course Student Completion Card (if applicable).
- Pass the written and on-cycle exams (if applicable).
- Pay the $10 Class L license fee.
Registering Your Moped in Illinois
Mopeds require registration and titling. You may not operate your moped or motorized scooter on Illinois roadways without a title or registration. You may register in person at your local Secretary of State (SOS) office, or by mail.
If you purchased your moped from a private party, you will have to pay sales tax on the vehicle at the time of registration. The sales tax rate can vary, and is set by the county where you're registering.
Register in Person
Vist your local SOS office with:
- A completed Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (Form VSD 190).
- Acceptable identification and proof of ownership.
- Payment to cover the $41 registration fee and $95 title fee. SOS offices only accept checks or money orders for registration transactions.
Register by Mail
Gather all of the above documents, including a check or money order for the fees, and send them to:
- Secretary of State
- Vehicle Services Department
- ERT Section, Rm 424
- 501 S. 2nd St.
- Springfield, IL 62756
You will be issued new license plates, which will differ from those issued for motorcycles. Make sure you list the correct piston displacement (cc) on your application, so you get the right plates for your vehicle.