Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Kansas
When is a moped a moped, and not a motor scooter or a motorcycle? If it:
- Has two or three wheels;
- Can be propelled by a human (with pedals) or a motor, or both;
- Has a motor with no more than 3.5 horsepower and 130 cubic centimeter (ccs) cylinder capacity;
- Can't go more than 30 miles an hour.
In other words, if your vehicle can't get up to highway speed, it's probably a moped.
Operating a Moped
As long as you have a current Kansas driver's license or a motorcycle license, you may legally operate a motor scooter on Kansas highways. You are also required to wear a helmet (if you are under 18) and all riders must wear eye protection. If you want to legally carry a passenger, the moped must be equipped with a permanently-attached seat designed for passengers. All passengers must ride astride―no handstands, please.
Moped Registration and Insurance
Motor Scooter Defined
The definition of motor-driven cycle, which includes motor scooters, states that the motor must not exceed 5 brake horsepower. Basically, it's considered a small motorcycle.
Motor Scooter Licensing
Because a motor scooter is defined as having a higher horsepower than a moped, to ride one, you have to get a motorcycle operator's driver's license.
Note that if you take the motorcycle licensing on-cycle exam on a motorcycle with 3 wheels, you will be restricted to only operating those models of cycles. To operate a standard motorcycle with 2 wheels, you will need to take and pass the skills exam on a standard motorcycle. In this case, you will also be allowed to operate cycles with 3 wheels.
Rules for Driving
Motor scooter rules are the same as motor cycle rules. Every driver and passenger must wear a safety helmet (if they are under 18), all riders must wear eye protection, and in order to legally carry a passenger, there must be a permanently affixed seat on the motor scooter. To learn more about motor scooter operating rules, refer to the Kansas State Motorcycle Operator's Manual.
Registering Mopeds and Scooters
The registration process for mopeds and motor scooters is the same as for all other motorcycle registrations completed in Kansas. If you purchase your motor scooter or moped through a dealership, the dealer will take care of the registration and titling paperwork for you and will provide you with temporary tags for the vehicle.
If you purchase your motor scooter or motorcycle through a private party, the registration process is also the same as for other previously-owned motorcycle registrations.