Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Minnesota
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Mopeds (or motorized bicycles) have a piston displacement of 50cc or less, two-brake horsepower or less, and are not able to go faster than 30 mph on a level surface, as defined by Minnesota lawmakers. If a vehicle exceeds any of these categories, it will likely be classified as a motorcycle.
Electric-assisted bicycles also fall under the moped category providing they have:
- Two or three wheels
- A saddle
- Pedals meant for human propulsion
- Met federal safety requirements
- An electric motor with a power of less than 1,000 watts
- A maximum speed of 20 mph
- Brakes that disengage the vehicle when applied
If you have a driver's license, you're legally allowed to drive a moped. If you don't, you'll need to obtain a moped operator's permit. The Minnesota Motorcycle/Motorized Bicycle Manual outlines in detail the steps to get your permit. Applicants must be at least 15 years old.
Moped drivers need to carry liability insurance, but riders of electric-assisted bicycles do not. Mopeds must be titled at registered at a Driver and Vehicle Services location, much in the same manner as a car.
When riding a moped, keep the following things in mind:
- Drive as close to the curb as you can.
- Driving on sidewalks is not allowed, except for short distances when necessary.
- If you're under 18, you must wear a helmet.
- Wear protective eye gear (this doesn't apply when riding an electric-assisted bicycle).
- Don't drive on bicycle lanes, trails, and interstate highways.
- Make sure your moped has an operating headlight and taillight.
Motorized foot scooters are defined by state lawmakers as vehicles meant to be stood or sat upon by the rider, with handlebars. The vehicles must have an engine or motor that can propel the rider, without the help of human propulsion. Also, they must either have wheels with a diameter of 10 inches or less, or a top speed of 15 mph on a flat surface.
You must be least 12 years old to ride a motorized foot scooter. However, you don't need a license to ride one, nor do you need to register or title the vehicle. Plus, insurance is not required.
Motorized foot scooters are not allowed to be ridden on sidewalks, except for over short distances when necessary. Passengers are not allowed. Scooters may be driven on some bicycle paths and trails. Riders under 18 have to wear a helmet.
For more information on any of these vehicles, consult the Minnesota Motorcycle/Motorized Bicycle Manual.
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