Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in New York
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The state of New York has different classifications for types of mopeds or scooters. The requirements for each class differ slightly, so you will want to verify which type of vehicle you have according to the list below.
The New York DMV defines all mopeds and scooters as fitting into one of three separate classifications, based on the top speed of each vehicle.
Each class comes with its own specific requirements and restrictions:
- Class A reaches top speeds between 30 and 40 mph, requires a Class M or Class MJ license, and can operate in any traffic lane
- Class B reaches top speeds between 20 and 30 mph, requires any Class 1 license, and can only operate in either the right-hand lane or along the shoulder
- Class C reaches top speeds of 20 mph or less, requires any Class 1 license, and can only operate in either the right-hand lane or along the shoulder
Mopeds and scooters follow the same requirements as a New York motorcycle license. They require full registration, and the driver must have a valid Class 1 or Class M/MJ driver's license to operate them (depending on the class of vehicle as outlined above).
The fees for your registration will be based on the weight of your vehicle. You will be required to pay the sales tax of your moped or scooter, as well as:
- A vehicle plate fee of $12.50 or registration transfer fee of $10.00
- A title certificate fee of $20.00 (an additional vehicle use tax is applied in some counties)
The registration will be valid for one year and expires on April 30th.
When you’re ready to register your moped, you will need to visit your local DMV office and bring:
- A completed Vehicle Registration/Title Application form MV-82
- A completed Statement of Transaction for Sales Tax form DTF-802, proof of being tax exempt, or proof of having paid the sales tax
- Proof of ownership―either a Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO), a bill of sale, or a previous registration that was transferred over to you
- Proof of identity
- Cash, check, or credit card to pay all applicable fees
All vehicles registered in New York State must get both a safety inspection and an emissions inspection every 12 months. Both inspections are also required when the ownership of a vehicle is transferred.
Both inspections will be done at the same time by any DMV-certified inspector at any privately-owned inspection station licensed by the DMV. There are some additional state regulations for inspections if you are moving to NY from out of state, or if you buy a vehicle from a private seller or dealer:
- If you buy a vehicle from a NY state dealer, the dealer must have the vehicle inspected within 30 days of the date of sale and prior to delivery.
- If you buy or are given a vehicle from someone other than a NY state dealer, you will receive a 10-day inspection extension. After you register the vehicle, you have 10 days to have the vehicle inspected. (Any inspection issued to the previous registrant is not valid once you have registered the vehicle in your name.)
- If you become a resident of NY and register your vehicle, your out-of-state inspection remains valid. (The out-of-state certificate or inspection sticker issued in your name is valid either until it expires, or for one year after the vehicle is registered in NY, whichever comes first. When your out-of-state inspection expires, you must get the vehicle inspected in NY.)
If you have your inspection performed in a jurisdiction that does not conduct inspections or issue an inspection sticker, you must obtain a valid inspection sticker by having your vehicle inspected in NY. If you do not have a valid inspection sticker displayed on your vehicle, you will be subject to a summons from law enforcement.
In the state of New York, valid insurance is required for vehicles falling into either Class A or Class B, and is recommended for Class C. If you use a rental moped or scooter for business practices, then Class C will also require insurance.
Once you are licensed, and your vehicle is registered, inspected, and has adequate minimum insurance, you will be ready to legally operate your moped or scooter.
Both a helmet and eye protection are required when operating your Class A and B moped, and strongly recommended for a Class C. You must have a working headlight for any class of moped. Before riding any type of moped or motorcycle-style vehicle, it is recommended to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic Rider Course.
The following vehicle types cannot be registered or legally operated on any NY public street, highway, sidewalk, or parking lot. The NY DMV cannot provide any information about operation of these vehicles on private property; you will need to contact the local authorities and property owners to inquire about laws, rules, regulations, or requirements that they may have in place.
- Motorized scooter―a device with a motor attached and a handlebar for a standing rider. An example of a motorized scooter is the device called the Go-ped®.
- Go-karts―a small, motorized device with four wheels, created for off-road use. You cannot register a go-kart as a motor vehicle or ATV because a go-kart does not have the same equipment.
- Mini-bikes―a small, motorized device with two wheels, created for off-road use. A mini-bike does not qualify as a moped, a motorcycle or an ATV.
- Dirt bikes ―a motorized device like a motorcycle, but created for and used for off-road use.
- Motor-assisted bicycles ―a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle does not qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and does not have the same equipment.
In these days of environmental consciousness and high gas prices, many are looking for alternative means of transportation. Mopeds and motorcycles certainly fall into this category, and to help you decide if this option is right for you, DMV.org has compiled a list of resources to get you started in the evaluation process:
- Transporting Your Motorcycle
- Electric Vehicles That Classify as a Motorcycle
- How to Fall/Lay Down the Bike
- Motorcycle Rallies/Events; Sturgis
- Scooters 101
- Must-Have Accessories
- Theft Prevention
- Finding a Trustworthy Mechanic
- Vintage Motorcycles and Scooters
And check these out just for fun:
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