Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Illinois

Find out how the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) classifies vehicles such as motor-driven cycles, mopeds, and electric bicycles, and what requirements you must meet to legally operate them.

Motor-Driven Cycles in IL

In Illinois, motor-driven cycles are motorcycles and motor scooters with an engine displacement between 1 cc and 149 cc. They can have between 2 wheels and 4 wheels.

To operate a motor-driven cycle, you must:

The Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual outlines safety precautions all motor-driven cycle riders should take. Be sure to read through the manual’s tips and instructions for staying safe on the road—it could save your life!

Illinois Mopeds & Scooters

For a vehicle to be considered a moped or scooter in Illinois, it must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Can reach a speed of at least 20 mph but no more than 30 mph in 1 mile.
  • Has a motor that produces no more than 2 brake horsepower.
  • Has an engine displacement of no more than 50 cc IF it has an internal combustion engine.
  • Can be pedaled by foot or powered like a motorcycle.
  • The power drive system doesn’t require the driver to shift gears.

If the vehicle exceeds or differs from the above criteria, it’s considered a motor-driven cycle and you must follow the appropriate licensing and registration requirements.

To legally operate a moped or scooter in IL, you must:

It’s important to review the safety precautions outlined in the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual; however, note that regulations specific to moped operators include:

  • Any moped or scooter carrying 2 people must have a seat and a footrest for the passenger.
  • When you drive your moped or scooter at night, it must be equipped with a:
    • Headlight visible from at least 500 feet.
    • Taillight visible from at least 100 feet to 600 feet.

Autocycles

An autocycle is a vehicle that has 3 wheels, a steering wheel, and a seat that doesn’t require the driver to straddle it.

You must have a valid driver’s license and register and title your autocycle to legally operate it on public roads.

IL Gas & Electric Bicycles

For your powered bike to be considered a gas bicycle or low-speed electric bicycle, it must have a fully functioning pedals and a motor producing under 1 horsepower.

To ride a low-speed gas bicycle or electric bicycle, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Drive ONLY on the on street (no sidewalks), never going over 20 mph.
  • Follow all the same laws as bicyclists.

For titling, registration, and licensing requirements, contact your local SOS office.

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