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:
- Have a standard motorcycle license (Class M) OR a Class L license, which ONLY allows you to operate motor-driven cycles.
- Title and register it with the Illinois SOS following the same steps for registering and titling a motorcycle.
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:
- Have a valid driver’s license of any classification.
- Register and title it the same way you’d title and register a motorcycle.
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.
An autocycle is a vehicle that has 3 wheels, a steering wheel, and a seat that doesn’t require the driver to straddle it.
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.
- Take some time to review the Illinois Bicycle Rules of the Road (Form DSD A 143).
For titling, registration, and licensing requirements, contact your local SOS office.