Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Maryland

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has clear definitions of motor scooters and mopeds, and there are certain licensing and registration requirements you must heed before hitting the road on one of these vehicles. Keep reading for more.

What Is a Motor Scooter in MD?

A motor scooter in Maryland is a motor vehicle with:

  • A step-through chassis.
  • No pedals.
  • A seat for the driver.
  • 2 wheels.
    • 1 wheel must be at least 10 inches in diameter.
  • An automatic transmission.
  • A motor with 2.7 brake horsepower or fewer OR an engine displacement of no more than 50 cc if the motor is an internal combustion engine.
    • NOTE: If the motor has an engine displacement of 51 cc or more, it’s considered a motorcycle—even if it meets all other motor scooter criteria.

The MD MVA requires you to apply for a motor scooter title and decals.

You can operate a motor scooter with a valid driver’s license of any class. If you don’t have a driver’s license and are at least 16 years old, you can apply for a Maryland moped license, which permits you to drive both mopeds and motor scooters.

What Are Mopeds in Maryland?

In Maryland, mopeds are bicycles that have:

  • A motor to assist human propulsion.
  • Pedals to mechanically drive the back wheel(s).
  • 2 wheels or 3 wheels.
    • 1 wheel must be more than 14 inches in diameter.
  • A motor with 1.5 brake horsepower or fewer OR an engine displacement of no more than 50 cc (if the motor is an internal combustion engine).

You must title and request a decal for your moped.

Just like with mopeds, you can drive a motor scooter with a valid driver’s license of any class. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you can apply for a moped license as long as you’re at least 16 years old.

MD Moped License

You must be at least 16 years old to apply for a moped license. Do so by going to your local full-service MVA office where you will need to:

  • Provide:
    • The required identity documents.
    • A moped license application (the MVA office should have these for you).
      • If you’re younger than 18 years old, you must have a parent or guardian with you to sign the application in front of an MVA representative.
    • Your Maryland photo identification card (if applicable).
      • You can’t have multiple state-issued IDs, permits, or licenses with your photograph.
    • The $45 moped license fee.
  • Pass a vision and moped knowledge test.
  • Have your photo taken.

Once you meet all requirements, pass the tests, and pay the fee, the MVA representative will give you a temporary moped license, which is valid until you receive your permanent license in the mail, typically within 10 days of making your application.

MD Motor Scooter & Moped Laws

When you’re operating a motor scooter or moped, you:

  • Must wear a certified helmet and eye protection.
  • Can’t drive faster than 30 mph.
  • Can’t operate on a road with a maximum speed limit that’s more than 50 mph.
  • Must ride as close to the right side of the road as possible.
    • If the roadway has a bike lane or paved shoulder, you must use the lane or shoulder.
  • Can ride side by side with another moped or scooter only if doesn’t obstruct the flow of traffic.
  • Can carry a passenger only if the moped or scooter is equipped for passengers.

Be sure to review Maryland’s motorcycle manual for more in-depth safety tips and rules.

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