Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Michigan
The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) has its own definition, licensing, and registration requirements for mopeds. You could also have a scooter, motorized bike, or other cycle on your hands, which will require some correspondence with the SOS to determine the best course of action.
Let’s find out what type of vehicle you have and what you need to do.
What Is a Moped in MI?
A moped is a motor vehicle that:
- Has 2 or 3 wheels.
- Doesn’t have a gearshift.
- Has an engine displacement of no more than 100 CCS.
- Can travel no faster than 30 MPH.
You must have a license and registration to operate a moped, which we’ll go over next.
Getting Your Moped License
You can operate a moped with a valid MI driver’s license or chauffeur’s license; however, if you have neither and are at least 15 years old, you can apply for a moped license*.
Applying for a moped license in Michigan is similar to applying for a driver’s license. Head to your local MI SOS office and:
- Show the required proofs of:
- Social Security number.
- Legal presence.
- Michigan residency.
- Pass the vision, knowledge, and traffic signs exams.
- Have a parent or legal guardian sign your moped license application (provided at the SOS office) if you’re younger than 18 years old.
- Pay the $7.50 moped license fee.
If you’re younger than 20 1/2 years old, your moped license is valid until you turn 21 years old. Otherwise, your MI moped license expires 4 years from your last birthday.
Renewals are good for 4 years and cost $6.
*NOTE: You can’t have a driver’s or chauffeur’s license while also holding a moped license; if you eventually obtain a regular driver’s or chauffeur’s license, you must surrender your moped license to the Michigan SOS.
You must register your moped UNLESS you drive it ONLY on private property.
To register your moped, head to your local MI SOS office with:
- A completed Application to Register a Moped (Form R2-L).
- The applicable fees:
- $15 for the registration decal.
- Taxes as outlined on the application.
You’ll receive a registration decal to affix to the back of your moped. Your registration is valid for 3 years and expires on April 30 of the year on your decal.
Moped Operation Regulations
While riding your moped, you must follow all traffic laws and abide by the following regulations specific to mopeds:
- You must wear a helmet if you’re younger than 19 years old.
- You CANNOT operate your moped:
- On freeways.
- Between lanes of traffic.
- On sidewalks.
- On bicycle paths.
- Side-by-side with another moped.
- You must drive on the right edge of the road.
- You can carry only 1 passenger at a time.
For more information regarding rules of the road and moped safety tips, refer to the state’s brochure: Riding a Moped Safely (Form SOS-321).
Scooters, Pocket Rockets, & Other Cycles
Depending on their specifications, some motorized or electric scooters, motorized bikes, pocket rockets, mini-choppers, and other types of cycles might fit the definition of mopeds OR motorcycles.
GENERALLY, these vehicles don’t have the equipment required to legally operate on public roadways and therefore can’t be registered. However, sometimes these vehicles must be registered as a moped or motorcycle. Again, it all depends on their specs.
Since the requirements for these types of vehicles are fairly subjective, contact the MI SOS for more information specific to your cycle.