Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in North Carolina

If you have a moped, scooter, or motorized bicycle, make sure it’s street-legal before you take it on a ride. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has special rules that pertain to these vehicles.

Read on to learn more about these transportation options and how to operate them legally in North Carolina.

NC Mopeds

A moped in North Carolina is classified as a motor vehicle—aside from a motorized bicycle—that has:

  • Either 2 or 3 wheels.
  • A motor that:
    • Has a piston displacement of 50 CC or less.
    • Is electric, alternative fuel, or gas powered.
    • Propels the vehicle at up to 30 MPH—and no faster—on flat ground.
  • No external device for shifting gears.

To ride a moped on NC highways or public areas, you:

  • Must be 16 years old or older.
  • ALL riders have to wear a helmet.
  • Do not need a license.
  • Must have your moped registered with the DMV.

Electric Bicycle

Electric-assisted bicycles, or E-bikes, are defined by North Carolina’s DMV as cycles that have:

  • A seat or saddle.
  • Functional pedals.
  • Either 2 or 3 wheels.
  • An electric motor that:
    • Propels the vehicle no more than 20 MPH with no pedaling on flat ground.
    • Uses no more than 750 watts.

E-bikes do not require:

  • A registration.
  • A title.
  • Riders to have a license.
    • Age restrictions often apply, however. Please contact your local DMV office with any questions about restrictions for minors.

Motor-Driven Bicycle

North Carolina’s definition of a motor-driven bicycle is a non-electric powered vehicle that has:

  • Handlebars and pedals.
  • Either 2 or 3 wheels.
  • 1 or 2 seats.
  • A motor that CANNOT push the vehicle more than 20 MPH on a flat surface with no pedaling.

Sometimes law enforcement agencies put motor-driven bicycles in the same class as mopeds, so be sure to check with your local DMV office to see if you need to register your motorized bicycle.

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