Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Nebraska

It’s not quite a motorcycle, so…what is it? A moped? A scooter? Do you need a license or are you even allowed to operate it on public roads?

Don’t worry, we’ve got all the details on whether your motor vehicle is a moped, scooter, autocycle, or some other type of bike and how you need to handle business with the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Mopeds in Nebraska

In Nebraska, a moped is defined as a motor vehicle that has:

  • Pedals for human propulsion.
  • An automatic transmission.
  • A motor that:
    • Has an engine capacity of no more than 50 cc.
    • Produces no more than 2 brake horsepower.
    • Can propel the moped no faster than 30 MPH on flat ground.

You must have at least a basic driver’s license to operate a moped.

You can operate your moped on public roads without titling or registering it as long as you don’t remove the pedals. If you remove the pedals, you can drive the moped on private property only unless it meets the requirements of a motorcycle. At that point, you must title and register it as a motorcycle, and obtain a motorcycle license or endorsement.

NE Moped Safety Laws

Before you hit the road, take note of Nebraska’s moped laws:

  • Your moped must have a permanently attached seat and you must ride sitting astride that seat and facing forward.
  • You can’t carry:
    • Passengers UNLESS the moped is designed by the manufacturer to carry more than 1 person and the moped has footrests for the passenger.
    • Any package or other item that prevents you from keeping both hands on the handlebars.
  • Your moped can’t have handlebars higher than 15 inches above the mounting point.
  • As long as the speed limit allows, you can drive your moped only up to 30 MPH—no faster, even if the posted speed limit is higher.
  • If the posted speed limit is:
    • 45 MPH or fewer, you can ride 2 abreast with another moped or motorcycle in a single lane.
    • Higher than 45 MPH, you must ride as close to the right side of the road as possible and, if you’re with other mopeds or motorcycles, you must ride single file.
  • You must always stay in your lane—no riding in between traffic lanes or rows of vehicles.
  • Don’t attach yourself or the moped to any other vehicle on the road—it’s illegal.
  • You can’t operate your moped on sidewalks or any roadway that’s part of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.

Check out the Nebraska Driver’s Manual and Motorcycle Operator Manual for additional traffic and safety laws.

What Defines a Scooter in NE?

In Nebraska, scooters are basically smaller motorcycles. They don’t have quite the same oomph as a full-blown motorcycle, but they’re beefier than a moped.

Nebraska motor scooters have:

  • A wheel and tire diameter of 14 inches or more.
  • An engine capacity of 45 cc or more.
  • Handle bars no higher than 15 inches above the mounting point.

You need a motorcycle license or endorsement to operate scooters, and you must title and register your scooter the same way you would a motorcycle.

NOTE: If you use a scooter to test for your license, the NE DMV will place a “Z” restriction on the license.

Also, refer to the Nebraska Driver’s Manual and Motorcycle Operator Manual for traffic and safety laws, such as rules on carrying passengers, wearing helmets, headlamps and taillights, and more.


A minibike has:

  • 2 wheels.
  • A wheel and tire diameter of fewer than 14 inches.
  • An engine capacity of fewer than 45 cc.

Minibikes are for off-road use only. You don’t have to register your minibike, but you do have to title your minibike if you bought it new on or after January 1, 2004.

Nebraska Autocycles

In Nebraska, an autocycle is a motor vehicle that has:

  • A seat you don’t have to straddle.
  • 3 wheels in contact with the ground.
  • A seating area that’s completely enclosed with a removeable or fixed top.
  • Manufacturer-installed air bags and a roll cage.
  • A seatbelt for each occupant.
  • Antilock brakes.
  • A steering wheel and pedals.

You need a basic driver’s license to operate an autocycle, and you must title and register it before you can drive it on public roads.

To title and register your autocycle, head to your county treasurer’s office with:


Application for Certificate of Title
Application for a Nebraska vehicle OR motorboat title with the DMV.
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