Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in New Mexico
“It’s not a car; it’s not a truck; it’s not a motorcycle—what is it?”
If you’re on the fence about buying a new vehicle that’s not so easy to define, make sure you’re aware of the laws and restrictions that apply to it before you empty your wallet.
The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) has a set of helpful guidelines for you to find out what you need to operate your moped, scooter, off-highway vehicle, or motor-driven bicycle.
Keep reading for information on licensing, registration, and other relevant topics related to these unconventional motorized vehicles.
Mopeds in New Mexico
New Mexico categorizes a moped as a vehicle that has:
- No manual gear-shifting device.
- A motor that:
- Has a maximum piston displacement of under 50 cc.
- Cannot push the vehicle faster than 30 MPH on flat ground.
- 2 to 3 wheels.
Your moped does not need to be registered or titled with the MVD, and as long as you have a valid license or permit, you can ride a moped with it. For a guide to getting a New Mexico license, visit our pages on licensing for teens or adults.
NM Motorized Bicycles
Motorized bicycles are bicycles equipped with an electric or gas-powered motor designed to assist the rider.
Riders DO NOT need a license to ride motor-driven bicycles, nor do you need to register your motorized bike. When on the road, you are required to follow the same rules as regular cyclists in New Mexico.
Requirements may be stricter based on the:
- Size of the motor.
- Speed of the vehicle.
- City or county you’re riding in.
Please check with your local MVD office or call the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division’s main office at (888) 683-4636 if you’re unsure whether your vehicle qualifies as a motorized bicycle.
A Segway, or electric personal assistive mobility device, is a self-balancing vehicle that has:
- 2 wheels (one on each side).
- An electric motor that:
- Can propel 1 person who weighs 170 lbs. no faster than 20 MPH on flat ground.
- An average of 1 horsepower.
There is NO NEED to register a Segway, and riders do not need a license to ride an electric personal assistive mobility device.
However, your Segway must be equipped with:
- A braking system that enables you to make a controlled stop.
- Rear, side, and front reflectors for the visibility of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.
- A lamp that projects enough white light to illuminate the area in front of you, if you are riding anytime between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise.
Segway riders must:
- Travel on the sidewalk.
- Obey the same rules that apply to pedestrians.
- Take care to avoid collisions.
- Yield the right of way to pedestrians.
Neighborhood Electric Cars
The New Mexico MVD defines a neighborhood electric car as a vehicle that has:
- 4 wheels.
- A valid vehicle identification number (VIN).
- An electric motor that can propel the vehicle more than 20 MPH but less than 25 MPH.
To be driven on the street, a neighborhood electric car must be equipped with certain safety items. Some examples include:
- An exterior mirror mounted on the driver’s side.
- An interior mounted mirror.
- Head lamps and brake lights.
- A brake for each wheel.
- A seat belt for each seat.
- A windshield and windshield wipers.
- For a complete list, visit the MVD’s online procedures manual.
- Emissions requirements.
- Flashing lights requirements for low speed vehicles.
- Minimum motor displacement requirements (45 cc).