Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in New York

Low-speed motor vehicles like scooters, mopeds, or motorized bicycles can be a fun way to get from Point A to Point B. If you’ve got your eye on one, make sure the vehicle is legal and that you have the proper driving credentials before you spend your money.

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is clear on which vehicles are legal and what you need to operate them. We’ll break it down for you below.

Looking for motorcycle info?

If your vehicle doesn’t fit the definitions below, it’s most likely a motorcycle. Jump over to our pages on motorcycle licensing and registration for details.

Mopeds in New York

Mopeds, also known as limited-use motorcycles, are legal to ride in New York as long as you have the proper license and registration for your vehicle. You DO NOT need a title for your moped.

The New York DMV classifies mopeds based on the maximum speed they can travel. Let’s go through each classification.

*NOTE: All mopeds must be registered and insured. The registration process is the same for mopeds as for all other vehicles in New York. Head over to our page on NY vehicle registration for a helpful guide.

Class A Mopeds

The fastest moped you can legally ride on New York streets belongs to Class A. They travel at a blistering speed of between 30 and 40 MPH maximum.

While driving your Class A moped, you’ll be able to use all lanes of traffic.

To operate these machines, you must:

  • Have proof of insurance and registration for your moped.
  • Hold a motorcycle permit or license (Class M or MJ).
  • Have your headlight switched on whenever you ride.
  • Wear a helmet and eye protection.
  • Get an annual vehicle inspection.

Class B Mopeds

Next up is the Class B limited-use motorcycle, which has a top speed range of between 20 and 30 MPH.

Class B moped riders must ONLY use the right lane or shoulder, EXCEPT when turning left.

These vehicles must be:

  • Registered and insured.
  • Equipped with a headlight that is turned on while the vehicle is in use.
  • Driven by someone:
    • With a valid driver’s license (any class).
    • Wearing a helmet and eye-protection.

Safety inspections are recommended for Class B mopeds, but are NOT required.

Class C Mopeds

A Class C moped maxes out at a speed of no higher than 20 MPH.

Similar to a Class B, while riding a Class C moped you must stay in the right lane or shoulder, unless you are turning left.

You can ride a Class C moped if:

  • Your moped is:
  • You carry any class of driver’s license.
  • You wear eye-protection and a helmet at all times.

The NY DMV recommends you get a safety inspection for your Class C moped, but it is NOT required.

Ineligible Vehicles in New York

The following vehicles cannot be registered and are illegal to drive on New York roads:

  • Motor-driven bicycles.
    • There may be exceptions for low-speed electric-assisted bicycles. Check with your local DMV office to find out if your bicycle qualifies.
  • Motorized scooters (motorized vehicles you ride while standing and steer with handlebars).
  • Golf carts.
  • Go-karts.
  • Mini-bikes and dirt bikes.
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