Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in South Carolina

Mopeds, scooters, and motorized bicycles are great for enjoying the open road. But before you make that purchase, make sure you know the rules and restrictions that apply to your vehicle.

Fortunately, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a clear set of guidelines so you can hit the road safely and legally.

Mopeds Requirements in SC

A moped is defined by South Carolina as a cycle that has:

  • An automatic transmission.
  • 3 wheels or fewer.
  • A motor that is fuel- and/or electric-powered and:
    • Is EITHER:
      • 50 CC or less for gas motors.
        OR
      • Between 750 to 1500 watts for electric motors.
  • Has a maximum of 2 brake horsepower.
  • CANNOT propel the vehicle faster than 30 MPH on flat ground.

Mopeds can, but are not required to, have functioning pedals.

Mopeds are NOT required to be:

  • Registered.
  • Titled.
  • Insured.

You can ride a moped with a basic driver’s license in South Carolina. If you DO NOT have a basic auto license, you can get a moped license through the SCDMV. See the section below for details on getting a moped license.

Apply for a SC Moped License

If you DO NOT have a South Carolina driver’s license and you want to ride a moped, you can get a moped license instead. You must be at least 14 years old.

Visit your local DMV office with:

You’ll have to pass vision and knowledge tests. You are not required to pass a road skills test to get a South Carolina moped license.

Trikes & Autocycles in SC

To drive a motorcycle with 3 wheels—often referred to as a trike, you DO NOT need a motorcycle license. You can drive these vehicles with any license EXCEPT a moped license.

Autocycles are similar vehicles that are rapidly gaining popularity. Like motorcycles and trikes, autocycles are vehicles that operate with no more than 3 wheels.

Unlike trikes, autocycles have a:

  • Steering wheel instead of handlebars.
  • Seat that doesn’t require the driver and passengers to straddle it.

Autocycle drivers are required to hold at least a Class D basic auto license.

Both vehicle types are required to be:

  • Insured.
  • Titled.
  • Registered.
    • The registration fee for a trike is $10 every 2 years.

For information on insuring, registering, and titling these vehicles please contact your local DMV office, or call the SC DMV at (803) 896-5000.

Forms

447-NC
Application for a Beginner's Permit, Driver's License, or Identification Card (Non-Commercial Credential)
Use this DMV form to apply for a South Carolina learner's permit, driver's license, identification card, OR moped/motorcycle license. Can be used to request an original, renewal, duplicate, or correction.
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