Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Texas
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has specific license and registration requirements for vehicles that don’t quite meet the criteria for a full-on motorcycle. Let’s see what you’ll need to do to get that moped, scooter, or autocycle out on the road.
In Texas, a moped is defined as a motor-driven cycle that:
- CANNOT drive faster than 30 MPH in 1 mile.
- Has an engine that CANNOT generate more than 2 brake horsepower.
- ADDITIONALLY, if has an internal combustion engine, the piston displacement must NOT exceed 50 cc, and the power drive system must NOT require the rider to shift gears.
If your vehicle exceeds any of the above criteria, then it’s automatically classified as a motorcycle.
If you aren’t sure whether your vehicle meets the criteria for a moped, try checking out the TX DPS’ list of certified mopeds for the specific make and model of your cycle.
TX Moped License & Registration
To legally ride a moped in Texas, you must:
- Be at least 15 years old.
- Register your moped by following the same process for registering a motorcycle in TX.
- The registration fee for mopeds is $30, plus all other applicable county fees.
- Hold a Class M motorcycle license with a “P36” restriction; with this restriction you:
- Must still meet the same requirements for a standard motorcycle license, EXCEPT for the motorcycle skills test—which you’re exempt from.
- May ONLY ride mopeds—not motorcycles.
To apply for the P36 restriction, your moped must be on the TX DPS’ certified mopeds list. If it isn't, you'll need to:
- Verify your vehicle meets the above criteria for a moped.
- Take an Affidavit to Verify Requirements for Moped Classification (REV 2015) to the moped dealer or manufacturer where you bought it—have them complete this form.
- Submit the completed affidavit to your local driver license office.
Once you’ve registered your moped and have the appropriate license, remember that:
- Your moped will need to:
- Be insured at all times.
- Pass annual safety and emissions inspections.
- Wearing a helmet is ALWAYS required while operating your moped.
In the state of Texas, motor-assisted scooters are self-propelled devices that have:
- At least 2 wheels on the ground while riding.
- Working brakes.
- An electric or gas motor that doesn't exceed 40 cc.
- A deck where the driver can sit or stand while riding.
- The option for human-power operation.
If this describes your scooter, contact your local driver license/registration and titling office for information regarding license and registration requirements—these can vary depending on local rules and regulations.
Autocycles are classified in Texas as vehicles with:
- 3 wheels or fewer on the ground.
- A steering wheel.
- Seating that does not require the driver to straddle or sit astride.
You need a Class C license to legally operate an autocycle in Texas.
To title and register your autocycle, follow the same process and requirements for standard motorcycles—head over to our page on registering a motorcycle in Texas for details.
Finally, you’re ALWAYS required to wear a helmet when riding an autocycle in TX, and must follow the same safety laws as motorcycles. Be sure to read through the Texas motorcycle manual for tips on riding and information on motorcycle rules and regulations.
TX Electric Bicycles
In Texas, electric bicycles are bicycles that:
- Can be powered by either an electric motor alone OR with combined human power.
- CANNOT go faster than 20 MPH without applying human power.
- Weigh no more than 100 lbs.
Electric Bicycle Rules
For the most part, the Texas laws and safety requirements for bicycles apply to electric bicycles as well. You must ALWAYS:
- Sit on or astride a permanent, fixed seat.
- Ride as close as you can to the right side of the road when moving slower than other roadway traffic, unless roadway conditions or hazards make it unsafe to do so, or you are:
- Passing a vehicle driving in the same direction.
- Preparing to turn left.
- Riding in an outside lane that is:
- No more than 14 feet wide.
- Doesn't have an adjacent designated bicycle lane, or is too narrow for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to be able to ride side by side safely.
- Riding on a one-way street with at least 2 marked traffic lanes.
- Riding side-by-side with another person on a bicycle.
You must NEVER use your bicycle to:
- Carry more people than the bike is designed to carry.
- Carry anything that could prevent you from riding the bicycle with at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
- Attach it to a vehicle or a streetcar on a roadway.
All bicycles and electric bicycles must have with proper working brakes. If riding at nighttime, your bicycle must have:
- A front lamp that projects a white light that can be seen from 500 feet in front of the bicycle.
- A rear red reflector that is visible from 50 to 300 feet to the back of the bicycle when directly in front of other vehicles' beams and headlights.
- A rear lamp that projects a red light that can be seen from 500 feet away from the back of the bicycle.