Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Virginia
If it’s not a car, truck, or motorcycle, what is it?
There are plenty of different vehicles that can get you where you need to go. Before you spend your hard-earned cash on that new scooter, moped, or autocycle, make sure everything’s good to go in the eyes of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Mopeds in Virginia
Virginia classifies a moped as a vehicle that has:
- A maximum:
- Motor displacement of 50 CC.
- Power rating of 1500 watts (for electric motors).
- Speed of 35 MPH.
- 2 or 3 wheels.
You must be at least 16 years old to ride a moped; however, you DO NOT need a license* to do so.
Mopeds must be registered and titled through the Virginia DMV.
*NOTE: If your VA license has been suspended or revoked for certain reasons, such as DUI related offenses, you may NOT be permitted to ride a moped in Virginia.
VA Moped Titling & Registration
To register and/or title your moped, visit the DMV and provide:
- A completed Moped Certification (Form VSA 31).
- A completed Application for Certificate of Title and Registration (Form VSA 17A).
- A notarized Moped or All-Terrain Vehicle Affidavit in Lieu of Title Certificate (Form VSA 12M), if you don't have a title or proof of ownership.
- Payment for the:
- $18.25 moped registration fee.
- $15 titling fee (if applicable).
Some cities and counties may have additional rules and processes for registering a moped. Check with your local DMV office to find out if this applies to you.
While riding your moped in Virginia, you must:
- Obey the traffic laws.
- Stay as far to the right of road as possible, except when you are:
- Making a left turn.
- In a right-turn-only lane and you do not want to turn right.
- Signal whenever you turn or stop.
- If your moped does not have lights that signal, use your hands.
- Wear a helmet and eye protection, if your moped does not have a windshield.
- See the protective gear section below for information on safety standards.
- Carry a valid government-issued photo ID.
Autocycles in VA
According to the VA Department of Motor Vehicles, an autocycle is a vehicle that has:
- Non-straddle seats.
- 3 wheels.
- A steering wheel.
- Been made to conform to the federal safety rulesfor motorcycles.
To drive an autocycle, you must have a basic Virginia driver’s license or motorcycle license.
While driving, you must wear protective gear that conforms to the standards listed in the VA safety gear section below. This includes:
- A helmet unless your autocycle has a non-removable roof.
- A face shield or protective glasses, if your autocycle does not have a windshield.
Protective Gear for Riders in VA
Whether you’re riding a moped or autocycle, protective gear such as helmets and goggles must have the seal of approval from one of these agencies:
- U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
- Snell Memorial Foundation.
In addition to bearing the seal of safety regulation compliance, a high-quality motorcycle helmet should have a:
- Strong chin strap.
- Weight of around 3 lbs., which typically signifies sturdy construction.
- Thick protective layer of lining the inside.
For more information on picking a safe helmet, please check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s helpful online guide.
- VSA 31
- VSA 17A