Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Virginia

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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:
    • Moto displacement of 50 cc.
    • Power rating of 1500 watts (for electric motors).
    • Speed of 35 MPH.
  • 2 wheels 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. 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.

To register and/or title your moped, visit the DMV and provide:

  • A completed Moped Certification (Form VSA 31).
  • Payment for the:
    • $20.25moped registrationfee.
    • $15 titling fee (if applicable).

*NOTE: If you have a suspended or revoked license, you are not allowed to use a moped in Virginia.

Moped Safety

While riding your moped, 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.

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