Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Washington

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Mopeds and Scooters Defined

Mopeds and scooters, the well-behaved two-wheel cousins of motorcycles, are bound to Department of Licensing (DOL) oversight. But before you ink your name to a registration form, make sure your bike qualifies as a moped.

The DOL considers a scooter to be the same as a moped. So if you're a scooter owner, don't be confused or offended if you only see the word moped used in the information below.

For your bike to be considered a moped, rather than a motorcycle, it must:

  • Possess 2 to 3 wheels.
  • Have an engine that is 50 cc (cubic centimeters) or smaller.
  • Can achieve a maximum speed no higher than 30 MPH on level ground.

If your bike exceeds the above mentioned engine size and/or speed the DOL will consider it to be a motorcycle.


To operate a moped, you must be at least 16 years old and possess a driver's license. No special license endorsements are required. Nor must you have mandatory insurance.

Registering and Titling

If you purchase a new moped, your work is finished. The dealership will file your title and registration forms for you. Your plates and title will arrive in the mail shortly after purchase.

If you buy a used moped, you must visit any vehicle licensing office within 15 days of purchasing. Bring along the signed-over title and the ability to pay any registration fees and taxes.

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