In California, the law to drive motorized vehicles is different than driving actual motor vehicles since you do not need a license or registration for the vehicle, unlike a moped.
Our personal injury attorneys have compiled some information to help readers get acquainted with the laws and also clear up the doubts of many.
Under the California motorized scooter laws, a motorized scooter may have a seat but that is not a defining feature of it as a scooter can be a motorized scooter if it has two wheels, handlebars, a floorboard to stand on, and a motor for powering the scooter.
Although registration with the DMV and a specialized license is not required to drive a motorized scooter, you do need to have a regular driver’s license.
The laws for driving a motorized scooter on the road is the same as with any other vehicle but there are certain restrictions in California like:
Senior citizens or disabled people can drive mobility scooters up to 30 miles per hour on road.
Under California Law, a moped is a vehicle if it has two or three wheels, an automatic transmission accompanied by an electric motor, and a 30 miles an hour maximum speed.
The distinction between a moped and a motorized bicycle is the speed limit as anything having speeds slower than 20 miles per hour is not a moped. Refer to the Department of Motor Vehicle if you’re not sure what law applies to your ride.
To legally drive a moped, moped riders need a motorcycle’s license (M1 or M2), get their moped registered with the DMV, and get the relevant license plates. Upon registration, they will receive a moped ID card that they must keep on you at all times.
You may feel inclined to believe that motorized bicycles and mopeds are the same, however, these are treated differently under California law. An electric motor (fewer than 750 watts) and pedals are the main requirements to determine if a vehicle is a motorized bicycle in California.
The law breaks down electric bikes into three different categories and these are as follows:
Riders can only ride on a designated bicycle path or bike lane and can take advantage of the class II bicycle lane provided by the state.
A motorized bicycle rider must have a motorcycle license requiring the individual to pass the written and driving tests. There is no strict requirement on wearing a bicycle helmet if you’re above 16 years of age unless you are riding on your learner’s permit.
Another question that many wonder about is whether or not there is a requirement to get insurance to ride motorized bicycles.
Motorized scooters or bicycles do not require insurance but if you’re riding a moped you need to get insurance with at least minimum liability coverage of:
To know more about motorized vehicle laws in California, contact us at (213) 596-9642 or visit any of our law offices across the state and get a free consultation with our attorneys.