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Mopeds

The Basics

The following provisions apply to mopeds operating on Virginia roadways. They do not apply to mopeds that are solely operated on private property.

  • Virginia law requires that every moped driver operating on Virginia roadways carry a government-issued photo ID (does not have to be a driver’s license).
  • Every driver and passenger must wear a helmet * while riding a moped. Drivers must also wear a face shield, safety glasses or goggles unless the moped has a windshield.
  • Operation of mopeds is prohibited on the interstate.
  • In Virginia, you must be at least age 16 to drive a moped.
  • It is illegal to drive a moped if your license is suspended or revoked for convictions of DUI, underage consumption of alcohol, refusing a blood/breath test, or driving while suspended/revoked for a DUI-related offense.
  • If your driving privilege is suspended or revoked due to a DUI-related conviction, you must be in full compliance with all requirements imposed by DMV and the court before operating a moped.
  • Customers with outstanding fines for HOT lane or toll violations cannot register any motor vehicle, including mopeds, until those fines have been paid.

* Virginia State Police-approved helmet required for moped riders. Helmets should meet or exceed the standards and specifications of the Snell Memorial Foundation, the American National Standards Institute, Inc., or the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Titling and Registration

Virginia law requires mopeds operated on Virginia roadways to be titled and registered by July 1, 2014.*

To obtain the title fee and annual moped registration fee, refer to the DMV Fee Chart. ]

DMV will issue one license plate per moped to be placed on the rear of the vehicle. When titling a moped, you will be requested to complete a Moped Certification (DMV form VSA 31) indicating how you intend to operate the vehicle.

DMV will not require/collect the following for mopeds:

  • Electric vehicle fee
  • Insurance
  • Odometer reading
  • Safety inspection
  • Sales and use tax (You will still have to pay retail sales tax if you purchase a moped in Virginia; however, mopeds are exempt from personal property tax)

If a moped is operated in excess of 35 mph, it is considered a motorcycle. You would be required to comply with all vehicle registration, insurance and inspection requirements, and driver licensing laws.

Additional moped titling and registration information can be found in the "Mopeds in Virginia" brochure.

* Your locality may require registration in addition to these requirements. If you are operating a moped on a college or university campus, you will want to check on the parking policies.

If you are a moped rider, you must meet the above requirements if you intend to operate your moped on Virginia roadways, even if not required in your home state and even if you are a temporary Virginia resident.

Documentation

To register mopeds, owners should bring to DMV the ownership document (title or manufacturers certificate of origin) that came with the vehicle purchase.

Customers without an ownership document can bring in documentation such as a bill of sale with a completed "Moped and All-Terrain Vehicle Affidavit in Lieu of Title Certificate" (Form VSA-12M). Forms are also available at the information desk at any DMV customer service center or DMV Select location. If you have any questions about ownership documents for your moped, please contact us.

Safety Tips

Wear safety equipment. Moped drivers and passengers are encouraged to wear Virginia State Police-approved helmets and other proper clothing. Consider wearing gloves and a riding jacket to increase your protection, and avoid sandals, shorts and short sleeves. Do not carry more people at one time than the number the moped is designed or equipped to carry.

Be observant. Keep an eye on your surroundings. Make sure you have both side mirrors and angle them so you can see the most possible area behind you. It is against the law for any person to operate a moped while using earphones on or in both ears.

Ride defensively. Do not be aggressive; mopeds are smaller than most other vehicles sharing the road. Night riding is not recommended. However, if you must ride at night, wear bright colored clothing, reflective strips on your jacket and your helmet, and keep your headlight in good working order.

Take a training course. Many driver training schools in Virginia offer courses specific to mopeds. Contact a Virginia Rider Training Program location to find out if it offers moped training courses.