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When Can You Legally Drive a Moped?

a person riding a motorcycle on a city street

Driving a moped is an increasingly popular way to get around town and save money on fuel, but there are important regulations you should consider if you’re thinking of purchasing and driving one. In this article, we’ll discuss the age requirements for moped drivers in the United States, as well as other safety tips and legal considerations. 


A moped is defined by the US Department of Transportation as a vehicle with an engine no larger than 50cc, capable of reaching top speeds of 30mph or less. A common example of such a vehicle would be a scooter. While some states have their own definitions for mopeds, they generally follow this same general rule – anything bigger or faster than that would likely fall under another category such as motorcycles or motorbikes. 


What Is the Legal Age to Drive a Moped? 

The legal age to drive a moped varies from state to state; some states allow minors aged 16 or older to legally ride them without any kind of licensing, while others require riders aged 18 and older to obtain a permit before operating one. 


Some states even impose restrictions on where minors may operate a moped (often restricting them from highways). It’s important to check your local laws prior to purchasing and operating any kind of motorized two-wheeled vehicle. 


Safety Tips When Riding a Moped 

No matter how old you are when you start riding, it’s always important to practice safe habits when operating any kind of motorized vehicle. Here are some good safety tips: 


  • Wear all necessary protective gear such as gloves, long pants, eye protection, and helmets; many states require helmet use by law. 


  • Stay visible on the road by wearing bright colors or reflective material at night. 


  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times; avoid distractions like listening to music or talking on the phone while driving. 


  • Always obey traffic laws and speed limits; never attempt any dangerous maneuvers like weaving in between cars or passing on the shoulder of the road. 


  • Don’t drink and drive; avoid alcohol consumption prior to getting on your moped if possible as it impairs your judgment and reaction time significantly.  


Legal Considerations When Driving A Moped 

In addition to following safety guidelines when driving a moped, it’s also important to understand legal considerations that apply in order to stay out of trouble with law enforcement officers who may pull you over if you don’t comply with applicable rules:  


  • Know your local laws regarding registration and license plates — most states require both in order for vehicles operated on public roads/highways. 


  • Make sure your vehicle is up-to-date with inspections before taking it out on public roads; perform regular maintenance checkups based on manufacturer recommendations so that everything is working properly (brakes included!). You’ll need proof that these checkups have been done if pulled over by police officers or asked for during inspections at roadside stops.  


  • Carry valid insurance coverage specific for riding mopeds; these can usually be purchased online through various providers depending on state regulations (some may also require additional paperwork). Check with local officials prior to riding without insurance as penalties can be severe including hefty fines and possible jail time!  



Mopeds offer an efficient way for people looking for alternative transportation options to get around town without breaking their budgets in terms of fuel costs – but understanding legal requirements related not just to age drivers but also registration requirements and insurance coverage packages is essential before hopping onto one! 


By following all necessary guidelines outlined above (including those related to safety!), riders will be able to enjoy fun rides without running afoul of law enforcement officers along the way!