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What is Michigan’s moped law?

July 31, 2014 by Steven M. Gursten

riding a moped

It’s summer, and we’re seeing more people on motorcycles out and about.  Mopeds too. That’s what caused me to write today’s blog. I was recently asked how the law for mopeds differs from that of motorcycles. Here’s the skinny on Michigan’s moped laws.

Under Michigan law, a moped:

  • Has an engine that produces two horsepower or less, and is 50 cubic centimeters in size or less;
  • Must not be able to travel faster than 30 miles an hour on a level surface; and,
  • Doesn’t require the operator to shift gears.

To legally operate a moped on Michigan streets:

  • The rider must have a valid driver’s license or a moped license.
  • The moped also must have a valid registration sticker, which is good for three years, affixed to the back.
  • Riders who are 18 years old or younger must wear a U.S. Department of Transportation-approved helmet.
  • And only one person may ride on a moped at one time.

If your vehicle exceeds 30 mph, it’s then classified as a motorcycle and is subject to a different set of laws.  Motorcycle operators must have a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement in addition to insurance and a license plate.

When traveling faster than 35 mph, a motorcyclist must use a windshield, goggles or a face shield.

For people who modify their mopeds to exceed the as-defined-by-law speed capability of 30 mph, there are serious implications regarding Michigan’s No Fault insurance law.  For more details, read my blog on the topic.

Here are some moped safety tips from dmv.org. The first and most important is always wear a helmet!

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