NEW Vermont Motor-Assisted Bicycle Law


New Member
Jun 17, 2009
In 2010 Vermont passed a “motorized cycle” law. It probably was intended to regulate commercially manufactured mopeds, but the language of the law ended up being applicable to motorized bicycles as well. I was totally ignorant of this law until last summer when I was stopped by the local police and was told that I was operating an unregistered vehicle and that I would need to have it registered, inspected and insured. Registering would have been no big deal. Passing inspection and getting insurance would be.

Since I didn’t want to be denied the use of my motorized bikes (one electric and one gas powered), I brought the issue of motorized bicycles up to my local state representative and we set out to amend the law during the 2015-2016 legislative session. We wanted a new classification so that motorized bicycles (both electric and gas powered) would be exempt from Vermont vehicle registration and inspection requirements and would be legally defined as bicycles for regulation and rider operation purposes. We worked with the AARP (we involved AARP since this is also a mobility issue for older people) as well as a local bike advocacy group together with the DMV legislative attorney to get this accomplished.

There is now a new Vermont “Motor-Assisted Bicycle Law” that will become effective on July 1, 2016! Motor-Assisted Bicycles will now be defined as bicycles and won’t need to be registered or inspected. Everyone in Vermont can now ride legal and without fear of being stopped and ticketed from now on!

The new law basically reads as follows:

Motor-Assisted Bicycles

23 V.S.A. § 4 is amended to read:


(B)(i) “Motor-assisted bicycle” means any bicycle or tricycle with fully operable pedals and equipped with a motor that:

(I) has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts or
1.3 horsepower; and

(II) in itself is capable of producing a top speed of no more than 20 miles per hour on a paved level surface.

(ii) Neither an electric personal assistive mobility device nor a motor-assisted bicycle is a motor-driven cycle. Motor-assisted bicycles shall be governed as bicycles under Vermont law.
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Active Member
Jul 29, 2012
Central Illinois
Excellent! Good job!

In an age where many of us feel that government is unresponsive to us, it's good to remember that our state representatives and Senators are often pretty accessible.

This is an example of how that can be put to use.