Virginia Moped (Motorized Bike) Regulations

Autocycler

New Member
Feb 14, 2008
153
1
0
Metro Washington, DC
Mopeds, Electric Power-assisted Bicycles, and Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices Generally the laws for the operation of mopeds, electric power-assisted bicycles, and electric assistive mobility devices are similar to the operation of bicycles.
"Moped" means every vehicle that travels on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground that has (i) a seat that is no less than 24 inches in height, measured from the middle of the seat perpendicular to the ground and (ii) gasoline, electric, or hybrid motor that displaces less than 50 cubic centimeters. Moped operators must be at least 16 years old and must carry some form of identification that includes name, address, and date of birth. A moped is considered a vehicle while operated on a highway. Mopeds can not be ridden on sidewalks or bike paths. Some localities in Northern Virginia may impose restrictions on the operation of mopeds. Localities can require additional safety equipment for moped operation.

"Electric power-assisted bicycle" means a vehicle that travels on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground and is equipped with (i) pedals that allow propulsion by human power and (ii) an electric motor with an input of no more than 1,000 watts that reduces the pedal effort required of the rider. Operators must be at least 14 years old or be under the supervision of someone at least 18 years old. An electric power-assisted bicycle shall be considered a vehicle when operated on a highway.

"Motorcycle" means every motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground and is capable of traveling at speeds in excess of 35 miles per hour. The term "motorcycle" does not include any "electric personal assistive mobility device," "electric power-assisted bicycle," "farm tractor," "golf cart," "moped," "motorized skateboard or scooter," "utility vehicle" or "wheelchair or wheelchair conveyance" as defined in this section.

"Motor-driven cycle" means every motorcycle that has a gasoline engine that (i) displaces less than 150 cubic centimeters; (ii) has a seat less than 24 inches in height, measured from the middle of the seat perpendicular to the ground; and (iii) has no manufacturer-issued vehicle identification number.

“Motorized skateboard or scooter" means every vehicle, regardless of the number of its wheels in contact with the ground, that (i) has no seat, but is designed to be stood upon by the operator, (ii) has no manufacturer-issued vehicle identification number, and (iii) is powered by an electric motor having an input of no more than 1,000 watts or a gasoline engine that displaces less than 36 cubic centimeters. The term "motorized skateboard or scooter" includes vehicles with or without handlebars, but does not include "electric personal assistive mobility devices."

An electric personal assistive mobility device is a self-balancing two-nontandem-wheeled device that is designed to transport only one person and is powered by an electric propulsion system that limits the device's maximum speed to fifteen miles per hour or less. Such devices must be equipped with a system that will enable the user to bring the device to a controlled stop. These devices may be operated on highways with a maximum speed limit of 25 miles per hour or less if no sidewalk is provided or if use of the sidewalk is prohibited. Operators must be at least 14 years old or under the supervision of a person who is at least 18 years old. An electric personal assistive mobility device is considered a vehicle when operated on a highway.

Reference: §§46.2-100,46.2-908.1,46.2-914,46.2-915.2,46.2-1051
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
3
0
north carolina
I hate that they consider electric assist vehicles as a moped. I'm going on the its a bike till they stop me lol... I'm from nc though and they don't even mention electric.
 

Autocycler

New Member
Feb 14, 2008
153
1
0
Metro Washington, DC
In most states, electric bikes are even more nebulus than gas powered bikes. I've come across arguments about the fairness of regulating one type of "powered" bike and letting the electric bikes slide on by.

I think it helps that electric bikes are generally a bit more stealthy:)

Steve
 

Dave31

Active Member
Mar 1, 2008
11,204
29
38
Aztlán, Arizona
Martinsville Police to Step up Enforcement on Moped Traffic Violations

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – The Martinsville Police Department has received a number of complaints involving mopeds (motorized scooters and bicycles) impeding traffic and committing violations of Virginia Code. This notice is given to inform the cyclists and moped operators of their responsibility when riding on public streets and highways.

Any person operating a bicycle (manual or power-assisted) or any personal mobility device or moped (manual or power-assisted) on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic must ride as close as safely possible to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following circumstances which are addressed by Virginia Code Section 46.2-905. The key points are summarized below:

When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction; or

When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or

When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right curb or edge; or

When avoiding riding in a lane that must turn or diverge to the right; and

When riding upon a one-way road or highway, a person may also ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as safely practicable.



In addition, any person operating a vehicle of the types detailed above should not ride more than two vehicles abreast. Persons riding two abreast should not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and should move into a single file formation as quickly as is practical when being overtaken from the rear by a faster moving vehicle. On a roadway which has multiple defined lanes, the operator must ride in a single traffic lane.

Beginning on Friday, August 21, 2009, Martinsville Police will step up enforcement of these regulations and will issue citations on any violation.

“We are concerned for the safety of all our motorists and pedestrians on city streets. We aren’t trying to single-out anyone. But there have been quite a few complaints received about moped-related traffic violations recently. We welcome moped traffic, so long as operators obey the law and ride safely. Therefore, we are stepping up our enforcement on these types of violations in order to prevent accidents and make our roadways safer”, said MPD Captain Tim Porter.
 
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bikecamper

New Member
Apr 25, 2013
2
0
0
NOVA
I'm in the middle of my first build so double checked the laws. Seems there have been some
changes for the worse.

According to SB1038 which was passed April 3 this year.


New Rules

Beginning July 1st: moped operators must carry a photo ID and wear both helmet and eye protection.
Beginning July 1, 2014: moped owners must title and register new vehicles ($10 charge), and obtain a license plate. ~http://rvanews.com/news/stricter-sc...ral-assembly-will-consider-them-in-2013/79215

Long Form
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+ful+SB1038H1+pdf

All of that is fine and great, if you have a VIN number. Bikes don't have VIN numbers and according the the phone call I made to the DMV, the serial number does not count. So a motorized bicycle will have to be treated as a reconstructed vehicle or a specially reconstructed vehicle.

" A reconstructed vehicle is *any vehicle* that has been materially altered from its original construction by the removal, addition, or substitution of new or used essential parts. (VA Code § 46.2-100)

A specially constructed vehicle is any vehicle that was not originally constructed under a distinctive name, make, model, or type by a generally recognized manufacturer of vehicles and which would not be otherwise defined as a reconstructed vehicle. (VA Code § 46.2-100) For example, a vehicle constructed using a Mercury frame and a Chevrolet body." ~ http://www.dmvnow.com/vehicles/#reconstructed.asp

So what this means, is that a government official will have to come out and inspect my bike. Then I can take all my documents, bill of sale, point of origin, etc. down to the DMV and pay the bill

$5 VIN Plate Fee, if applicable
$125 Inspection Fee
$10 Title Fee
3% Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax

Which should be fun for me, since I pulled the bike out of the trash. Totally legit.

Thanks Virginia. Thanks a lot.
 
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KeithSeymour

Member
Sep 23, 2013
172
20
18
Northern Virginia
I'm in the middle of my first build so double checked the laws. Seems there have been some
changes for the worse.

According to SB1038 which was passed April 3 this year.


New Rules

Beginning July 1st: moped operators must carry a photo ID and wear both helmet and eye protection.
Beginning July 1, 2014: moped owners must title and register new vehicles ($10 charge), and obtain a license plate. ~http://rvanews.com/news/stricter-sc...ral-assembly-will-consider-them-in-2013/79215

Long Form
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+ful+SB1038H1+pdf

All of that is fine and great, if you have a VIN number. Bikes don't have VIN numbers and according the the phone call I made to the DMV, the serial number does not count. So a motorized bicycle will have to be treated as a reconstructed vehicle or a specially reconstructed vehicle.

" A reconstructed vehicle is *any vehicle* that has been materially altered from its original construction by the removal, addition, or substitution of new or used essential parts. (VA Code § 46.2-100)

A specially constructed vehicle is any vehicle that was not originally constructed under a distinctive name, make, model, or type by a generally recognized manufacturer of vehicles and which would not be otherwise defined as a reconstructed vehicle. (VA Code § 46.2-100) For example, a vehicle constructed using a Mercury frame and a Chevrolet body." ~ http://www.dmvnow.com/vehicles/#reconstructed.asp

So what this means, is that a government official will have to come out and inspect my bike. Then I can take all my documents, bill of sale, point of origin, etc. down to the DMV and pay the bill

$5 VIN Plate Fee, if applicable
$125 Inspection Fee
$10 Title Fee
3% Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax

Which should be fun for me, since I pulled the bike out of the trash. Totally legit.

Thanks Virginia. Thanks a lot.
Is there any update on this? Did you get your bike registered and titled? I'm in same boat and wanted to see how hard or easy the process is. Thanks!

Keith
 

CaptainDishman

New Member
Feb 28, 2013
14
0
1
Salem, Virginia
I'm in the middle of my first build so double checked the laws. Seems there have been some
changes for the worse.

According to SB1038 which was passed April 3 this year.


New Rules

Beginning July 1st: moped operators must carry a photo ID and wear both helmet and eye protection.
Beginning July 1, 2014: moped owners must title and register new vehicles ($10 charge), and obtain a license plate. ~http://rvanews.com/news/stricter-sc...ral-assembly-will-consider-them-in-2013/79215

Long Form
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+ful+SB1038H1+pdf

All of that is fine and great, if you have a VIN number. Bikes don't have VIN numbers and according the the phone call I made to the DMV, the serial number does not count. So a motorized bicycle will have to be treated as a reconstructed vehicle or a specially reconstructed vehicle.

" A reconstructed vehicle is *any vehicle* that has been materially altered from its original construction by the removal, addition, or substitution of new or used essential parts. (VA Code § 46.2-100)

A specially constructed vehicle is any vehicle that was not originally constructed under a distinctive name, make, model, or type by a generally recognized manufacturer of vehicles and which would not be otherwise defined as a reconstructed vehicle. (VA Code § 46.2-100) For example, a vehicle constructed using a Mercury frame and a Chevrolet body." ~ http://www.dmvnow.com/vehicles/#reconstructed.asp

So what this means, is that a government official will have to come out and inspect my bike. Then I can take all my documents, bill of sale, point of origin, etc. down to the DMV and pay the bill

$5 VIN Plate Fee, if applicable
$125 Inspection Fee
$10 Title Fee
3% Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax

Which should be fun for me, since I pulled the bike out of the trash. Totally legit.

Thanks Virginia. Thanks a lot.

I am trying to get my bike legal before the 1st of July. I was told to call the state police headquarters and talk to the person who does inspections. Now, before I go and spend $125 for that inspection... Can anyone tell me what I need to pass this thing to make it a legal moped in VA? I am aware of functioning brakes, front and rear lights, and possibly adding a rear fender. The guy at the HQ didn't understand my situation and didn't really get into detail as what I need to pass. Someone help me before I waste $125, please.
 

KeithSeymour

Member
Sep 23, 2013
172
20
18
Northern Virginia
I am trying to get my bike legal before the 1st of July. I was told to call the state police headquarters and talk to the person who does inspections. Now, before I go and spend $125 for that inspection... Can anyone tell me what I need to pass this thing to make it a legal moped in VA? I am aware of functioning brakes, front and rear lights, and possibly adding a rear fender. The guy at the HQ didn't understand my situation and didn't really get into detail as what I need to pass. Someone help me before I waste $125, please.
I'm in the same boat and would love to hear the info as well.
 

CaptainDishman

New Member
Feb 28, 2013
14
0
1
Salem, Virginia
I'm in the same boat and would love to hear the info as well.
You have no idea the headache the DMV and the state police are giving me right now. I finally sent an email to the police and they tell me to contact the DMV. I hate to be "that guy", but the DMV are the ones that told me to contact the state police. I don't mean just one of the counter workers at the DMV. I don't even know how I got there by phone, but I think they called themselves assistant director of operations. They sent me to the state police. I had no idea the number they gave me would lead to the head of the state sheriff department. This is like me asking world class chefs how to make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.

I have the typical 66cc 2stroke "china girl" designed engine. I had absolutely no problems riding it around the neighborhood, backroads, and to work. I even had a local cop tell me to not worry about the engine size as long as I didn't impede traffic or violate speed laws. I was perfectly ok with this.
After July 1st, they will have the right to arrest me and impound the bike because I am such a terrible criminal for trying to save money.
It is just a gasbike... don't make me go political activist. Because I can easily stir up hives by blowing things out of proportion.
Example: Maybe they are afraid of 150mpg because a mass conversion over to gasbikes would ruin big oil profits. Maybe they NSA wanted to tag gasbikes to better keep an eye on us. Maybe they think we are a terrorist organization that will take over the country 35mph at a time.
You see? I can get really stupid real quickly when I don't get my bike time. You can tell the winter has taken its toll on me ;-P
:-||
Sorry, but this whole thing has worked my nerves over with a jackhammer and I needed to vent.

My efforts to find that exam checklist continue.

And, of course, I will be posting that list to my fellow VA gasbike brethren as soon as I can get answers. We are talking about getting answers from the government. So get comfy. laff
 

knightscape

Member
Jul 29, 2013
339
0
16
Maine
Anyone got any further information on how this shook out? My nephew is in VA and just about to get his license. After riding my bikes (in Maine, on private land since he's not licensed) he was interested in building his own to get around his town before he has his own car, but this is sounding pretty complicated now.
 

KeithSeymour

Member
Sep 23, 2013
172
20
18
Northern Virginia
I'm at the DMV in warrenton right now and asked what the process is. They said that because it is a bicycle, it doesn't have a vin number (only a serial number), it wouldn't fall under moped. I asked if it's considered a "motor-driven cycle" but that's for pocket bikes because seat is under 24" from ground. They said to obey all bicycle laws since it's a bicycle. I'm still sceptical because usually "the lady at the dmv said..." doesn't hold up if you get pulled over.
 

2strokebke

New Member
May 17, 2013
151
0
0
Richmond,Va
Sorry for not clearing it up, July 1, 2014 scooters must be tag and one week later anything that has a motor on it must be tag, Also i ask a few cops they saw my bike and they said the samething.
 

mike_ric

New Member
May 4, 2011
22
0
0
Virginia
Wow, I'm glad I found this post. I'm in EXACTLY the same boat as you folks. I finally finished a three-year build of a Felt Slater with a 49cc Honda GX50. I've been to the Richmond DMV two times, been told that they can't help me, and have been referred to the "Specialty Built" office. I explained my situation to them and they said the same thing said here about no VIN = no possibility of titling, thus no possibility of registering (no plate). They have now referred the question to the "legal department" with the comment that she doesn't know how long that will take to get the question answered.

I'm going to ride the Slater, hopefully not get ticketed, and try to explain the situation to the LEO that stops me if I do get stopped.

What's the latest status of anybody here in VA with a motorized bike?
 

frogbiscuit

New Member
Jun 20, 2012
31
0
0
Northern VA
Same boat. If I get a ticket I will fight it all the way to the supreme court. It's an ignorant law to get more money to pay to put our ex governor in jail.
 

Barnfresh

Member
Sep 5, 2011
203
7
18
Nor-Cal
Titling and Registration
Virginia law requires mopeds operated on Virginia roadways to be titled and registered by July 1, 2014.*

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). **
http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/pdf/VSA12m.pdf

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.
http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/pdf/vsa31.pdf

DMV will not require/collect the following for mopeds:
Electric vehicle fee
Insurance
Odometer reading
Safety inspection
Sales and use tax*

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_identification_number

http://t.harborfreight.com/36-piece-14-in-steel-letternumber-stamping-set-60671.html


dance1. r.ly. brnot. dnut. dance1
 

mike_ric

New Member
May 4, 2011
22
0
0
Virginia
Thanks for the info Barnfresh. There's the rub though, I printed and filled out Form VSA-12M, they looked at it and STILL didn't know what to do. I had the two-page titling document, the VSA-12M form, PLUS another form they gave me on my first trip to the DMV that I got notorized which explained why I didn't have a title! Plus the sales receipt and a photo of the bike!!
 

frogbiscuit

New Member
Jun 20, 2012
31
0
0
Northern VA
Yeah this law is so ambiguous it's ridiculous. It's going to end up costing as much to license it as it is to build it. I think that us VA motorbikers should find a receptive state senator to sponsor a change to that bill.
 

KeithSeymour

Member
Sep 23, 2013
172
20
18
Northern Virginia
I'm still in the same boat. I ride it around the neighborhood but don't want the trouble of potentially getting pulled over. Once I work out all the kinks with mine and I feel confident enough to drive long distances, I'll probably ride it on the road. I figure since it's impossible to register and tag it, it would be impossible for a ticket to hold up in court. I agree we should talk to a state senator to get things official since there is a whole lot of people who do it.