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Moped operation requirements

If you are looking to operate a moped in Massachusetts, there are certain requirements and restrictions to be aware of.

Table of Contents

Moped Definition

A moped is defined as either a pedal bicycle with a helper motor or a non-pedal bicycle with a motor, which has all of the following characteristics:

  • Have a cylinder capacity of no more than 50 cubic centimeters.
  • Have an automatic transmission.
  • Be capable of a maximum speed of no more than 30 miles per hour.
  • Comply with all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.

If the maximum speed of the motorized bicycle/moped is greater than 30 miles per hour but less than 40 miles per hour and it is certified to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards as a motorcycle, it may qualify as a Limited Use Motorcycle.

If a motorized bicycle/moped no longer has a restrictor plate (a mechanical part that limits the speed of a motorized bicycle/moped), the vehicle will be re-classified as a motorcycle. In this case, the customer must register, title, and insure the motor vehicle as a motorcycle and obtain a motorcycle license. Any customer who registers a motorcycle as a motorized bicycle/moped may be guilty of operating an unregistered, uninsured, uninspected, and untitled motor vehicle and the motorcycle may be towed and stored at the customer's expense.

Operating requirements

  • Operators are subject to the traffic laws, rules and regulations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  •  You have the right to use all public ways in the Commonwealth, except limited access or express state highways where signs prohibiting bicycles have been posted.
  • You may use bicycle lanes next to various ways but are excluded from off street recreational paths.
  • Operators must signal their intention to stop or turn by using either hand.
  • You must keep right when passing a motor vehicle which is in the travel lane of a way.

Restrictions when operating a moped and motorized scooters

Restrictions when operating a moped/ motorized scooters 

  • You cannot be under 16 years of age.

  • You must have a valid license or permit.

  • Mopeds should not drive at a speed greater than 25 miles per hour.

  • Motorized scooters should not driver at a speed greater than 20 miles per hour.

  • You must wear a US DOT standard helmet.



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