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Virginia Moped Laws: Driving a Moped (Scooter) Without a Va License.

Virginia Moped Laws: Driving a Moped (Scooter) Without a Va License.

Why Should I Care About Virginia Moped Laws?

In Virginia, a moped driver does not need a driver’s license and some drivers who have had their driver’s license suspended can legally drive mopeds (but some cannot). Mopes also have special rules of the road that do not apply to motorcycles or cars.

What is a Moped Under Virginia Law?

The word Moped is used to describe a motor scooter, vespa or other motorize vehicle that meets the following criteria. Under Virginia law (Va. Code 46.2-100):

  • a moped has 3 wheels or less, AND
  • a moped has a seat which is 24 inches or more from the ground (not a go-kart or mini bike), AND
  • a moped has a gas, electric or hybrid motor that displaces less than 50 cc, AND
  • a moped must be driven at 35 mph or less otherwise it is a motorcycle or motor vehicle.

When Can I Drive a Moped Without a License or With a Suspended License

Driver’s who do not have a license or who have had their license suspended may drive a moped as defined under Virginia law UNLESS they were suspended because of:

  • DUI/DWI,
  • Refusal to submit to a breath or blood test,
  • Involuntary Manslaughter
  • DUI – Maiming
  • Declared a Habitual Offender.

You can get a DUI/DWI on a Moped in Virginia

Driving a moped while intoxicated (even controlling a moped while the key are in the ignition while intoxicated) can result in a DUI in Virginia. See Va. Code 18.2-266

§ 46.2-914. Limitations on Operation of Mopeds

  • Must be at least 16 years old to drive a moped on any public street or public parking area.
  • Mopeds are not allowed on interstate highways
  • Moped driver’s must carry ID

§ 46.2-907. Overtaking and Passing Vehicles While on a Moped

  • Moped Drivers CAN pass a vehicle within the same lane on either the left or right side if it can be done so safely
  • Mopeds Drivers CAN pass a vehicle by driving on the shoulder or the road if it can be done so safely.
  • Moped Drivers CANNOT pass or drive between two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction.

§ 46.2-905. Riding bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, motor-driven cycles, and mopeds on roadways and bicycle paths

  • Moped driver must drive as close to the right side of the road as possible. (several exceptions apply)
  • Moped riders cannot drive more than two abreast
  • Moped drivers cannot drive two abreast when it impedes traffic.

§ 46.2-906. Carrying articles or passengers on bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopeds.

  • Moped Drivers CANNOT carry anything that prevents them from keeping both hands on the handlebars at the same time.
  • Mopes CANNOT have more passengers than the moped is designed for (except children un6 strapped into appropriate carriers.

§ 46.2-849. How Signals Given

  • Moped drivers must either have approved turn and brake signals OR use approved hand signals for turning and stopping.

§ 46.2-1078. Unlawful to operate motor vehicle, bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped while using earphones.

  • No driving a moped with earphones.

§ 46.2-1047. Muffler cutout, etc., illegal

  • It is illegal to drive a moped with a gutted, cutout, or strait exhaust system.

§ 46.2-1015. Lights on bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopeds

  • Mopeds MUST have working head lights if driven at night.


Luke J. Nichols

The law firm of Nichols & Green pllc

(703) 383-9222

About Luke Nichols

Luke Nichols practices almost exclusively traffic law in Northern Virginia. His primary practice areas include reckless driving, speeding, DUI/DWI, refusal, hit-and-run, driving on a suspended license, and driving on a revoked license. Mr. Nichols has represented hundreds of Virginia drivers. You can also connect with Luke on Google+
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