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Florida law treats mopeds, electric scooters and motorized bicycles differently than motorcycles, so it’s important to know how your vehicle is classified and what rules apply to it.
Mopeds and certain motor scooters are street-legal in Florida, but they need to be registered and, in some cases, titled.
On the other hand, motorized bicycles and other motorized scooters cannot be ridden on Florida roads. Insurance isn’t required for mopeds or scooters in Florida, but it's still a good idea to buy coverage in case you're held financially responsible in the event of an accident.
Florida Moped Laws
According to Florida law, a moped is a motor vehicle that:
- Has pedals and can be propelled by human power
- Has a seat or saddle for the driver
- Has two or three wheels
- Has a motor with a maximum of 2 brake horsepower (BHP)
- Has 50 cubic centimeters (cc) or less of engine displacement, if the moped uses an internal combustion engine
- Cannot travel over 30 miles per hour on level ground
- Has an automatic transmission
While many motor vehicles are called mopeds, Florida law may see yours differently if it falls outside of these guidelines. For example, a moped with an engine displacement greater than 50 cc legally counts as a motorcycle.
In order to ride a moped legally in Florida, you must be at least 16 years old and have either a Class E or "Motorcycle Only" driver’s license.
Mopeds also need to carry a plate and be registered with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), with mandatory annual renewals. However, you don’t need to obtain a title for your moped as you do for motorcycles.
You’re not required to wear a helmet or eye protection in Florida while driving a moped, and you’re not required to carry insurance, either. If you're transporting a passenger younger than 16, that person must wear a helmet at all times. Rules aside, we think both helmets and insurance are must-haves for any moped rider.
Mopeds are street-legal on all public roads other than highways. Only motor vehicles with at least 5 brake horsepower (BHP) can be driven on an interstate or highway; mopeds are legally limited to 2 BHP. Sidewalks are also off-limits to mopeds with their engines running.
Since a moped is a motor vehicle, you’re held to the same laws as you would be when operating most motor vehicles. For example, you can still receive a DUI if you ride a moped on the road while under the influence.
Florida Scooter Laws
There are two categories of scooters in Florida law: "motorized scooters" and "motor scooters". The main difference is that motor scooters have seats or saddles, while motorized scooters do not.
A motorized scooter is a vehicle that:
- Has three or fewer wheels
- Cannot exceed 30 miles per hour on level ground
- Does not have a seat or saddle. If it does have a seat or saddle, the vehicle is considered a "motor scooter".
As far as the state of Florida is concerned, motorized scooters are not street-legal.
They cannot be operated either on the road or on sidewalks. However, the state does allow individual counties and cities to set their own rules permitting motorized scooters on sidewalks, so long as the usage is in line with federal law and the speed limit is 15 mph.
Motorized scooters do not have to be registered with the FLHSMV, and you don’t need to wear a helmet if you’re at least 16 years old. However, you still need to be licensed to ride a motorized scooter in Florida, though any driver’s license is accepted.
If your motor scooter has a seat or saddle, it is street-legal in Florida and can be operated on the road so long as it’s registered. You also need to obtain a title and license plate for the scooter. Highways would still be off-limits, given that below-50 cc scooter engines are almost always designed to fall below the 5 brake horsepower (40 mph) highway minimum.
You also need to be at least 16 years old and have a driver’s license to ride a motor scooter on the road. While riding, you would be held to the same laws as operators of other motor vehicles: For example, if you're stopped riding the scooter while intoxicated, you could receive a DUI.
Florida Motorized Bicycle Laws
While motorized bicycles are legal in Florida, they cannot be operated on roads or sidewalks unless they meet the requirements of a moped, as defined above. If so, you should refer to the laws pertaining to mopeds to determine what is necessary to drive legally.
According to Florida law, a motorized bicycle:
- Has two tandem wheels
- Is propelled by both human power as well as an electric motor
- Has a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour on level ground
- Has a seat that reaches at least 26 inches from the ground when extended
You don’t need a driver’s license to ride a motorized bike in Florida, but you do need to be at least 16 years old.
Other Motorized Vehicles
In addition to moped, electric scooters and motorized bicycles, there are several similar classes of vehicle, each of which is regulated differently by Florida law.
|Motorcycles||A vehicle with up to three wheels, a seat/saddle, and an engine of at least 50 cc is generally considered a motorcycle. Motorcycle riders need both a driver’s license and a motorcycle endorsement. The motorcycle itself needs both title and registration. You can ride motorcycles without a helmet in Florida, but you do need eye protection and at least $10,000 of PIP motorcycle insurance.|
|Mini Motorcycles and Pocket Bikes||Mini motorcycles or pocket bikes must be titled and registered with the state of Florida before going on the road. Riders must have a driver’s license.|
|Gopeds, Motorized Skateboards and Dirt Bikes||Unless one of these vehicles qualifies within one of the categories listed above, it is not considered street-legal and can’t be operated on the road.|
Do You Need Insurance for a Moped or Scooter in Florida?
You don't need to have insurance for a moped or motor scooter in Florida, but if you’re found to be at fault in a crash, you will be held financially responsible for any injuries and property damage.
The cheapest way to meet this responsibility is to buy insurance for your moped or motorized scooter. You may face penalties if you’re unable to show proof of financial responsibility in an accident situation. Florida's laws on this are similar to the requirements for motorcycles.
The cost of moped and scooter insurance will vary depending on your age, your driving experience, the city you live in and the amount of coverage you choose to purchase. Depending on the level of coverage you buy, the cost can range from around $200 to over $1,000 per year.
You don’t need insurance for a motorized bicycle in Florida but, as mentioned, you also cannot ride these vehicles on public roads.