Florida Laws for Scooters, Mopeds and Other Motorized Bikes

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Mopeds, electric scooters and motorized bicycles are treated differently by Florida law than motorcycles, so it’s important to know how your vehicle is classified and what statutes apply to it. Mopeds and certain motor scooters are street-legal in Florida, but you will need to have them registered and, in some cases, titled. Motorized bicycles and other motorized scooters cannot be ridden on Florida roads. While insurance isn’t required for mopeds or scooters in Florida, we recommend purchasing coverage as you’ll still be 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 that can be used by the driver
  • Has two or three wheels
  • Has a motor with a maximum of two brake horsepower
  • Has 50 cubic centimeters 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, so you don’t need to clutch or shift gears while riding it

While many motor vehicles may be referred to as mopeds, if yours falls outside of these qualifications, you may be held to different regulation under Florida law. So, for example, if your moped had an engine displacement greater than 50 cubic centimeters, it would instead be considered 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. You also must register the moped with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), obtain a license plate and renew your registration annually. However, you don’t need to obtain a title for your moped as you would with a motorcycle.

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, though we recommend that you do as a precaution. But if you have a passenger on the moped that is under the age of 16, they need to wear a helmet at all times.

Mopeds are street-legal and can be ridden on public roads, but you cannot drive a moped on the highway. Only motor vehicles with at least 5 braking horsepower can be driven on interstate or highway. You also can’t drive the moped on sidewalks while the engine is 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.” 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.”

Electric scooters without a seat or saddle are not street-legal and cannot be operated either on the road on on sidewalks. The scooter does not have to be registered with the FLHSMV, and you don’t need to wear a helmet so long as 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 for the scooter and attach a license plate. But you still cannot ride the scooter on the highway, as vehicles need to have at least 5 brake horsepower and the ability to reach 40 miles per hour, which is not the case for most scooters with an engine under 50cc. And, if your engine was over 50cc, your scooter would actually be considered a motorcycle.

You would 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 so, for example, if you were intoxicated on the scooter, 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.

ClassLaws
MotorcyclesA vehicle with two or three wheels, a seat or saddle, and an engine of 51cc or more is generally considered a motorcycle. To operate a motorcycle on the road, you need both a driver’s license as well as a motorcycle endorsement, and Florida law requires you to wear eye protection. In addition, the motorcycle needs both a title and registration. You can operate a motorcycle without a helmet in Florida, but you need to carry at least $10,000 of PIP motorcycle insurance.
Mini Motorcycles and Pocket BikesIn order to drive mini motorcycles or pocket bikes on the road, they must be titled and registered with the state of Florida. In addition, you must have a driver’s license to ride one legally.
Gopeds, Motorized Skateboards and Dirt BikesUnless 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 aren’t required to carry insurance for a moped or motor scooter in Florida, but if you’re involved in a crash, you will be considered financially responsible for any injuries and property damage. The simplest way to fulfill this financial responsibility requirement is to purchase insurance for your moped or motorized scooter. Otherwise, you may face penalties if you’re involved in an accident and unable to demonstrate proof of financial responsibility. The laws on this are similar to the requirements for motorcycles in the state of Florida.

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.

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