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CONSUMER ADVISORY:
New Laws for Owners of Mopeds and Motor Scooters

 

Effective October 1, 2012, if you own or operate a moped or motor scooter, there are new laws you should be aware of.

  1. Mopeds and motor scooters must be titled through the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and the MVA-issued decal must be displayed on the vehicle at all times.
  2. Moped and motor scooter owners must obtain and maintain liability insurance and uninsured motorists insurance coverage. Maryland law requires policy limits of $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 bodily injury per accident; and $15,000 for property damage for both liability and uninsured motorists coverage. In addition, operators must carry evidence of insurance when operating the vehicle. This evidence of insurance would be a current insurance card. The insurance card should include the owner’s name, policy number, and vehicle information.
  3. Moped and motor scooter operators must wear MVA-approved helmets, and if the moped and motor scooter does not have a windscreen, wear protective eyewear approved by the MVA.

Not all insurance companies offer coverage for mopeds and motor scooters.  If you currently have automobile insurance, you can contact your insurance carrier to determine if it offers this coverage.  You can also refer to the listing provided by the Maryland Insurance Administration of companies offering motorcycle policies, which includes motor scooters.

Some of these companies also offer coverage for mopeds.

Additional information related to title and decal requirements, including fees, and helmet/eye protection requirements can be found at the Motor Vehicle Administration website

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Definitions

MOPED:

According to the Maryland Transportation Code Ann. § 11-134.1 (2011), moped means a bicycle that:

(1) is designed to be operated by human power with the assistance of a motor;

(2) is equipped with pedals that mechanically drive the rear wheel or wheels;

(3) has two or three wheels, of which one is more than 14 inches in diameter; and

(4) has a motor with a rating of 1.5 brake horsepower or less and, if the motor is an internal combustion, a capacity of 50  cubic centimeters piston displacement or less.

MOTOR SCOOTER:

According to the Maryland Transportation Code Ann. § 11-134.5 (2011), motor scooter means a nonpedal vehicle that is not manufactured for off-road use and:

(1) has a seat for the operator;

(2) has two wheels, of which one is 10 inches or more in diameter;

(3) has a step-through chassis;

(4) has a motor:

(i) with a rating of 2.7 brake horsepower or less; or

(ii) if the motor is an internal combustion engine, with a capacity of 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement or less; and

(5) is equipped with an automatic transmission.