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Washington Moped Laws

Washington Moped Laws

Minimum age to ride a moped: sixteen.

Moped definition

"Moped" means a motorized device designed to travel with not more than three sixteen-inch or larger diameter wheels in contact with the ground, having fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power, and an electric or a liquid fuel motor with a cylinder displacement not exceeding fifty cubic centimeters which produces no more than two gross brake horsepower (developed by a prime mover, as measured by a brake applied to the driving shaft) that is capable of propelling the device at not more than thirty miles per hour on level ground.

The Washington state patrol may approve of and define as a "moped" a vehicle which fails to meet these specific criteria, but which is essentially similar in performance and application to motorized devices which do meet these specific criteria.

Motorized foot scooter definition

"Motorized foot scooter" means a device with no more than two ten-inch or smaller diameter wheels that has handlebars, is designed to be stood or sat upon by the operator, and is powered by an internal combustion engine or electric motor that is capable of propelling the device with or without human propulsion.

Electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD) definition.

"Electric personal assistive mobility device" (EPAMD) means a self-balancing device with two wheels not in tandem, designed to transport only one person by an electric propulsion system with an average power of seven hundred fifty watts (one horsepower) having a maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a propulsion system while ridden by an operator weighing one hundred seventy pounds, of less than twenty miles per hour.

Moped registration.

Application for registration of a moped shall be made to the department of licensing in such manner and upon such forms as the department shall prescribe, and shall state the name and address of each owner of the moped to be registered, the vehicle identification number, and such other information as the department may require, and shall be accompanied by a registration fee of thirty dollars. Upon receipt of the application and the application fee, the moped shall be registered and a registration number assigned, which shall be affixed to the moped in the manner as provided by rules adopted by the department. The registration provided in this section shall be valid for a period of twelve months.

Every owner of a moped in this state shall renew the registration, in such manner as the department shall prescribe, for an additional period of twelve months, upon payment of a renewal fee of thirty dollars.

Any person acquiring a moped already validly registered must, within fifteen days of the acquisition or purchase of the moped, make application to the department for transfer of the registration, and the application shall be accompanied by a transfer fee of five dollars.

The registration fees provided in this section shall be in lieu of any personal property tax or the vehicle excise tax imposed by chapter 82.44 RCW.

The department shall, at the time the registration number is assigned, make available a decal or other identifying device to be displayed on the moped. A fee of one dollar and fifty cents shall be charged for the decal or other identifying device.

Mopeds, EPAMDs, electric-assisted bicycles, motorized foot scooters -- General requirements and operation.

(1) No person shall operate a moped upon the highways of this state unless the moped has been assigned a moped registration number and displays a moped permit in accordance with the provisions of RCW 46.16.630.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a moped may not be operated on a bicycle path or trail, bikeway, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail.

(3) Operation of a moped, electric personal assistive mobility device, or an electric-assisted bicycle on a fully controlled limited access highway is unlawful. Operation of a moped or an electric-assisted bicycle on a sidewalk is unlawful.

(4) Removal of any muffling device or pollution control device from a moped is unlawful.

(5) Subsections (1), (2), and (4) of this section do not apply to electric-assisted bicycles. Electric-assisted bicycles and motorized foot scooters may have access to highways of the state to the same extent as bicycles. Subject to subsection (6) of this section, electric-assisted bicycles and motorized foot scooters may be operated on a multipurpose trail or bicycle lane, but local jurisdictions may restrict or otherwise limit the access of electric-assisted bicycles and motorized foot scooters, and state agencies may regulate the use of motorized foot scooters on facilities and properties under their jurisdiction and control.

(6) Subsections (1) and (4) of this section do not apply to motorized foot scooters. Subsection (2) of this section applies to motorized foot scooters when the bicycle path, trail, bikeway, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail was built or is maintained with federal highway transportation funds. Additionally, any new trail or bicycle path or readily identifiable existing trail or bicycle path not built or maintained with federal highway transportation funds may be used by persons operating motorized foot scooters only when appropriately signed.

(7) A person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD) shall obey all speed limits and shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and human-powered devices at all times. An operator must also give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian. Except for the limitations of this subsection, persons operating an EPAMD have all the rights and duties of a pedestrian.

(8) The use of an EPAMD may be regulated in the following circumstances:

(a) A municipality and the department of transportation may prohibit the operation of an EPAMD on public highways within their respective jurisdictions where the speed limit is greater than twenty-five miles per hour;

(b) A municipality may restrict the speed of an EPAMD in locations with congested pedestrian or nonmotorized traffic and where there is significant speed differential between pedestrians or nonmotorized traffic and EPAMD operators. The areas in this subsection must be designated by the city engineer or designee of the municipality. Municipalities shall not restrict the speed of an EPAMD in the entire community or in areas in which there is infrequent pedestrian traffic;

(c) A state agency or local government may regulate the operation of an EPAMD within the boundaries of any area used for recreation, open space, habitat, trails, or conservation purposes.

Mopeds -- Safety standards.

Mopeds shall comply with those federal motor vehicle safety standards established under the national traffic vehicle safety act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1381, et seq.) which are applicable to a motor-driven cycle, as that term is defined in such federal standards.

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