Rhode Island Moped Laws

Rhode Island Moped Laws

Moped definition

Two-wheeled vehicles which may be propelled by human power or helper power or both. Mopeds must have engines smaller than 50 cubic centimeters and they cannot excede 30 mph.

Scooter definition

A scooter is a two-wheeled vehicle that can only be propelled by a motor. It has no ability to be propelled by human power. They must have engines smaller than 50 cubic centimeters and they cannot excede 30 mph.

License requirements

Operators of motor scooters with engines smaller than 50 cubic centimeters that do not travel faster than 30 mph are only required to have a valid drivers license

Moped law history

In 2005, Rhode Island made a law requiring all moped and scooter operators to have a valid motorcycle license. Many rental businesses sued the state for this ruling. The law was overturned in 2006, which resulted in the current law.

Safety and Emission Inspection

These vehicles must be inspected every two years for a fee of $47 (Electric vehicles are exempt):

    All used vehicles under 8,500 lbs. purchased from a licensed dealer must have a New sticker at the time of sale.
    All used vehicles under 8,500 lbs. - private sales - owneer transfer - coming from out of state - have five (5) business days to get the vehicle inspected.
    All NEW motor vehicles have two (2) years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first, to obtain an inspection sticker.

Also, all motorcycles must be inspected before June 30 of each year for a fee of $11.00

Moped traffic laws

All mopeds and scooters operating on public roads must obey to the normal traffic laws

Additional Resources

Here are some links that describe how the Rhode Island moped law evolved:

Rhode Island requires motorcycle licenses for moped riders:
Part1 | Part 2 | Part 3 (view in full screen mode)

Rhode Island motorcycle license law for mopeds/scooters defeated

News story on the Rhode Island change in moped laws

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