South Dakota Moped Laws

South Dakota Moped Laws

Motorcycle Definition

Any motorized two or three-wheeled vehicle, except a tractor or farm implement. This means that mopeds, mini-bikes, motor scooters, and motorized bicycles are all considered motorcycles under South Dakota law (with certain exceptions). Certain mopeds are treated differently than motorcycles under the law. There is a special definition to separate mopeds and motorcycles in these cases.

Moped Defintion

a motor driven cycle (gas or electric) equipped with two or three wheels. If a combustion engine is used, the maximum piston or rotor displacement shall be fifty cubic centimeters regardless of the number of chambers in such power source. The power source shall be equipped with a power drive system that functions directly or automatically only, not requiring clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged.

Moped Registration

Motorcycles officially classified as mopeds are exempt from registration and title requirements. If engine size exceeds 50 cubic centimeters, the moped may be licensed as a motorcycle.An Application for Motor Vehicle and Registration may be completed and filed in the county of the applicant's residence. The application must be signed by the record owner(s) or by an authorized agent for the record owner(s). If the application is signed by an authorized agent, a power of attorney document must be attached to verify the appointment. Proof of sales tax paid is required if a moped is titled and licensed.

Moped Insurance Requirements

Every driver or owner of a motor vehicle driven on public roadways shall at all times maintain in force a form of financial responsibility, i.e., liability insurance. A proof of liability insurance card must be carried on the moped at all times.

Moped License Requirements

When operating on the public streets or highways, drivers operating a vehicle officially classified as a moped are not required to have a special motorcycle driver license or endorsement, but must have a valid South Dakota car / truck (Class 1) driver license.

Other Moped Operational Laws

  • No person under 18 years of age may operate or ride upon a moped on the public streets or highways of this state unless the person wears a protective helmet. No person may operate a moped with any person under the age of 18 as a passenger if the passenger is not wearing a protective helmet. The intent of this requiring all persons under the age of 18 to wear helmets is to protect minors who ride mopeds on traffic-filled public right-of-ways. Under previous law, there was a moped exception to the helmet requirement. There is no longer a moped exception to the helmet requirement for persons under 18 years of age operating or riding mopeds.
  • No person may operate a moped unless he is wearing an eye protective device or unless the moped is equipped with a windscreen of sufficient height and design so as to provide adequate eye protection to the operator when seated in the normal operating position.
  • The operator of a moped can ride only while sitting astride the seat facing forward.
  • Mopeds cannot be operated on public sidewalks
  • Operators cannot drive mopeds on high speed highways or interstate highways.
  • Mopeds must be equipped properly for roadway use, and must meet requirements such as lighting, exhaust, and mirrors.
  • No operator may carry any package, or other article that prevents him or her from keeping both hands on the handlebars or obstructs their vision.
  • No passenger can ride in a position that might interfere with the safe operation of the moped or obstruct the view of the operator.
  • The operator of a moped must change lanes when passing any vehicle in the same lane.
  • No person shall operate a moped between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lanes or rows of vehicles.
  • Mopeds cannot be operated more that two abreast in any single lane.
  • No person shall operate a moped in any municipal, county, state park or recreation area except upon the normally traveled roads or in specifically designated areas.
  • No person riding upon a moped shall attach themselves or the moped to any other moving vehicle on a street or roadway.
  • No person shall operate or ride on any moped with any firearm in their possession unless the firearm is completely unloaded and within a carrying case which encloses the entire firearm.

External Resources
  • South Dakota DMV
  • Brookings County Moped Laws

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