New York Moped Laws

New York Moped Laws

Mopeds (Limited Use Motorcycles)

Are there any special requirements to operate a limited use motorcycle (moped) in NYS?

The Vehicle and Traffic Law defines a limited use motorcycle as "a low-speed vehicle with two or three wheels."  Terms frequently used for limited use motorcycles are "mopeds" and "motor scooters."

The requirements to operate a moped are like those for motorcycles. You must have a driver license and you must register a moped to drive it on streets and highways. The exceptions to these requirements are listed in the table below. You can never operate a moped on a sidewalk.

The DMV certifies a moped as a Class A, Class B or Class C limited use motorcycle according to top speed.  The manufacturer requests the certification through the DMV Technical Services Bureau. Only a DMV-certified model of limited-use motorcycle can get a registration in NYS.  The phone number for the Technical Services Bureau is (518) 474-5282.

To register your moped, bring the following to a DMV office:



Motorized Scooters, Mini-Bikes, Dirt Bikes, Go-Karts, Motor Assisted Bicycles

You cannot register any of the motorized devices from the list below in NYS. You cannot operate these devices on sidewalks, public streets or highways in NYS. These devices are motor vehicles, but they do not have the correct equipment or design for operation on roadways.

  • Motorized Scooter - a device with a motor attached and a handlebar for a standing rider.  An example of a motorized scooter is the device called the Go-ped®.
  • Mini-bike - a small, motorized device with two wheels and created for off-road use. A mini-bike does not qualify as a moped, a motorcycle or an ATV.
  • Dirt Bike - a motorized device like a motorcycle, but created for and used for off-road use. Some "dirt bikes" qualify as an ATV. These vehicles can register and operate off-road as an ATV.
  • Go-Kart - a small, motorized device with four wheels, created for off-road use. You cannot register a go-kart as a motor vehicle or ATV because a go-kart does not have the same equipment.
  • Motor-assisted Bicycle - a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle does not qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and does not have the same equipment.

These devices are not allowed on any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk or other area that allows public motor vehicle traffic. You are subject to arrest if you operate one of these motorized vehicles and do not have a registration, driver license, inspection, insurance or correct equipment. The DMV can not provide any information about operation of these devices on private property. Contact the local authorities and property owners.

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