Greg Prosmushkin
Dec 19, 2022

Moped Laws In PA: Safety Regulations That Can Protect You

A moped does not require strict licensing in comparison to full motorcycles or automobiles. According to PA moped laws, a moped is driven by a motorcycle engine but is also equipped with operable pedals like a bicycle. 

A moped motor must have not more than 1.5 horsepower, automatic transmission, and a cylinder capacity of not more than 50 cubic centimeters. The maximum speed of the moped may not exceed 25 miles per hour. In lieu of a gasoline motor, a moped may have an electric motor generating a speed of 25 mph. 

What is a motor-driven scooter?

A motorized electrical scooter is any 2-wheeled vehicle that is powered by an electric motor or an engine. According to PennDOT, these vehicles will not be exempted from any titling or registration requirements. 

What is a motorcycle?

A motorcycle refers to a two or three-wheeled motor vehicle. The design can vary based on different purposes, such as commuting, cruising, sport, off-road riding, or long-distance travel.

Moped vs. motor-driven scooter vs. motorcycle, Understanding the differences:

Characteristics Motor-driven scooter Moped Motorcycle
Engine size 50cc to 250cc 50cc 250cc or larger
Wheel size 10’’ to 16’’ varies 16’’ or larger
Speed Can vary by engine size 28mph Can vary by engine size
Ability to ride on highways Yes No Yes
Legal age to ride 16 years or more 16 years or more 16 years or more
Motorcycle license required Class M license Class C license Class M license


Requirements for motor-driven vehicles in Pennsylvania

The moped has some criterion that distinguishes it from other scooters. 

  • There are inspection requirements for a motor-driven cycle that is mandatory
  • Mopeds need to have a registration plate
  • Drivers need to wear helmets while driving a moped, scooter, or motorcycle according to Pennsylvania moped laws.
  • Motor scooter, moped, or motorcycle riders must also wear eye protection
  • Riders need to have a driver’s license if the motor-driven vehicle does not possess an automatic transmission or if the motor is exceeding 50 cc
  • The Class M license or Class M with an 8 restriction is the PA scooter license requirement for the driver who is operating a motor-driven cycle. 
  • Drivers must comply with the minimum requirements of moped insurance in PA which is a Class C driver’s license and registration for a $9 fee.

As motorcycle vehicle accidents are common in Philadelphia. Accidents can cause severe injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, or even wrongful death in fatal motor vehicle accidents. Therefore, moped laws in Pennsylvania need to be followed seriously. 

Do you need a moped license?

To drive a moped on any public road, scooter laws in PA require  the driver to possess a Class C driver’s license. Moreover, those with mopeds can register for a $9 fee. After the registration of the moped, the driver will receive a special license plate relating to the moped. 

What is a moped accident?

A moped accident refers to an accident that happens to owe to the default in maintenance, operation, or the use of a moped. 

Are Mopeds Street legal?

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT), to operate motor-driven cycles on roadways in Pennsylvania, the vehicles need to have titling and registration in the Commonwealth. The driver of the motor-driven cycle must also have proper insurance. 

Are Vespas and electric scooters considered motorcycles or bicycles?

The short answer is no. According to the motor scooter laws, Vespas and electric scooters are not motorcycles or bicycles. However, the classification will depend on various factors such as horsepower and others. The Pennsylvania rules of the road classify these vehicles as motorized pedal cycles or motor-driven cycles. 

Are rideshare scooters banned in PA?

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), if a motor scooter needs to operate on the roadways in PA, it must meet the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) to be a motorcycle.  

They need to have a particular label and meet the FMVSS standards and most rideshare e-scooters do not meet these standards. 

Are E-scooters an alternative to public transportation?

Some lawmakers in Pennsylvania believe that electric scooters can provide a useful alternative to public transportation. According to Pennsylvania law, residents cannot ride e-scooters on PA roadways until there is any modification in the law. However, others are of the opinion that e-scooters may pose a threat to the safety of people.

In 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation made it clear that electric scooters are not permitted to be operated on Pennsylvania roadways or sideways.  

Hurt in a scooter accident? Get in touch with us.

Our personal injury attorneys have in-depth knowledge of how to file Pennsylvania accident claims. They can make the entire process intelligible. Call us at(215)-799-9990   or fill out our contact form or chat with us.