Motor Scooter and Moped Information

What is a Motor Scooter?


A motor scooter is defined in Maryland Vehicle Law, as a non-pedal vehicle that:

  1. Has a seat for the operator.
  2. Has two wheels, of which one is 10 inches or more in diameter.
  3. Has a step-through chassis.
  4. Has a motor with a rating of 2.7 brake horsepower or less or if the motor is an internal combustion engine, with a capacity of 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement or less.
  5. Equipped with an automatic transmission.

If a vehicle matches these criteria, but has an engine displacement of 51 cubic centimeters, or more, it is considered a motorcycle.

What is a Moped?


A moped is defined in Maryland Vehicle Law as a bicycle that:

  1. Is designed to be operated by human power with the assistance of a motor;
  2. Is equipped with pedals that mechanically drive the rear wheel or wheels;
  3. Has two or three wheels, of which one is more than 14 inches in diameter and
  4. Has a motor rating of 1.5 brake horsepower or less and if the motor is an internal combustion engine, a capacity of 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement or less.

Driver License/Moped Operator's Permit Required


A Class M motorcycle license is not required. However, each individual operating a moped or a motor scooter on any roadway in Maryland must have a driver license of some class issued in this state or from his or her state of residency. A moped operator's permit issued to the individual is also valid. The MVA will not issue a moped operator's permit to any individual whose driver's license is suspended or revoked. ​

Titling a Motor Scooter


Effective October 1, 2012 all Motor Scooters and Mopeds must titled, insured, and display a registration decal.  For information please go to Titling and Decal for Mopeds and Motor Scooters

Lawful Operation of a Motor Scooter or Moped


When operating a motor scooter or moped, the rider must ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practical and safe except when:

  1. Making a left turn.
  2. Operating on a one-way street.
  3. Passing a stopped or slower moving vehicle.
  4. Avoiding pedestrians or road hazards.
  5. The right lane is a right turn only lane.
  6. Operating in a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle or motor scooter and another vehicle to travel safely side by side.

Operators of motor scooters or mopeds must wear a DOT compliant motorcycle helmet and approved eye protection.

Motor scooter or moped operators may ride side by side only if the flow of traffic is unimpeded and must exercise due care when passing a vehicle.

A passenger cannot be carried on a motor scooter or moped unless the motor scooter or moped is equipped to carry a passenger.

The use of headsets covering both ears, or earplugs are prohibited except in certain circumstances.

A person may not operate a motor scooter or moped on a roadway where the posted maximum speed limit is more than 50 miles per hour, or on an expressway or other controlled access highway.  If the roadway has a bike lane paved to a smooth surface or a paved shoulder, a person operating a motor scooter or moped must use the bike lane or shoulder and may not ride on the roadway except for a situation identified above as (1 through 6).

A motor scooter or moped may not be operated at a speed in excess of 30 miles per hour.

It is unlawful to operate a 3-wheeled motor scooter or moped in any jurisdiction other than Ocean City.

Operators of motor scooters or mopeds should check their local jurisdictions for any laws that may affect the operation of a motor scooter.

Prior to the sale of the vehicle, any dealer or agent or employee of a dealer, salesman, or other person who sells the motor scooter or moped must inform the buyer of the operating restrictions.

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions go to Mopeds and Motor Scooters.