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Do You Need a License To Drive a Moped? Requirements & Exceptions

male rider riding his motorcycle

Mopeds are cute two-wheel vehicles that have gained popularity over the past few years. They are perfect for shorter rides around the city and safe traveling from one place to another. They are loved by mostly young people and those looking for a convenient upgrade to a bicycle.

Since mopeds are much slower than scooters or motorcycles, many people wonder if you need a license to drive this vehicle. While a permit is a requirement for driving all motorized vehicles, some states allow people over 16 years old to drive a moped without a license. In this article, you can find all the information necessary on this topic, including the states which allow driving a moped without a license.

car and road divider

What Is a Moped?

A moped is a lightweight, two-wheel vehicle characterized by pedals that allow the drivers to start the engine. Mopeds are very popular in cities, especially among younger people. Since the average maximum speed they can reach is about 30mph, they are not suitable or legal for driving on the highway. Because of that, people mostly use them for commuting around town or shorter rides from one location to another.

Even though these vehicles are small and relatively slow, make sure not to underestimate them. They are excellent at avoiding traffic and maneuvering their way inside a blocked street. They are also incredibly cheap and easy to maintain, so many people living in the city choose mopeds as their primary mode of transportation.

motorcycles near sea side
Image Credit: Piqsels

Requirements for Driving a Moped

A moped is an excellent vehicle for beginners to drive. Most models have an automatic transmission, so handling them is pretty easy for most people. While even beginners can drive this vehicle, it is essential to know that a moped still has some necessary driving requirements.

  • It is necessary to be at least 16 years old (in some states, 14 years of age is the minimum requirement).
  • An M1 or M2 driver’s license is a requirement in most states to drive a moped or any other two-wheel motorized vehicle.
  • A special license plate is required, an identification card, and a one-time registration.
  • You are required to wear safety equipment, including a helmet.
  • You cannot drive more than 35 mph.


While these requirements are pretty strict, some states in the US do not abide by these laws. Some states do not require a license to be able to drive a moped, although being at least 16 years old may be necessary. You can read below which states in the US do not require a driver’s license but may require some other documents. The states that are not listed below require some sort of a permit and have a minimum age requirement.

States Requirements
Arkansas License is not required
North Carolina A license is not necessary, but the driver must be at least 16 years old
Colorado A license is not required, but registration is
Virginia License is not required
Florida License is not required
Wyoming License is not required
man riding in motorcycle
Image Credit: SAVA86, Pixabay

What Do You Need to Get a Permit or a License?

Needing a driver’s license to drive a moped depends mainly on the engine size of your vehicle. If the engine on your vehicle exceeds 50cc, you will need to go through the process of receiving a motorcycle driver’s license M1 or M2. With an M1 license, you can drive any two-wheel motorized vehicle, including scooters and even motorcycles. At the same time, an M2 driver’s license will give you the right to drive a two or three-wheeled moped or a motorized bicycle with a maximum speed of 30 mph.

To apply for any driver’s license, you will need to gather the documents necessary and go to your local DMV. You can find out more specific details at the DMV office, as many laws vary from state to state.

car and road divider Final Thoughts

If your dream is to ride a moped around your hometown, but you are wondering if you would need a driver’s license, we hope we’ve answered your question in this article. While some states require a permit for this experience, other states are not as strict. The first step is to ask around your city or go to the closest DMV office and speak to an employee. Chances are, your state will not require a license, but there are likely some other documents you will need to gather or obtain before being able to drive a moped.

Featured Image Credit: TSKvado, Pixabay


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