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Arizona Moped Laws

Posted On 07/26/19

Riding a moped is a great way to get around sunny Arizona on your way to work, the store or a friend’s house. If you do not obey the state’s moped laws, however, you could find yourself with a traffic ticket and an expensive fine – or worse, liability for an auto accident. Learning Arizona’s moped laws could keep you out of legal trouble. It could also increase the predictability of your actions to other motorists, reducing your risk of getting into a serious moped accident.

What Is a Moped?

Arizona Revised Statutes 28-101 lists definitions of different vehicles according to state law. Subsection 37 defines a moped as a bicycle with a helper motor, not including electric bicycles. Mopeds have a few maximum specifications. Exceeding these maximums means the law will view them as motorcycles or motor-driven cycles rather than mopeds.

  • Piston displacement of 50 ccs or less
  • Brake horsepower of 1.5 or less
  • Speed of 25 miles per hour or less on a flat surface

A moped is a unique type of vehicle with special related laws. Operating a moped is not like operating a bicycle, electric bicycle or motorcycle. It is a separate entity with separate rules and regulations. Identifying whether your vehicle is a moped under state law is the first step toward understanding what rules may apply.

Do You Need a Moped License?

As is the case in most states, you need a valid driver’s license to operate a moped in Arizona. You do not, however, need a special type of license. Unlike riding a motorcycle, which requires a Class M operator’s license, a standard driver’s license will suffice to operate a moped. According to ARS 28-2513, the state’s main law regarding mopeds, any class of driver’s license enables a person to operate a moped. If you operate a moped without a license, however, you are breaking state law. This could lead to fines and penalties.

Do You Need Auto Insurance?

You must carry auto insurance that at least meets the minimum requirements to operate a moped in Arizona. The requirements are $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $30,000 per accident and $10,000 in property damage liability insurance. Arizona’s auto insurance requirement applies to all motor vehicles operated on private and public roads in the state, including mopeds, motorcycles and golf carts. It does not, however, apply to electric bicycles.

Driving a moped without insurance is a traffic offense that could lead to fines and the suspension of your driving privileges until you obtain insurance. You must also register your moped and pay the $5 registration fee. Other fees for registering motor vehicles may also apply to mopeds. You do not need a certificate of title as long as you register your moped with the state Department of Transportation (DOT).

Do You Need a Helmet?

As an adult 18 or older operating a moped, you do not have to wear a helmet in Arizona. If you are younger than 18, however, the state’s motorcycle helmet law will apply. You must wear a safely secured protective helmet as an operator or passenger under 18. Even if you do not lawfully have to wear a helmet, the Arizona DOT suggests you do to reduce your risk of serious head and brain injuries in a moped accident.

Where Can You Ride a Moped?

You may operate a moped on most private and public streets in Arizona. However, you cannot take a moped on state highways or freeways. You cannot ride a moped on the sidewalk, nor can you ride in bicycle lanes. You must use your moped on the road as you would a typical motor vehicle, riding in the same direction as traffic. You have the right to use a full lane on a moped. You may ride two abreast with another moped, but not with a larger vehicle (lane splitting). Other drivers must respect your rights to the road.