Q: Moped rentals are being considered in my city. Can you talk about the laws and rules that cover moped operations and if insurance is required on them? What is the difference between a moped and motor scooter?

A: Great question as I am starting to see more mopeds on our roadways.

A moped is a vehicle that is propelled by a motor of a capacity of 50cc or less, and a maximum of two brake horse power, which is capable of a maximum speed of not more than 30 mph on a flat surface.

Any person who has a valid Minnesota driver’s license may operate a moped without taking the moped test. Anyone without a driver’s license, regardless of age, must obtain a moped operator’s permit. Additional information about moped permit requirements is online in the Motorcycle Manual.

A motorized foot scooter is capable of no more than 15 mph and has no more than two 12-inch or smaller diameter wheels All operators of motorized foot scooters must be 12 years of age or older to operate one legally. No passengers may ride on motorized foot scooters.

When operating a moped or motorized bike in Minnesota, you must follow the following moped-specific rules:

You may not ride on bicycle lanes, trails, or interstate freeways.

You must operate as close to the right side of the road as possible.

You must wear a helmet if you are younger than 18 years old.

The moped must have a working headlight and taillight for nighttime operation.

If you are younger than 16 years old, you may not ride with passengers unless the passenger is a parent/guardian.

Also, mopeds must be registered in Minnesota. A title of poof of sale of the moped is required to register it, along with a photo. Mopeds are required to have license plates and proof of motorcycle liability insurance.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol, 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811. Or reach me at neil.dickenson@state.mn.us.

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