Motorized Bicycles in Minnesota
Like most of the country, motorized bikes are increasing in popularity in Minnesota. However, there are different classifications for the different types of motorbikes, each with their own set of laws and regulations, so it is important to know how yours is defined.
In Minnesota, mopeds and motorized bicycles fall into the same classifications as far as the laws are concerned, except there are slight differences for electric-assisted bicycles.
In order for a motorized bicycle to be considered a moped, it must meet the following requirements:
- Have a motor that is no bigger than 50 cc, if gas powered, and produces no more than 2 brake horsepower.
- Is unable to go more than 30 mph on level ground.
Alternatively, if it is an electric bicycle (also known as a pedelec or e-bike), it must meet the following requirements:
- Have 2 or 3 wheels.
- Have a seat/saddle.
- Have pedals that are designed to be used by the rider to propel the bike.
- Have an electric motor that is no bigger than 1,000 watts.
- Have a top speed of 20 mph on a flat surface, including with assisted pedaling.
In order to legally drive your moped on public roads, it must also have:
- A horn.
- A mirror.
- A headlight and taillight.
- A stop lamp.
You must also have a valid Minnesota driver’s license, or a moped permit.
In order to get a moped permit, you must be at least 15 years old and apply at your local Driver & Vehicle Services office. During your application, you will need to bring the following items:
- Valid identification.
- A certificate of completion from a moped safety course that is approved by the state.
- A parental approval slip, if under 18 years old.
- $6.75 to pay for the examination and permit fees.
You will also need to pass a vision test and a knowledge test.
Once you complete all of the requirements, you will be issued a 30-day moped permit from the DVS. With the permit, you can only drive within 1 mile of your home until your 30-day instructional period is complete and you pass a cycle driving exam. In order to take your driving exam and apply for a moped permit, bring the following items to the DVS:
- Your 30-day moped permit.
- Proof of insurance for your moped.
- An approved helmet and eye protective gear.
- A parental approval slip, if you are under 18.
Once you pass the cycle driving exam you will be issued a moped permit that is valid for 1 year.
Because of all of the above requirements, many people opt to just get a standard drivers license instead, as you do not need a moped permit if you have one.
Moped Registration and Insurance
In order to drive your moped on public roads, you must get it titled and registered at a local DVS office. The registration process is similar to the process of registering a car, and must be renewed annually.
Moped drivers must also carry liability insurance. However, drivers of electric-assisted bicycles (or pedelecs) do not need to carry insurance.
Moped Driving Laws
In addition to the above requirements, the following laws must be followed while riding your moped or motorized bicycle:
- You cannot ride on interstate freeways, bicycle lanes or trails.
- You must wear a helmet at all times while riding, if you are under 18 (though it is still recommended for all riders.)
- You cannot ride with any passengers if you are under 16 years old, unless the passenger is your parent or guardian.
- You need a working headlight and taillight if you ride at nighttime (30 minutes after sunset.)
The main difference between scooters and mopeds is that scooters have a base that is designed to be stood upon while riding. But they may have a seat in addition to the standing base, along with the following:
- Handlebars that are designed to be used while riding.
- A motor that can propel the vehicle unassisted.
- Wheels that are no more than 10 inches in diameter, OR a top speed of 15 mph on level ground.
Unlike with mopeds, you do not need a divers license, insurance or registration to drive a motorized foot scooter. However, you do need to be at least 12 years old, and your scooter must still be equipped with a working headlight and taillight if you wish to drive at night.
Want a Motorized Bicycle?
We have a great selection of motorized bicycles for sale! While we recommend getting an e-bike, we also have motorized bicycle kits for sale and bicycle accessories for sale. All of our listings are highly reviewed, as you will see for yourself!