Motorized Bicycle Laws in Rhode Island

Motorized Bicycles in Rhode Island

Generic Court GavelThere are many benefits to be had by using a motorized bicycle as your primary (or secondary) method of transportation. With rising gas prices, environmental concerns and a suffering economy, it’s no wonder more and more people are choosing them over other options.

Use the information below to help determine what your motorbike is defined as, so that you can enjoy the benefits of motorized biking!

Electric Bicycles

Although there are federal laws for electric bicycles, the State of Rhode Island defines e-bikes as bicycles that have a motor that produces no more than 2 brake horsepower, and has a maximum speed of 25 MPH.

You need to be at least 16 years old to ride e-bikes on public roads, and you need a valid driver’s license.


In order for a motorbike to be considered a moped in Rhode Island, it has to meet the following specifications:

  • It has 2 wheels.
  • It has both pedals and a motor that can propel the bike.
  • The motor has a cylinder capacity that is less than 50 CC (cubic centimeters).
  • It has a top speed of 30 MPH on level ground.

If your bike meets all of the above requirements, then it is considered to be a moped! On the other hand, if it exceeds the specifications then it is most likely considered to be a motorcycle and you must follow all of the motorcycle laws and regulations.

Moped Laws

You don’t need a motorcycle license to drive a moped, but you do need a standard driver’s license, and you need to register it through the DMV. If your moped is gas powered, then you also need to get it inspected every two years.

When registering your moped, you’ll need to bring proof of insurance, proof of ownership (a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin, Bill of Sale or an old registration), and a valid Rhode Island driver’s license. You’ll also need to fill out an Application for Registration and Title Certificate.

While riding, you just need to follow all of the standard traffic laws. Since your moped has a top speed of 30 MPH or less, don’t drive it on roads that have a minimum speed of higher than 30 MPH.


Similar to mopeds, Scooters are defined as motorbikes that meet the following requirements:

  • It must have a motor that is no bigger than 50 CC.
  • It has a top speed of 30 MPH on level ground.

The main difference between scooters and mopeds is that scooters don’t have pedals to help with propulsion. If your scooter exceeds these specifications, then it is considered a motorcycle and you must follow all of the motorcycle laws and regulations.

You need to follow the same laws outlined above for mopeds if you plan to drive your scooter on public roads.

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!