Motorized Bicycle Laws in Illinois

Motorized Bicycles in Illinois

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.

Electric Bicycles

Although there are federal laws for e-bikes, the State of Illinois also has their own.

In order for a vehicle to be classified as an e-bike, it must have a maximum speed of 20 MPH. Unlike federal law, there is no limit on the power of the motor, as long it can’t go above 20 MPH.

You do not need a driver’s license to ride an electric bicycle, but you do need to be at least 16 years old.


In order for a motorbike to be considered a moped in Illinois, it must:

  • Have a top speed of 30 mph on level ground.
  • Have an engine that produces no more than 2-brake hp, and is no bigger than 50 cc (if gas powered)
  • Have an automatic transmission

If your motorized bike meets all of the above criteria, then you can drive it with a standard valid IL driver’s license. On the other hand, if your motorbike exceeds the above criteria, then you will need a Class L driver’s license.

Make sure you know which category you vehicle fits in to, since the different classifications have different laws and requirements. Generally speaking, mopeds are low speed vehicles that are only designed for  limited use on public roads. Riders must always carry a valid driver’s license and follow all regular traffic laws.

Getting your Class L Motor-Drive Cycle License

As mentioned, if your motorbike does not meet the criteria above, and also has an engine size of 150 cc or less, then it is a motor-driven cycle. You must have a Class L driver’s license to drive a motor-driven cycle.

Class L Permit

In order to get your Class L license, you should consider getting an instruction permit first. There are two types of permits, depending on how old you are:

  • If you are under 18, then you can apply for a 24-month class L permit, but you must have already completed a driver’s education program.
  • If you are over 18, you can apply for a 12-month class L permit instead.

In order to apply for a permit, you will need to bring the following to a local Driver Services facility:

  • Proof of ID, birth date and residency.
  • Your SSN.
  • Show proof of completion for Driver’s Education (if under 18 years old.)

You will also need to take a written knowledge exam.

Once you have your Class L permit, there are some regulations you will have to follow – you can only drive during daylight hours, and only under the direct supervision of a licensed motor-driven cycle operator that is at least 21 years old, and has at least 1 year of driving experience.

However, one benefit of getting your permit is that you will not need to retake the written exam when applying for your Class L license.

Class L License

If you are under 18 years old when applying for your Class L license, then you will need to pass an on-cycle driving test.

If you are over 18 and can prove that you have completed a motorcycle training course, then you will not need to pass the on-cycle driving test.

However, if you did not complete a motorcycle training course or get your Class L permit, then you will have to take both the written exam and pass the on-cycle exam.

In order to apply for your Class L driver’s license, bring the following to your local Driver Services facility:

  • Your Class L permit (if you have one.)
  • Proof of identification, residency, SSN and birth date.
  • Your motorcycle training course completion card (if you have one.)
  • $10 for the Class L license fee.

Also, bring your wits so that you are prepared to pass the written and/or on-cycle exams.


In Illinois, mopeds are required to be registered and titled. You can register by mail, or at a local SOS (Secretary of State) office.

You will have to pay an additional sales tax when registering if you bought your moped from a private seller (sales tax varies between counties.)

To register in person at a local SOS office, you will need to bring:

  • A completed Vehicle Transaction Application (Form VSD 190.)
  • Proof of ownership.
  • A check or money order to pay both the registration and titling fees  – $41 for registration and $95 for titling (a total of $136, plus tax if applicable.)

Alternatively, you can also register by mail. You will need all of the above materials, including the payment of the fees, and mail them to the following:

Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
ERT Section, Rm 424
501 S. 2nd St.
Springfield, IL 62756

Once registered, you will receive new license plates to put on your vehicle. Depending on what your motorized bike is classified as, you will be issued different license plates. Make sure you provide accurate information on your application so that you get the appropriate plates.

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!

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