Motorized Bicycle Laws in Washington

Motorized Bicycles in Washington

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.

The State of Washington doesn’t have laws specifically for motorized bicycles. Since mopeds are the next closest vehicle by definition, it’s best to be safe and reference the laws for mopeds so that you don’t accidentally break the law.

Electric Bicycles

In Washington, e-bikes are considered to be bicycles that are powered by an electric motor that is 1,000 watts or less, and has a maximum speed of 20 MPH on level ground.

You don’t need to have a valid driver’s license to drive an e-bike on public roads, as long as you are at least 16 years old.


In order for your motorized bicycle to be considered a moped, it must meet the following criteria:

  • It must have 2 or 3 wheels.
  • It must have an engine that produces no more than 2 brake horsepower, and is no bigger than 50 CC.
  • It must be unable to go more than 30 MPH on a flat surface.

If your bike exceeds the above requirements then it is considered a motorcycle, and you must follow all of the motorcycle laws and requirements.

Other Requirements

To drive your moped on public roads, you will need to get it registered and titled. Usually when buying a new moped from a dealership this part is done for you, and you would receive the plates and title in the mail. However, if you bought it used you should visit your local vehicle licensing office before 15 days have passed. Be sure to bring your title that has been signed over to you, along with payment for the registration fees.

You must also be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver’s license to drive on public roads. Fortunately, you do not need to carry insurance.


The State of Washington considers scooters and mopeds to be one and the same, as far as the laws are concerned. So, you should follow all of the above requirements and definitions for mopeds.

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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