RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has signed into law a bill that requires moped drivers to register their scooters and pay the same fees as motorcyclists. Other restrictions may be on the way.
The bill, which was signed Aug. 6 and will take effect next year, does not require riders to have a driver's license; however, owners will have to pay $40 for a title and at least $15 to register their scooters and get a license plate from the state Division of Motor Vehicles.
The DMV estimates 17,000 mopeds operate on North Carolina streets. The number of fatalities involving mopeds across the state has also been on the rise. That spurred some lawmakers to push for an insurance mandate in the new law. Others argued the insurance provision would push an otherwise affordable transportation option out of reach for workers who rely on scooters but can’t afford the estimated extra $400 a year in insurance fees.
To register a moped to operate on a highway or public vehicular area, owners must prove it was designed and manufactured to do so and must show a manufacturer’s certificate of origin. If owners have no certificate of origin, they must submit an affidavit stating why they do not have the certificate and attest that they are entitled to registration, according to the new law.
House Bill 1145 — without the insurance requirement — passed with overwhelming support in the state House (103-9) and Senate (44-1).
The statute also requires the Transportation Oversight Committee to compile a state report on the number of mopeds involved in traffic accidents, the number and types of injuries resulting from traffic accidents involving mopeds and the causes of the accidents, and report it to the 2015 regular session of the General Assembly.
Under current statutes, anyone over age 16 can ride a 50cc or smaller moped without a license and drive on the state’s roadways as long as they wear a motorcycle helmet and as long as the mopeds don’t have the capability to exceed 30 mph on a level surface, according to the state DMV.
Download the full law HERE.