Virginia may tighten moped rider, licensing rules

Publish Date: 
Dec 17, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. – State officials are looking at requiring moped owners to register their vehicles, display license plates and carry government-issued photo IDs. The action would bring Virginia law in line with neighboring District of Columbia and Maryland, as well as many other states.

"It used to be a motorcycle was a motorcycle, and that just isn't the case any more," state House Transportation Committee Chairman Joe May (R-Leesburg) who will push for the new moped rules in the upcoming General Assembly session, told the Washington Examiner. "It's honestly one of the pieces of legislation that needed to be done."

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles officials have also said riders should be required to wear helmets and eye protection.

State officials said they would not recommend that moped owners be required to get a driver's license or to buy insurance for their vehicles. Moped owners would not be required to pay Virginia's personal property tax, either, which is imposed on most other vehicles. However, they would have to pay a $20 registration fee and taxes.

Some moped dealers said the regulations could go further. "If it were me doing the law, I would say there should have to be some sort of scooter test," said Chris Brown, salesman at Coleman PowerSports in Falls Church. "Anybody can come up here and buy a scooter and ride it off the lot. That's kind of ridiculous because you can kill yourself."

Posted by Holly Wagner