If you’re interested in getting a moped or scooter as a way to get around town there are some things you need to know before you hit the street. Sure it may seem like a tame form of transportation, but it’s still a motorized machine that must meet state requirements.
That’s where classification comes into play. How your vehicle is classified will affect everything from licensing to registration.
Scooters Aren’t an Actual Classification
In Texas a “scooter” isn’t a legal classification for a vehicle. Moped and motorcycle are the only types of two-wheeled vehicle classifications.
Okay, so you have a moped not a scooter. Not so fast. Just because you’ve always thought of it as a moped that doesn’t mean the state of Texas does.
Criteria for Classifying it as a Moped
Texas has come up with three criteria points to determine whether a two-wheeled vehicle is a moped or a motorcycle. They are:
- Does it go over 30 miles per hour
- Does it require gear shifting
- Does it have piston displacement of more than 50 cubic centimeters
If any of the points above apply to your vehicle then it’s going to be classified as a motorcycle, not a moped. The state is very cut and dry on this so even if the vehicle has a piston displacement of 51 cubic centimeters it will be bumped up to motorcycle status.
However, if your two-wheeled vehicle does meet the three criteria there’s still one more step to take before your moped can be classified as such.
The Certified Moped List
The second part of the moped criteria process is the Certified Moped List. This is a listing of all the vehicles that the state considers to be a moped.
But wait a second, your moped isn’t on the list. Texas acknowledges that the list isn’t comprehensive so they’ve come up with a back up plan. If your vehicle meets the three moped criteria but isn’t yet on the list you’ll have to complete an Affidavit to Verify Requirements for Moped Classification.
The catch is that the affidavit has to be filled out by the manufacturer or a dealer to verify that the moped meets the criteria. They won’t take your word for it, even if the information is listed in the manufacturer’s website. Once you get the affidavit filled out you’ll then have to take it to the local county tax office when you register the moped.
Additional Requirements for Vehicles Registered as a Moped
Now that you’ve determined that you do in fact have a moped, Texas has outlined the requirements that you must have/meet in order to ride it on the road. You must:
- Take a Motor Cycle Safety Course
- Get an M Class license
- Have a clear title
- Register the moped
- Get Texas motorcycle insurance
- Pass annual safety inspections
As far as licensing goes it is possible to skirt the riding test if you’re riding a moped. Your M Class license will have a “K” restriction, which allows you to ride the moped legally but prohibits you from driving a motorcycle. However, you will need to bring the affidavit with you to the DPS office if you were required to fill one out.
Original Source: http://www.mybiginsurance.com/auto-insurance/mopeds-scooters-classified-texas