I along with many others in California have successfully registered my Sur Ron as a Moped. Each state varies in its requirements, so this only covers California.
A “motorized bicycle” or “moped” is:
- A two or three-wheeled device, capable of no more than 30 mph on level ground, and equipped with:
– Fully operative pedals for human propulsion.
– A motor producing less than two gross brake horsepower and an automatic transmission.
– An electric motor, with or without pedals for human propulsion. (CVC §406(a))
Driver must have a motorcycle license (M1 or M2).
If you operate a motorized bicycle which meets the definition of CVC §406(b), you:– Must be 16 years of age or older.
– Must wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet.
– Are exempt from the motor vehicle financial responsibility, driver license, and moped plate requirements (CVC §12804.9).
A motorized bicycle is issued special license plates and identification cards, which requires a one-time $18 fee. No renewal is required.
Some of you may have seen this post by CurrenteBikes.com:
Before getting too excited about the absence of Maximum Motor-Assisted Speed (MPH) just because there is not a limit on their chart, the CA DMV is very specific that a moped cannot exceed 30 MPH as outlined above.
Many people run into the issue of the VIN not being 17 digits. My insurance company called to verify that my VIN was 15 digits. Unlike some who add letters or numbers to make their VIN 17 digits I did not. Nor did I try to ‘cheap out’ to get the lowest premium possible through online companies. Nope, my primary concern is liability if I hit someone or destroy property. Of course I would be concerned if someone stole my bike, but the real exposure to my hard earned assets is liability. Up to you to decide. Just remember cheap insurance is expensive if during a claim you are not covered well.
And in CA liability insurance is required for a moped!
OH and moped plates in CA do NOT require annual registration. So once paid you are good for life! How great is that!?
Formerly mundane errands are now fun not to mention saving wear and tear on my car. Make no mistake, my primary use for the Sur Ron is off-road and now with a valid CA Plate it is legal at all CA OHV parks too! To have it serve as a dual sport electric bike is incredible!