North Carolina (NC) Moped Laws, License & Registration (50cc Scooters)

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If you’ve got a short commute or need a fun, convenient way to get around town, mopeds are an excellent choice. 

They’re easy to ride, have great gas mileage, and are affordable to purchase and maintain. 

This page will cover the basic requirements for riding a moped in North Carolina.

If you already have a valid North Carolina motorcycle license, you’ll definitely be ready to ride a moped or <50cc scooter. In fact, that’s typically the safest route to go. 

North Carolina Moped Laws for <50cc Scooters

In order to ride a moped legally in North Carolina, you’ll need to be sure to follow the rules and regulations. Failing to do so could result in traffic tickets, fines, or a suspended license. 

North Carolina DMV defines a moped as having:

  • 2-3 wheels. 
  • No external gear shift. 
  • A motor no larger than 50cc. 
  • A top speed of up to 30 mph. 

Moped riders must be at least 16 years old and are required to wear a DOT-approved helmet. 

Mopeds must be registered, plated, and insured to be street legal. 

Other NC moped laws to be aware of include:

  • All riders and passengers must be wearing a helmet.
  • Stay towards the right-hand side of the road.
  • All DUI and DWI laws that apply to motor vehicles also apply to mopeds.
  • Install turn signals or use hand signals when turning, slowing down, and stopping.

For a complete list of rules and regulations regarding mopeds in North Carolina, contact your local DMV office. 

Learn about the differences between scooters vs. mopeds

Can you drive a moped without a license in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, you will generally not need a driver’s license to legally ride a moped on public roads. 

However, moped riders must be at least 16 years old. 

How to Get a North Carolina Moped License

Since North Carolina doesn’t require a license to ride a moped, you’ll need to be at least 16 years old and abide by North Carolina traffic laws and regulations. 

Learn how to get your North Carolina motorcycle license

North Carolina Moped Registration & Insurance

North Carolina requires you to register your moped with the NC DMV. They typically do not issue a title. 

You must also carry the state’s minimum requirements for liability insurance and maintain coverage while the moped is registered. 

A NC moped registration and license plate costs $25.50 plus any local fees and taxes that may apply. 

To register a moped, you’ll need:

  • Proof of ownership (MCO). 
  • A valid NC Driver’s License or ID. 
  • A Moped Registration Application. 

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Many of the major motorcycle insurance providers will also offer coverage for smaller bikes, scooters, and mopeds. 

Regardless of the North Carolina requirements, it’s always a smart idea to have insurance coverage when you ride any type of vehicle on public roads. 

Be sure to compare quotes from a few different providers to get the best rates. 

Learn more about moped insurance.

Note that some cities and local jurisdictions may have additional regulations for moped riders. (i.e. roadway restrictions, registration requirements, etc.). Be sure to check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles/authorities to make sure you and your moped are street legal.

For official information, up-to-date fees, and instructions, please contact your local county North Carolina DMV office.  

Find more information about scooter and mopeds here.