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Washington DC Moped 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 Washington DC.

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

Washington DC Moped Laws for <50cc Scooters

In order to ride a moped legally in Washington DC, 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. 

In Washington DC a moped is classified as a motor-driven cycle, which must meet the following requirements:

  • 2 or 3 wheels. 
  • A seat or saddle for the rider.
  • An engine no more than 50cc. 
  • A top speed of no more than 30 mph. 

If the vehicle exceeds those criteria, it will be treated as a motorcycle. 

All riders must wear helmets while operating a moped. 

Mopeds are not allowed to be ridden on the sidewalk or in bike lanes. 

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

Learn about the differences between scooters vs. mopeds

Do you need a license to drive a moped in Washington DC?

In Washington DC, you will generally need a valid driver’s license to legally ride a moped on public roads. 

How to Get a Washington DC Moped License

Since Washington DC requires a valid driver’s license to ride a moped, you’ll usually need to:

  • Visit a DMV office. 
  • Complete an application and provide proof of your ID.
  • Pass the necessary exams. 
  • Pay the license fee. 

Learn how to get your Washington DC motorcycle license

Washington DC Moped Registration & Insurance

Mopeds in Washington DC must be registered and carry a minimum liability insurance policy. 

Moped registration costs $30. 

Learn more about:

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

Regardless of the Washington DC 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 Washington DC DMV office.  

Find more information about scooter and mopeds here. 

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Content Editor: Ethan Orenstein

Ethan is not just any motorcycle enthusiast. With a decade of experience riding, maintaining, and restoring a range of motorcycles, Ethan brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Many of the tips and tricks shared on this site are born from hours spent wrenching on personal bikes. Paired with his experience as a journalist covering DMV & insurance topics, MotorcycleZombies.com is a must-visit site for any home-mechanic. Every article has been carefully reviewed and edited to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and simplicity - all to help bring your bike back from the dead and onto the road.

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