If you are looking for a simple-to-use, inexpensive vehicle to easily commute to your job, a moped might be the best solution so you should check it out. It has a low price, good fuel efficiency, and small taxes. The tax for registering a moped is not the same in all states. It depends on the moped’s class and usually, it varies between $25 and $50 paid once a year.
Which mopeds need registration?
Mopeds could be classified according to their top speed, number of cylinders, passenger exclusion, or even tire diameter. Some states use the top speed as a criterion so mopeds are part of the A, B, or C class with A-class having the biggest top speed. Although registration is required for all three classes, only mopeds from the C class don’t need insurance.
So if you are getting a moped with a top speed that doesn’t go faster than 20 mph, you are not legally required to have it insured. For the other two classes, you must have the insurance proof when registering the moped.
The insurance company will give you the proof of insurance as two original barcoded Identification Cards. One copy is for the DMV office and the other one will serve you as proof of insurance during traffic stops. You are legally required to have the moped registered at the DMV (or RMV or Satellite City Hall) within 180 days from the date stated on the insurance ID card.
Where you can register a moped
In some states, you can register your moped at a satellite city hall. Although it does not take a lot of time or money, there are some steps for you to follow.
Make the initial inspection
Take your moped to a certified safety inspection station to have it properly checked by authorized personnel. Usually, the inspection fee is around $15 plus taxes. The inspection’s purpose is to identify any defect that represents a risk for you or other traffic participants. If the inspector decides the moped is not safe for driving on public roads, you will fail the inspection.
If the moped has a broken headlight, an exhaust system that is too loud or a malfunctioning braking system, it will not pass the inspection. However, you can have it repaired and return to the inspection station. If you go back to the inspection center within 30 days, you will not be asked to pay another inspection fee. After 30 days, a completely new inspection is required so you will have to pay for it.
Even if your vehicle doesn’t represent a traffic hazard, you will fail the initial inspection since the moped is not registered yet. So the inspection center will issue a failed safety inspection certificate.
Go to the Satellite City Hall
After completing the initial inspection, take the failed safety inspection certificate to the Satellite City Hall to have the moped registered. At this office, you will pay the initial registration fee which is around $30 or $40 and you must complete the registration application. The city hall will issue the license plate and the emblem, which must be fixed on the moped’s rear.
Go back to the inspection center
After getting the registration from the Satellite City Hall, return to the safety inspection station to obtain the passing safety inspection certificate together with the safety inspection decal. Also, the decal will be placed on the moped by the safety inspection center personnel.
Renew the registration every year
You should get through the mail an annual reminder to have the registration renewed. In general, this reminder is sent 45 days before the registration expires. Nevertheless, you should set a personal note since sometimes these annual reminders don’t get to their receivers.
Even if you didn’t receive the official notice, you should renew the moped’s registration before the expiration date indicated on the certificate. In most states, the fee paid for the annual registration is around $30.
Registering the moped at the RMV Service Center or DMV
Depending on which state you live in, you could register your moped at the Registry of Motorized Vehicles or at the DMV. If you are registering a second-hand moped, the bill of sale is required. If the moped is new, you must have the manufacturer’s certificate of origin if the dealer is not a certified safety inspection station.
If the dealer is a certified safety inspection station, you will receive a replica of the Certificate of Inspection and the completed application. The dealer will send the necessary documents and fees to the moped registration office.
Until receiving the registration certificate and the moped decal, you must have the Certificate of Inspection and registration application when riding a moped on public roads. If you live in a county where there is no DMV or certified safety inspection station, the Sheriff’s Office is authorized to make the inspection.
You must complete the Application for Moped Registration in two copies and have the passing safety inspection certificate. The registration fee for a two-year registration is approximately $40. If you have the moped registered after the 1st of November, the fee is smaller (around $30).
After filling out the application and paying the fees, you will get a stamped moped certificate of registration and the moped decal which must be placed on the moped in a visible spot.
Replacing the moped decal
If your decal got stolen or you lost it, you can request a replacement decal. In order to get a new decal, you must go to the Registry of Motorized Vehicles and submit the registration certificate and a replacement moped decal affidavit which you will get from the RMV.
Who can register a moped?
A person intending to register a moped should be at least 16 years old. A state driver’s license or learner’s permit not expired for more than 2 years is required as it serves as proof of identity and proof of age. But you can use any other accepted document to prove your identity and age.
What is a learner’s permit?
The learner’s permit represents a restricted license owned by somebody who started to learn how to drive but has not yet fulfilled the criteria for the driver’s license. Together with the driver’s theoretical education and the practical driving assessment, having a learner’s permit for a certain period is a requirement for obtaining the full driver’s license.
To obtain the learner’s permit, a person must pass a theoretical test and complete several driving hours while assisted by an authorized supervisor. Programs for underaged drivers are available in all states so underaged people could get some riding experience before entering high-speed roads or driving more powerful vehicles.
Moving to a new address
In this case, the information on the moped registration must be updated. The process is very simple and free of charge. You can download the address form and complete it with the new information. Having the information updated, you can mail the form to the specified address on the form or you can drop it off at the Satellite City Hall.
If you plan on selling or transferring the moped
In case a moped changes its owner, the seller or the transferor must submit a Notice of Ownership Transfer which can be found online. The official form could be sent through the mail to the address specified on the form or it can be dropped off at a satellite city hall.
The Notice of Ownership Transfer must be submitted within ten days from the date of sale or transfer. If the former owner of the moped doesn’t submit the form, he/she will receive a fine of up to $100. Keep in mind when a moped is sold or transferred, a new inspection is required and a new registration must be completed by the actual owner.
If you stop using the moped
The Department of Motorised Vehicles does not keep track of unused or thrown away mopeds. If you don’t register the moped by the specified date, you will not receive any more renewal registration notifications for the following years.
If you don’t register your moped on time
Forgetting about the annual registration might have some serious consequences. The registered owner of the moped might get a citation or it could lead to the seizure of the vehicle by law enforcement if it’s driven on public roads. If the due date for registering the moped has passed, you can have it registered without any additional fees if the moped has not been seized.