Michigan moped laws outline the specific requirements that operators must meet to drive legally in the state. While riders are granted the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers, moped operators are subject to different rules regarding insurance, helmet use, and driving in various traffic situations. Understanding these rules is essential so that riders know what to do if they’re involved in a moped collision.
What are Mopeds?
Also called motorized bikes, Michigan law defines mopeds as vehicles with:
- Two or three wheels
- An engine that does not exceed 100 cubic centimeters piston displacement
- No gearshift
- A top speed of no more than 30 miles per hour
Your moped must meet these specifications. Anything else must be registered as a motorcycle in Michigan, and different laws apply to motorcycles.
What You Need to Ride a Moped in Michigan
Driving a moped legally in Michigan requires:
- Registration with the Secretary of State’s Office unless the moped is only going to be ridden on private property
- A valid driver’s license or moped license
- Passing a vision, knowledge, and traffic signs test (no driver’s education required)
You must be at least 15-years old to obtain a moped license. A parent or legal guardian’s permission must be signed on the application if you are under 18.
In general, moped operators are expected to follow the same rules of the road as other drivers. For instance, you are entitled to the full use of a lane. You also must obey all traffic signs and signals.
However, important driving rules apply to moped riders that differ from other drivers. To ride a moped in Michigan, you must:
- Always ride on the right side of the road, as far away from traffic as possible. Riding on the left side is allowed when:
- You need to pass another vehicle, turn left, or when the road conditions make it unsafe to stay to the right (e.g., if road debris or fixed objects block the path).
- You’re at an intersection where traffic is turning right, and you intend to go straight through it.
- You’re on a one-way street. In that case, ride as far left as practicable.
- Ride no more than two abreast (side-by-side), except in areas specifically designated for mopeds.
- Stay off sidewalks meant for pedestrian use.
- Avoid “towing” by hanging on to other vehicles. Your hands must be on the handlebars at all times.
- All moped operators under 19 must wear a Department of Transportation-approved, properly fastened helmet.
In addition, the moped must be equipped for safety. It needs:
- Front and rear lights
- Side and rearview mirrors
- A muffler
- A horn
Is Moped Insurance Required?
Mopeds are not considered motor vehicles in Michigan, so the state’s no-fault auto insurance laws do not apply. But there’s good reason to consider purchasing it.
A moped is one of the smallest types of vehicles on the road. That means you’re less visible to other drivers and at risk of potentially catastrophic injuries if a moped accident occurs. Without insurance and depending on the circumstances of the crash, you may be left with significant out-of-pocket expenses unless you’ve gotten insurance on your own.
Get Help from a Michigan Moped Accident Lawyer
At Christensen Law, our mission is to help injured Michiganders get their lives back after a serious accident. If you’ve been hurt in a moped wreck, learn about your legal options in a free consultation with our accomplished moped accident lawyers. Call or contact us today.