If you ride a moped in Virginia, you will need to be aware of new rules that went into effect today, or risk facing a heavy fine.
The Virginia General Assembly brought in legislation last summer that requires moped and scooter riders to register their vehicles with the Department of Motor Vehicles, to carry a government-issued photo ID (not necessarily a driver’s license), and to wear a helmet. For mopeds that lack windshields, riders also have to wear eye protection.
These are important new rules – particularly those related to helmets and eye protection. Motorcyclists are the most vulnerable of road users and there has been a spate of serious accidents in Hampton Roads in recent weeks. Moped riders can be even more vulnerable on fast-moving highways than motorcyclists.
We welcome more regulation to make mopeds safer for drivers but know moped riders won’t be happy with one aspect – a steep registration fee on certain mopeds. Among new fees in the state’s omnibus transportation bill (HB2313) is a $100 registration surcharge on alternative vehicles such as hybrids, of which there are as many as 91,800 registered in Virginia.
Mopeds with electric motors would be classified as state-registered vehicles under the revised law, hitting riders with a $100 fee. Additionally, combustion-engine mopeds that run on fuel would face a $14 state fee.
WAVY.com reported on how mopeds that have been registered and titled will be issued a license plate for the back of the vehicle. There is an annual cost for registration and getting a title has a one-time cost.
Not registering a moped is now a class two misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and six months in prison, according to Virginia DMV.
For further information about what documents you’ll need to register your moped in Virginia, visit the DMV’s website.
Our attorneys have noted many accidents in Hampton Roads involving mopeds including a number on Mercury Boulevard in Hampton. We recognize the rights of motorcyclists to be given space and safe conditions in cities such as Norfolk, Hampton, and Virginia Beach, as well as their right to sue drivers who hit them.
Call Cooper Hurley at 757.997.6254 for a free consultation if you have been hurt in an auto accident.