Are you not sure whether a particular scooter is a moped or a mototrcycle?
Here are the general rules (that vary from detail to detail depending on the state):
- Over 50cc = Motorcycle
- Under 50cc = Moped
- Pedals = Moped
- Manual Transmission = Motorcycle
- Produces less than 1.5 bhp (in some states up to 3.5 bhp) = Moped
- Goes faster than 30 mph = Motorcycle
- 30 mph top speed = Moped
Do you need a special license? Well that varies from state to state. New York, Ohio, and D.C. license all drivers and riders. In Virginia and South Dakota mopeds can be used as drunk mobiles, ideal for people who have had their licenses revoked.
Do you need title & registration? Again that varies from state to state, D.C. & Delaware title and register every vehicle. Some states don't title but don't register mopeds. Some states register, but don't title mopeds. Some states do neither, and still other don't require title for vehicle over a certain age.
Do you need a helmet? As a general rule moped riders do not need helmets, even in states that require them for motorcyclists. But there are always exceptions like D.C. that require helmets for everyone.
Do you need a insurance? As a general rule moped riders do not need insurance, even in states that require it for cars and motorcycles. However there are always exceptions like D.C. that require insurance for all vehicles. Good luck on finding a company in D.C. that will actually insure a moped though.