Moped Laws: Brazil

In Brazil, until 2015, the legislation of many Brazilian municipalities allowed the free circulation of moped vehicles with a cylinder capacity of up to 50 cubic centimeters. Therefore, it was common to see vehicles and motorized bicycles with the license plate “49cc”, which fit the definition of “mopeds” according to the National Traffic Code (CTB, Código de Trânsito Brasileiro)

Example of "49cc" license plates used in Brazilian mopeds.

This was changed by Law No. 13,154 of 2015, which now treats mopeds with the same legal responsibilities as a motorcycle. From then on, the driver of a moped must have a type A National Driver's License (CNH, Carteira Nacional de Habilitação), for motorcycles, or an Authorization to Drive Mopeds (ACC, Autorização para Conduzir Ciclomotor). In addition, the vehicle must be licensed and have the documentation up to date.

ACC is a specific authorization for driving mopeds, the driver who wants to be qualified must go to a Driver Training Center (CFC, Centro de Formação de Condutores) in his municipality, pay the fees, take classes and take theoretical, psychological and practical tests in the State Department of Traffic (Detran, Departamento de Trânsito).

Definition of "Moped" in Brazil

According to Resolution No. 842 of the National Traffic Council (Contran, Conselho Nacional de Trânsito) of 2021, any two- or three-wheel vehicle, equipped with an internal combustion engine, whose cylinder capacity does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters, falls into the category of moped. In addition, vehicles equipped with an electric propulsion engine, which develop a maximum power of 4 kW (kilowatts) and a maximum manufacturing speed of up to 50 Km/h (30 mph).

In the case of electric bicycles, according to Contran Resolution nº 465, of 2013, models that have a power greater than 350 Watts or that have an accelerator or manual variation of power are already considered as moped vehicles and require authorization.

Another Contran resolution, nº 842, of 2021, also deals with self-propelled personal mobility equipment, such as scooters, which are excluded from the requirements for driving licenses and protective equipment, but their circulation is exclusive to pedestrian circulation areas, bike paths and cycle lanes.

Rules for Circulation

As it is a low-speed vehicle, mopeds must travel in the right lane and preferably in the center of the lane. Since the speed limit for mopeds is 50 Km/h and Brazilian legislation does not allow vehicles to travel at a speed lower than half the speed limit, mopeds are prohibited from traveling on highways with a limit of 100 Km/h (60 mph).