New VA Moped and Motorcycle Laws

June 28, 2013 – 12:43 pm

Motorcycle

Mopeds

Beginning July 1, 2013, Virginia law requires every moped driver to carry a government-issued photo ID (does not have to be a driver’s license but ideally will show name, address and date of birth) and every driver and passenger must wear a helmet while riding a moped. Drivers must also wear a face shield, safety glasses or goggles unless the moped has a windshield.

Virginia law also requires mopeds operated on Virginia roadways to be titled and registered by July 1, 2014, but moped owners can jump start the process this summer. DMV will begin titling and registering mopeds on July 1, 2013. A moped title is $10. The annual registration fee is $20.25. DMV will issue one license plate to be displayed on the rear of the moped.

These requirements address the law enforcement community’s concerns that under current law, the lack of any identifying information on a moped makes them nearly impossible to recover after theft and complicates identification of the vehicle and operator in the event of a crash. While studying this issue, one of your fellow officers recounted a situation where it took a few days to identify a victim who had died in a moped crash because there was no identifying information on the victim or moped.

Requiring titling and registration of mopeds will allow you to better track mopeds that are stolen and/or used in the commission of crimes and allow you to more effectively deal with moped crashes.

Motorcycles

The Virginia General Assembly approved a measure that changes motorcycle classifications on new applicants’ driver’s licenses. The new motorcycle classifications will specify if new riders can operate two-wheeled or three-wheeled motorcycles.

With the popularity of three-wheeled motorcycles on the rise, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is changing how motorcycle road skills tests are administered for two-wheeled and three-wheeled motorcycles, emphasizing the skills and maneuvers necessary to operate each type.

Starting July 1, 2013, riders applying for a motorcycle classification on a driver’s license will be required to certify the type of motorcycles they operate. The appropriate classification will be marked on the driver’s license. Riders who successfully complete the road skills test for two-wheeled motorcycles will receive an M2 classification. Riders who successfully complete the road skills test for three-wheeled motorcycles will receive an M3 classification. Riders who successfully complete the road skills tests for both two-wheeled and three-wheeled motorcycles will receive an M classification.

Experienced riders that received a motorcycle classification prior to July 1, 2013 will not be required to make any changes.

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