A moped, or motorized pedal cycle, is a lightweight vehicle that operates on low power. It is a popular way to get around Kansas City for those who want to save on gas but wish for an alternative to motorcycles, bicycles, or walking. Before you mount your moped, however, you must make sure you’re obeying all applicable rules in your state. That way, you can get around safely and within the confines of the law.

If you were recently injured while traveling on a moped, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact our Kansas City bicycle accident law firm to learn more.

Here are the moped license laws in Missouri.

Do I Need a License for a Moped in Missouri? | Kansas City Bicycle Accident Lawyer

What Qualifies as a Moped?

First, find out if what you’re riding is actually a moped in the eyes of the law. In Missouri, a moped has two or three wheels, less than three brake horsepower, an automatic transmission, an engine capacity of up to 50 cc, and a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour. If your moped doesn’t meet these standards, it may either be a scooter or a motorcycle and subject to different laws.

If it does meet these standards, you will have to take a few steps before you can lawfully operate it on public roads in Kansas City. If you live in Missouri, you won’t need to register your moped. You can skip registering your moped and go straight to licensure requirements.

Moped License Laws in Kansas City

You need a standard driver’s license in Missouri to operate a moped. If you already have a valid driver’s license, you can operate your moped in Kansas City without needing a special motorcycle license. Otherwise, you will need to pass the requirements for obtaining a driver’s license, including the age minimum, written test, and driving test. If your cycle exceeds the criteria of a moped in either state, odds are you have a motorcycle and will need a special Class M license to lawfully operate the vehicle in Kansas City.

Other Moped Laws to Know

You do not need vehicle insurance to operate a moped in Kansas City. You may operate your moped without acquiring the minimum amounts of liability coverage. You cannot ride a moped on sidewalks in Kansas City. Instead, stick to bicycle lanes where available or the street where there are no bicycle lanes. You cannot ride a moped on the interstate or highways in Missouri. As a moped operator, you must obey all traffic rules and regulations in Missouri as you would with a typical motor vehicle. This includes:

  • Driving in the same direction as traffic
  • Keeping a safe following and passing distance
  • Stopping at all traffic lights and stop signs
  • Yielding the right-of-way
  • Signaling your intent to turn
  • Having proper headlight, brake and turn lights
  • Properly maintaining your vehicle

In Missouri, you do not have to wear a helmet while operating a moped. Note, however, that helmets are mandatory if you operate a motorcycle under the age of 18. Wearing a helmet, however, can greatly decrease your risk of a serious head or brain injury in the event of a collision. Experts recommend wearing helmets and other protective gear on a moped, keeping your actions predictable, and obeying the rules of the road to keep yourself as safe as possible on a moped in Missouri.

What if You Get Into an Accident?

A vehicle-moped collision will almost always inflict more harm on the person riding the moped. You could suffer broken bones, lacerations, road rash, a brain injury, or a spinal cord injury because of a driver’s negligence or inattention. After a collision, contact a lawyer for advice. You may be able to recover financial damages through an insurance and/or personal injury claim in Missouri. A lawyer can help strengthen your case against an at-fault driver.

Ryan Fowler
Helping Kansas City area medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and personal injury clients.