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What is a moped?

To qualify as a moped, a vehicle:

  • Must have 2–3 wheels.
  • Must have an electric or liquid fuel motor with a cylinder displacement of less than 50 cc, and no more than 2 brake horsepower.
  • Can't travel faster than 30 miles per hour.
  • and
  • Must meet all the federal standards for a motor-driven cycle.


You don't need a motorcycle endorsement or auto insurance to ride a moped. However, to legally operate a moped in Washington:

  • You must have a valid driver license.
  • You must register the moped and display a valid license plate.
  • You and your passengers must wear USDOT-approved helmets.
  • You must wear eye protection if your moped doesn't have a windshield.
  • You can't ride the moped on a sidewalk, bicycle path, equestrian trail, hiking/recreational trail, or fully-controlled limited access highway.

Related laws

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