Effective October 1, 2012, if you own or operate a moped or motor scooter, there are new laws you should be aware of.
1. Mopeds and motor scooters must be titled through the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and the MVA-issued decal must be displayed on the vehicle at all times.
2. Moped and motor scooter owners must obtain and maintain liability insurance and uninsured motorists insurance coverage. Maryland law requires policy limits of $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 bodily injury per accident; and $15,000 for property damage for both liability and uninsured motorists coverage. In addition, operators must carry evidence of insurance when operating the vehicle. This evidence of insurance would be a current insurance card. The insurance card should include the owner’s name, policy number, and vehicle information.
3. Moped and motor scooter operators must wear MVA-approved helmets, and if the moped and motor scooter does not have a windscreen, wear protective eyewear approved by the MVA.
According to the Maryland Transportation Code Ann. § 11-134.1 (2011), moped means a bicycle that: (1) is designed to be operated by human power with the assistance of a motor; (2) is equipped with pedals that mechanically drive the rear wheel or wheels; (3) has two or three wheels, of which one is more than 14 inches in diameter; and (4) has a motor with a rating of 1.5 brake horsepower or less and, if the motor is an internal combustion, a capacity of 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement or less.
According to the Maryland Transportation Code Ann. § 11-134.5 (2011), motor scooter means a nonpedal vehicle that is not manufactured for off-road use and: (1) has a seat for the operator; (2) has two wheels, of which one is 10 inches or more in diameter; (3) has a step-through chassis; (4) has a motor: (i) with a rating of 2.7 brake horsepower or less; or (ii) if the motor is an internal combustion engine, with a capacity of 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement or less; and (5) is equipped with an automatic transmission.