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Moped Rules in California

Here is what constitutes a moped in California
1. Two-wheel or three-wheel device
2. Fully operative pedals for human power or powered solely by electrical energy
3. Automatic transmission and a motor with less than 2 gross brake horsepower
4. Maximum speed of 30 miles per hour on ground level

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Click here for the moped rules in all 50 states.

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Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 13:58:53 -0000
From: "nycewheelskim" <kim@nycewheels.com>
Subject: Re: Dear Cali Moped Riding Residents (or anyone who is in the know):

I went ahead and did some digging on my own because I have a client that needed exact info before he'd buy.

Here is what we found -

The Lepton [and other motorscooters with a maximum speed of 30mph, e.g. the Voloci] is considered a motorized bicycle in California (though it has no pedals, it is 100% electric which that allows it to be a "motorized bicycle" or "moped") - see

It should be registered as such, here is the form

You will need a class a, b or c drivers license with an M1 or M2 endorsement to operate the Lepton - see

To get an M1 or M2 endorsement you will need to go down to DMV and apply for it, pass a written and driving test *OR* bring a certificate from an approved motorcycle school. See -

I spoke to a pleasant lady at the DMV and she said all you need to do is bring your driver license, bill of sale, title and the completed application form to DMV and they will issue you a registration card and plates. [Editor's Note: The $6 fee for license plates is a one-time expense for as long as you own the scooter.]



Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 17:20:32 -0700
From: "Ken Trough" <ken@digd.com>
Subject: RE: Voloci classification in PA

Everyone is so concerned about the letter of the law...

NEWFLASH EVERYONE: The law is reactive in nature, and these products are new. You cannot expect the law to recognize them so quickly. Only a handful of states have ANY definition of these on the books so far.

If you want to wait until these products are fully defined and refined under the law, don't bother riding near any PEV for the next 3-5 years in most locations. On the other hand, you can apply logic and common sense, and realize that these products will be heavily PROMOTED by the government in the coming years. We are just ahead of the curve. It is our duty, in my opinion, to RIDE THESE THINGS EVERYWHERE, so that the products survive and more people can be exposed to them. They truly make our living spaces more tolerable.

As far as the Voloci, it's going to be perceived as a bicycle, plain and simple. Just ride it and love it. The cops are not going to hassle you unless you are pissing people off. It looks like a bicycle, it is silent, and it doesn't smoke or stink.

Just don't go tearing down the jogging path at 30mph and you should be fine.

-KT Roughneck, Outlaw Turbologist
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