North Carolina Moped and Electric Scooter Laws 2024 Explained

Mopeds and electric scooters have become very popular throughout the United States, and each state has different laws pertaining to these vehicles. If you plan to use any such vehicle, it is vital to know the North Carolina moped and electric scooter laws that apply to your specific vehicle. Failure to do so could lead to legal penalties, including expensive fines, and you could be missing valuable coverage in the event of an accident.

Moped and Electric Scooter Laws You Should Know

Christina Rivenbark & Associates routinely provides legal counsel to victims of all types of vehicle accidents in the state. Many of our clients have difficult legal questions they cannot answer alone, and many are unaware of the extent of their legal options after experiencing unexpected accidents. When it comes to mopeds and scooters, it is important to know how these vehicles are classified in the event that an accident occurs.

North Carolina law classifies a moped as any two- or three-wheeled vehicle that cannot exceed 30 miles per hour and has an engine no larger than 50cc. If the vehicle exceeds these limits it legally qualifies as a motorcycle and must be registered and insured as such. State law also requires a moped to be registered in a similar manner to a motorcycle, and the operator must have auto insurance that complies with the state’s minimum coverage requirements.

When it comes to electric scooters, the state applies the same rules as those that apply to mopeds. These devices are only allowed to be operated on roads with speed limits lower than 25 mph, and riders must be at least 16 years old and wear an appropriate helmet. Electric scooters should not be ridden in heavy traffic, and local ordinances will dictate whether they can be operated on sidewalks.

After a Moped or Scooter Accident

If you or a loved one is injured in a moped or electric scooter accident, the same fundamental legal principles would apply to your case as would apply to any other vehicle accident. If another party is at fault for the accident, you must prove fault before you can recover any compensation for your damages with an auto insurance claim and/or personal injury suit.

It is also vital to understand North Carolina’s contributory negligence law along with its moped and electric scooter laws. If you violate the laws that apply to mopeds or scooters, such as riding one on the road without a helmet or where the speed limit is too high, it could count as contributory negligence and bar you from recovering compensation from any other liable party.

If you have any concerns about your recent moped or electric scooter accident, it is important that you consult an attorney as quickly as you can after receiving medical treatment for your injuries. You have a relatively short time in which to pursue your recovery, and failure to meet the procedural requirements of your case could mean losing your chance to recover compensation from the defendant who caused your injury.


Q: Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Road?

A: You can only ride an electric scooter on the road in the state under certain conditions. First, you will need to determine whether it classifies as a moped under state law based on engine size and top speed or if it is legally a motorcycle. You must follow applicable laws in either case. When it comes to riding on the road, you can only do so if it does not impede the flow of traffic. This means you should only ride on roads with speed limits lower than the scooter’s top speed.

Q: Do You Need a License to Ride a Moped?

A: A driver’s license is not required to ride a moped in the state. However, you must ensure that your device meets the legal definition of a moped based on top speed and engine size. If the top speed is greater than what is allowed for a moped, or if the engine size is large enough, it may legally qualify as a motorcycle. If it does, the rider needs to have a driver’s license and appropriate insurance coverage.

Q: Can I Sue for an Accident on a Scooter or Moped?

A: You may be able to sue for an accident on a scooter or moped if you are able to prove that another party directly caused the accident. The state follows the fault rule for all vehicle accidents, meaning the injured party must prove fault before they can recover compensation for their damages. The at-fault party is then liable for all resulting damages. Recovery may require an auto insurance claim and/or personal injury suit.

Q: What Insurance Is Required for a Moped?

A: North Carolina requires insurance for a moped that meets basic coverage requirements. The policy must provide at least $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person injured in an accident, $60,000 for bodily injury to more than one person injured in a single accident, and at least $25,000 to cover property damage. Covered drivers are typically able to purchase additional coverage at their discretion.

Q: Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Moped Accident Claim?

A: Filing a moped accident claim will be easier and more likely to succeed if you hire a lawyer. Your legal team can help you prove fault for the accident and hold the at-fault party accountable for the harm they have caused. They can assist you with gathering evidence and witness testimony to support your claim, and they can uncover all the various channels of compensation you can explore to enhance your case award as much as possible.

The team at Christina Rivenbark & Associates has years of experience representing clients injured from all types of vehicle accidents, including moped and scooter accidents. If you have experienced such an incident and need help recovering your damages, we are ready to assist you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about the legal services we provide.

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