Tag-Free Scootering?

My dear DC mopedists, being the vocal group that you are, always in quick defense of scooters city-wide, I have a question for you:

Why is this moped without a license plate?

It is a motor vehicle, right? You are required to have a driver’s license to operate it, correct? Then where is the license plate to uniquely identify it and record its proper registration with the organs of Government?

Has DC DMV reached a new dysfunctional low and not produced plates for wanna-be motorcycles? Or does the DC Council not care to require tags for this petroleum-powered human transporter? Inquiring minds wanna know

6 Comments so far

  1. rob (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

    wayne, you really just can’t get over your beef with scooters parking on sidewalks, can you? and note i said “scooters,” whereas you refer to the subject in the pic as a “moped.” “mopeds” have pedals and resemble a bike.

    i’ll just refer you to my previous responses on this subject vice re-typing the same thing…again.



  2. Rob (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 2:25 pm

    here, i’ll save you the time:


    also, i created a google map depicting stolen scooters in the dc metro area. bear in mind, these are only ones i’ve been able to get info. on – there are likely 10 times the amount depicted:


    yes, tags are required however with rampant theft and no means of securing them in normal parking spaces, sidewalks are one of the few alternatives.

    you should buy a scooter ; )

  3. wayan (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 3:50 pm

    While we can agree to disagree on scooters on sidewalks, or if they are called mopeds or scooters, the DC rules are clear:

    DC residents must have a valid motorcycle endorsement to operate motorcycles.
    DC law provides that a motorcycle is a 2 or 3 wheeled motor vehicle that has one or more of the following characteristics:
    * Piston displacement of more than fifty (50) cubic centimeters
    * Capable of traveling over 35 miles per hour on level ground
    * More than one and one-half (1.5) brake horsepower (S.A.E. rating)
    * Wheels under 16 inches in diameter
    * Manual transmission

    Note: If your 2 or 3 wheeled motor vehicle has none of the above 5 characteristics, it falls under the definition of motorized bicycle and may be operated by a person holding a provisional operator’s permit or a driver’s license (provided the vehicle passes inspection, is registered, and is insured).

    So does this thing meet any of those tests? If so, then it should have a tag.

  4. wayan (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 4:05 pm

    If it doesn’t meet the requirements above, according to this unofficial website http://www.truxtoncircle.org/dispatch.php?view=read&date=4/20/2005 “motorized bicycles” are more of a free for all:

    Enforcement of Moped Regulations
    The District of Columbia Motorized Bicycle Act, DC Law 1-110 defines a “Motorized Bicycle” (moped) as a motor vehicle with: a) two or three wheels; b) a seat; c) an automatic transmission; and d) an engine no larger than 50 cc capable of producing no more than 1.5 horsepower or a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour.

    Mopeds operated within the District of Columbia are considered motor vehicles, and as such, fall within the scope of the District of the DC Law. The term “motor vehicle” shall not include electric personal assistive mobility devices and battery-operated wheelchairs when operated by a handicapped person at speeds not exceeding 10 miles per hour.

    The following rules apply to mopeds operating in the District of Columbia.
    1) no helmet is required
    b) no insurance is required
    c) a moped may be parked like a bicycle
    d) operators must obey all motor vehicle rules
    e) operator must be at least 16 years of age
    f) mopeds may not be operated on any sidewalk, off-street bike path or bike route unless motor vehicle are allowed
    g) moped may be operated on any part of a roadway designated for the use of bicycles
    h) all mopeds registered in the District must be inspected once every three years, rental mopeds must be inspected annually

    Any individual operating an unregistered moped in DC that is required to be registered shall be cited for “Using or Permitting Use of Unregistered Vehicle.” The operator shall be allowed to proceed, but the moped shall not be allowed to be operated.

  5. rob (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2006 @ 12:12 am

    Never argued the point that scooters and mopeds require tags. Yes, parking on sidewalks is technically illegal, however, as indicated prior, there is a reason they are…and without a tag, it makes issuing a ticket difficult. ; )

  6. rob (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2006 @ 12:13 am

    P.S. Also note where the tag is supposed to be. Those white rectangles are velcro. Ergo, the scooter indeed does have a tag when it is being operated, and is removed when parked for aforementioned reason.

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