The Ocean City Police Department in a joint effort with the Maryland State Police, Berlin Barrack are advising all Ocean City businesses and citizens that beginning October 1, 2012, the State of Maryland will be changing the laws governing vehicles classified as a motor scooter and/or moped. These new laws will directly impact ALL Ocean City scooter rental and retail sale operators as well as privately citizens who own and operate these types of vehicles.
To better help both rental and private owners and operators understand the upcoming changes the following information is being provided to you:
A moped is a bicycle that meets the following requirements:
- Is designed to be propelled by human power with some assistance from a motor;
- Is equipped with pedals that mechanically drive the rear wheel or wheels;
- Has two or three wheels, of which are more than 14 inches in diameter; and
- Has a motor with a rating of 1.5 brake horsepower or less, and, if the motor is an internal combustion engine, a capacity of 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement or less.
- Mopeds are also not allowed to be operated at a speed greater than 30 MPH on public roads.
Motor Scooter Definition
A motor scooter is a type of non-pedaled vehicle that meets the following standards:
- Has a seat for the operator
- Has a step-through chassis
- Is equipped with an automatic transmission.
- Has a motor with a rating of 2.7 brake horsepower or less, and if the motor is an internal combustion engine, with a capacity of 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement or less.
- A motor scooter is not allowed to exceed the speed of 30 MPH on public roadways.
- A scooter is a two-wheeled vehicle that has handlebars and is designed to be stood on by the operator. These devices cannot be legally operated on public roadways or sidewalks.
Moped/Motor Scooter Licensing
- To operate a moped/motor scooter in Maryland, riders must have a valid driver’s license from which ever state that they live in, or a valid Maryland moped operator’s permit issued by the Maryland MVA.
Moped/Motor Scooter Traffic Laws
- Mopeds/Motor Scooters may not be operated at speed greater than 30 mph.
- Mopeds/Motor Scooters cannot be operated on roadways that have a speed limit greater than 50 mph.
- Where there is a bike lane paved to a smooth surface or a shoulder paved to a smooth surface, a person operating a bicycle, moped or a motor scooter shall use the bike lane or shoulder and may not ride on the roadway, except for common traffic procedures, which include:
- Overtaking and passing another bicycle, motor scooter, pedestrian, or other vehicle within the bike lane or shoulder if the overtaking and passing cannot be done safely within the bike lane or shoulder;
- Preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway;
- When reasonably necessary to leave the bike lane or shoulder to avoid debris or other hazardous condition;
- When reasonably necessary to leave the bike lane or shoulder because the bike lane or shoulder is overlaid with a right turn lane, merge lane, or other marking that breaks the continuity of the bike lane or shoulder.
- Gas and electric motorized toy scooters cannot be operated on sidewalks.
- A person may not operate a bicycle, moped or motor scooter on any highway or roadway while the person is wearing any headset covering both ears.
NEW LEGISLATION (EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2012)
Mopeds and Motor Scooters, as defined by law, are required:
- Display a registration decal issued by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA)
- The operator shall have in their possession proof of insurance
Additionally, an individual who rides or operates a moped or motor scooter must wear protective headgear that meets specific federal standards (DOT). If the vehicle does not have a windscreen, eye-protection must also be worn.
Further clarification by the Motor Vehicle Administration indicates all mopeds and motor scooters are to be titled electronically and be issued a permanent decal to place on the rear of the motor scooter. The cost for the decal will be $5. For the first year, (until October 1, 2013) non-new motor scooters and mopeds will be exempt from the titling fee and excise tax. After October 1, 2013, the motor scooter and moped title fee will be $20 and the minimum excise tax will be 6% of $320. Individuals will have to certify at the time of titling that they carry the minimum levels of liability insurance for the motor scooter / moped. Operators of motor scooters and mopeds will be required to wear motorcycle helmets and eye protection and carry an insurance card.
The Ocean City Police Department will be enforcing these new laws beginning October 1, 2012.
If you have any question, please contact the Ocean City Police Departments Public Affairs Office at:410-723-6665.