New moped laws enforced in South Carolina as mopeds become popular means of travel

January 27, 2019

A new law in South Carolina has moped drivers considering more regulations when they hit the roads.

Beginning on Nov. 19, 2018, a new law came into effect making it so mopeds in the state of South Carolina must be registered and have a license plate, according to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles website.

This new law was passed in order to help curb deadly moped-related accidents, which records show have steadily become worse over the years as more people have started driving mopeds as a means of transportation.

“A lot of young people have started riding mopeds opposed to a vehicle,” said Lt. Jake Mahoney, with the Aiken Department of Public Safety. “This is most likely become a trend as a mopeds save money on gas, and it is a much cheaper option compared with buying a car.”

For years, mopeds were basically a loophole for drivers, as there were few laws for police to enforce on moped drivers in South Carolina until this past year.

“Law enforcement has started seeing more mopeds on the roadways, which also means they have started seeing more moped accidents,” Mahoney said. “These laws pretty much became necessary.”

Now, in order for someone to get a moped license, they must be at least 15 years old, officials said.

It is optional to title a moped, drivers do not have to carry insurance and moped owners do not owe property taxes to the county in which they reside to register their moped, according to the SCDMV.

The law will just require all mopeds be registered with the state DMV, which will cost the moped owner $10 every two years. It also requires drivers get a license plate for their moped, and anyone under the age of 21 driving or riding a moped must wear a helmet.

Local law enforcement also reminds moped drivers they are subject to the laws of the road, which means they can be cited for traffic violations just like any other driver on the road – this includes being arrested for driving under the influence.

For more information on the new moped laws in South Carolina, visit scdmvonline.com/Driver-Services/Moped-License or dmv.org/sc-south-carolina/other-types.php.

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