Bill would require license for mopeds in NC

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Submitted: Wed, 04/10/2013 - 9:39pm
Updated: Wed, 04/10/2013 - 9:51pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Mopeds are a popular and efficient way for many drivers to get from point A to point B. But a proposed bill in the North Carolina House of Representatives could reduce the number of moped drivers on the streets.

Michael Gary Clark, the owner of Madd Mike’s Scooter and Cycle says that in the average month he sells between 10 and 25 scooters, a proposal that would now require every moped owner to have a driver license has Madd Mike all revved up, because it could keep some of these scooters parked in his lot.

“I think everybody should be responsible for their own actions whether you buy a bicycle or a skateboard or whatever,” Clark said. “I really think that they just can’t demand it all of a sudden and just and take everybody as a group and make them pay.”

Rep. Phil Shepard of Jacksonville says he understands many people depend on scooters as a primary mode of transportation, but he feels they need to follow the same rules of the road as everybody else.

Currently anyone over the age of 16 can drive a moped, but Shepard wants them to pay for license and registration as well as insurance.

Local law enforcement says they’re all for it.

“Should they carry insurance? It seems like the right thing to do, but I don’t make the law,” Sgt. Mike Donelson of the Wilmington Police Department’s Traffic Unit said. “Should they be registered? Right now mopeds don’t have to have any registration therefore they don’t have any tags on the back on them to identify who is riding the moped or who should be riding the moped that would be another thing that would be nice if that were the case but it isn’t right now.”

Sgt. Donelson says by registering mopeds it could also assist investigators in tracking stolen scooters.


  • Glen says:

    it’s got to have a title to be insured. Now the lawmakers have to go back to the drawing board to get a title for these 50cc scooters because the biggest part of them only have a bill of sale. So NC will be the only state that has 50cc scooters with a title. I don’t think the manufactors will confirm. Just register it and have a moped tag. How many thousands are on the road that don’t even have a bill of sale but they can stop that just by registering it and putting it in the DMV’s data base but they want to hurt the vendors who sell them too. There is statue’s against that.

  • damien says:


    The term “travel” is a significant term and is defined as:
    “The term `travel’ and `traveler’ are usually construed in their broad and general sense…so as to include all those who rightfully use the highways viatically (when being reimbursed for expenses) and who have occasion to pass over them for the purpose of business, convenience, or pleasure.” [emphasis added] 25 Am.Jur. (1st) Highways, Sect.427, p.717.

    “Traveler — One who passes from place to place, whether for pleasure, instruction, business, or health.” Locket vs. State, 47 Ala. 45; Bovier’s Law Dictionary, 1914 ed., p. 3309.

    “Travel — To journey or to pass through or over; as a country district, road, etc. To go from one place to another, whether on foot, or horseback, or in any conveyance as a train, an automobile, carriage, ship, or aircraft; Make a journey.” Century Dictionary, p.2034.

    Therefore, the term “travel” or “traveler” refers to one who uses a conveyance to go from one place to another, and included all those who use the highways as a matter of Right.

    Notice that in all these definitions the phrase “for hire” never occurs. This term “travel” or “traveler” implies, by definition, one who uses the road as a means to move from one place to another.

    Therefore, one who uses the road in the ordinary course of life and business for the purpose of travel and transportation is a traveler.

  • John R says:

    I plan to retire in eastern NC and like the policy of defining some category of light mobility for very inexpensive transport. The wear and tear on the road is minimal and covered by gas tax. Individual insurance for vehicles that small would be disproportionately administrative expense. I would propose a license so anyone stopped for a violation would have a valid i.d. to present and it would count negatively against that individual. Figure the historic risk of liability posed by mopeds and spread that risk over the drivers as part of the license fee. An individuals fee would be a base cost of say $50 and require passing a basic road rules computer test. The renewal fee could go up steeply if negative points or an accident are on your record. Enforce the rules for speed etc. First offense gets a fine, second offense within a couple years or no i.d. license gets your bike impounded. That should give incentive to drive safely and follow the rules while providing a fund for the liability claims from denting a car or hitting a pedestrian. The idea of pooling risk in a government fund is sort of like some of the hurricane or flood programs for homeowners. Currently I drive a full size motorcycle but can remember being young poor and mobility limited.

  • William says:

    Mopeds use less gas and produce less emissions than car’s and truck’s do.

  • William says:

    So your for the state going into the vehicle insurance business?

  • Carphobic says:

    The whole point of getting a moped to me is that you don’t need a license. In getting a Motorcycle you have to first have a driver’s license and then get a motorcycle endorsement but with a moped you don’t need any license. It makes it easier for those who aren’t good at driving cars to still get around. It is possible not to be able to drive a car but to be able to drive a two wheel vehicle I should know I’ve driven a motorcycle, a scooter and a moped but I’m not good at driving cars. The only reason I can get anywhere is because I have a moped that doesn’t require me having a license now for insurance sure I think everyone should have insurance and registration but a license no thank you.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Bicycles are ridden on the road as well. Should we require a license to ride a bike? The reason that drunk drivers are allowed to drive mopeds is because they are less likely to kill someone by being on a moped rather than behind the wheel of a car. If we take away their mopeds then how are they supposed to turn their lives around if they can’t get to their jobs?

  • Guest of the Week says:

    You want to know how they can get to work without a moped? On a bicycle. Or the bus. Yes… we have a public transit system.

  • kevin sullivan says:

    I appreciate your points given in this matter. I am 52 years old and drive a moped to and from work and around town. I have a valid drivers license with an excellent driving record. I have two trucks, an Expedition and two motorcycles. I drive the moped because it is easier on my legs than climbing in and out of a vehicle. I just get on and go. It also costs me from $10 to $15 dollars in gas a day with one of my other vehicles. The moped makes it around $5 a week. People that say moped riders should have to ride public transportation should be made to ride public transportation themselves and watch how quick they would shut up about it. Most people think that their way is the only or best way to do things and don’t like anything different. In my book this makes them a narrow minded idiot. It all boils down to the fact that you should be responsible when you drive or ride whatever it is that you have on the road. Narrow minded idiots should check on how many deaths have occured from vehicles with 4 wheels against how many deaths have occured from mopeds.

  • Guest9743 says:

    You left out one method of getting to and from wherever they need to go….they can walk!!!

  • OpalesceNyx says:

    Actually, YOU might have a public transit system, but not all localities do. We live in a very rural area and ours doesn’t. Along with that assumption, many of the people who posted on this forum need to stop making the assumption that everyone who uses a scooter has had their driving privileges revoked or suspended, for whatever reason. I have a 19 year old who had an aneurysm when she was 12. She was left with a loss in peripheral field that precludes her from getting a driver’s license. In no way has her field loss impaired her ability to walk down a street, ride a bike, play ball, obtain gainful full-time employment as an electrician’s apprentice, enroll and attend college, etc. Are you seriously suggesting she just thrown her hands up in the air, consider herself completely disabled, and sponge off the government and taxpayers for the rest of her life instead of being a useful, functioning member of society? I guess, in your narrow minded way of thinking, she should just leave for work a day early or start walking to work two days ahead of schedule so she can make the 42 mile trip and still be on time. Or better yet, stop assuming the roads are strictly for your use. And for the record … 80-100 mpg for gas … in today’s economy … sounds like the moped/scooter riders have been using more of their noodles than we have. I’m already tempted to join them on the road.

  • Guest2020 says:

    I don’t think that requiring liability insurance is unreasonable. I am on the fence about registration, but I don’t think they should require a license. For some people a moped is their only method of transportation, especially in the rural areas where a public transportation is not an option.

  • Austin B. says:

    By making people register their mopeds and paying insurance, you kill the purpose and reason for mopeds and the market of mopeds in North Carolina. Some citizens can not afford the rising insurance rates, car loans, and payments in this economy… This could hurt the lives of hundreds of people in Wilmington and put more citizens into debt or more debt form not being able to get to work and losing their job from that and etc. It would be nice for mopeds to have insurance and be registered, but that would make mopeds pointless in the since of practical use in this economy…

  • Das Weibstück says:

    They are using the roads they should have insurance AND a licence. Stop all the convicted drunk drivers from resuming their habit of driving drunk but just on a moped. Don’t tell me thats not why most people have them.

  • JOHN q. PUBLIC says:

    I think anyone using public streets and highways should contribute to the cost of maintaining them. They should also look at limiting them to side streets and keep them off the roadways where the speed limit is 35 mph and higher.

  • Guest635 says:

    Sorry, they need to be taxed titled, insured, and driven by licensed drivers just like any other motor vehichle on the road. No one is saying they can’t drive them or have to buy cars. They just have to play by the rules like everyone else.

  • Guest2769 says:

    Then keep your POS off the road if you don’t want it registered and pay insurance.

  • Glen says:

    how about the people that just ran that stop sign in front of you while texting, I guess they are not quite as an idiot as the moped driver. Let’s not forget about all them people that are on some kind of downer prescribed by their Dr. who never get a DWI but that is what it is and as far as passing a scooter to use a complete lane, the police don’t even do that so who writes that ticket. No one has ever used a complete lane to pass and most try to see how close they can get to you.

  • Guestk says:

    I have been reading the comments all week about mopeds and requiring moped drivers to have insurance, pay taxes, and get a moped driving license. I totally agree!

    Case in point: I was driving to work in Wilmington 74/76 just off of the Village Road Exit yesterday morning around 7:15am. I was about 5 cars behind an 18 wheeler and all the cars and the semi were hitting brake lights repeatedly. I saw a moped just to the right side and in front of the 18 wheeler. The moped was swerving to the left, in front of the semi. When the coast was clear to pass the moped, the semi put on the directional and started to move into the left lane to pass. The fool on the moped then disappeared to the left as well, even out of my sight because he was actually moving with the semi towards the left lane. So the truck driver would lose his opportunity to pass for fear of hitting the moped directly in front of him and slide back the right lane. When he/she did, the moped moved over to the right as well, back towards the shoulder, and I could see it again. This happened 3 times, over and over, until the truck was able to pass this idiot. I was scared to death that this was going to be a very ugly scene, but it was obvious that either the driver was intoxicated, provoking the trucker, or just an idiot.

    Most importantly, we need to get these people off the major highways and roadways. They are a danger because they go too slow for traffic conditions, are obsticals and distractions, and if they hit you or you hit them, watch out buddy, because it is your insurance that will take the brunt of it. They don’t care.

  • Quinnie says:

    I am here for school and agree, I was under the impression I did need to get insurance, and have even before bringing my moped here.. I was surprised that i did not have to have any registration and due to thefts on campus I would rather have a plate and registration in case my little ride relocates. I definitely appreciated not needing a motorcycle liscence because I just need a way to get to the food store once a week but if the definition of the moped imbodies the smaller engine and the inability to go above thirty mph I am curious why someone would endanger them selves and irritate others by going in front of trucks or going on highways? Where can I find more information on the legal do’s and donts for mopedding? I would like to add the knowledge to my common sense and my daily goal of living til tomorrow.

  • McGyvre says:

    You, sir, are an idiot. Using your logic, the semi driver should lose his license and semis banned from the roads because his vehicle was too large and not nimble enough to maneuver past the scooter. Cars should be banned in general since drunks use them to jeopardize other’s safety. What you have done is pass judgement on an entire group of people based on one incident. I would ask you, sir, what do you drive? Is the increase in fuel prices affecting you and/or your driving choices and habits? Just because these vehicles inconvenience you and others does not mean they should be legislated into oblivion. Except on restricted access roadways, there is no posted minimum speed. These vehicles have every right to the use of the roads in spite of their size and speed limitations. Too many people with your mindset forget that speed limit signs are just that – limits. They are not lowest acceptable speed, nor are they demands that one must travel at that speed. Get over yourself already. Too many depend on these affordable and economical vehicles for transportation to simply decide that they should be considered an untapped financial resource or an annoying nuisance to be swept aside. I have a better idea. Let’s just ban any vehicle or driver that doesn’t conform to your narrow minded view on the proper use of the roads. You should applaud and encourage these people who choose environmentally responsible, resource conserving, economically viable alternatives to the dinosaur-like gas guzzling single occupant road hogging speed demons. These vehicles perform the same functions that lowering the speed limit to 55 mph was purported to do. Lower speeds make for better fuel economy, reduced amount of traffic accidents due to increased reaction times, and lower fatality numbers based on lower speed accidents. I am compelled to question the man who decides that all these factors are outweighed by your chance encounter with one idiot. Remind me again, how did Prohibition work out? Name me the politician who would stand up in public and say that these vehicles should be taxed, licensed, restricted in use, require insurance and looked on as of lesser import to those voters that depend on them. I can hear him now. “Because this one man encountered this one idiot this one day, I propose we penalize anyone who uses these vehicles by making them pay a fortune and treat them as automobile equals in all aspects except how we permit people to operate them. Not to worry, those people that cannot get to work without them now will be just fine on welfare.” I am so incensed at the narrow mindedness and selfishness of your comments, I wanna cybersmack you.

  • crazymonkey says:

    I agree you are a complete idiot. The only thng you said, is that mopeds should be able go faster because they slow down traffic, and the current allowed speed (laws) are the reason for this. Morons like you will destroy this great nation. Rember idiots drive cars to.

  • PublicAvenger says:

    Moped-(N) Drunkard’s Cadillac

  • Evan says:

    What about us people with learner’s permits for cars who ride responsibly to the right side of the road and even when WE are doing the speed limit CARS still pass I have seen motorists pass motorcycles doing the same speed as them. I think there a lot of motorists who should not be on the road as well. Don’t just blame mopeds because they are an easy target!

  • Guest Vader says:

    Many are riding motorcycles as mopeds. Used to, mopeds only ran about 25 mph. It is not unusual to pass one now running over 50 mph with no tag or one saying “moped” on it. These are NOT mopeds.

  • LeeB says:

    No they are not, they are 125cc machines that look just like a 50cc version. They should have both tags and insurance on them. A 50cc moped or scooter should max out about 35mph tops although once broken in properly some will go a little faster than that but not 50 mph.

  • wilmingtonbornj says:

    The majority of people who drive them have lost their driving you really think it is about insurance.and gas.. have you done research on how many accidents occur on these mopeds..many people are killed or injured in Wilmington alone.. Most of the riders don’t follow rode rules.. I think its a good idea

  • guesty says:

    They should be forced to have license plates and be insured just like motorcycles. Not too worried about the license part but when one of them hits my vehicle, why should I have to file against my insurance? Also enforce the stay to the right side of the road and quit impeding the flow of traffic.

  • LeeB says:

    Does this mean that police will take moped riders seriously when they get a call about a car driver running us off the road or having stuff thrown at us? I’ve had both happen to me and the police refused to do anything about it either time. I’f I’m going to be paying road taxes and not just gas taxes than I want the same level of response a car driver would get from the police and not just be ignored.

  • Guest of the Week says:

    What, exactly, did you expect the police to do when you were run off the road or had stuff thrown at you? Chase the motorists down and cite them on the strength of your word? Ain’t gonna happen. Not unless they witnessed it themselves or there is an actual crash. They don’t hunt ‘em down when motorists do those same things to other motorists. They aren’t going to do it for you.

  • Zero_Kool says:

    Transportation Laws: Commerce; trade; sale or exchange of merchandise, bills, money, and the like. The passing of goods or commodities from one person to another for an equivalent in goods or money. Traffic laws do not apply to us average Joes.

    Cops take an oath of honor (To get their DPSST Certifcation) in which they swear to uphold the Constitution, amongst other things. That is the Supreme Law of the Land. But then they are instructed to violate the Citizens “Right to Travel,” unfettered. They assume the roll of corporate revenue agent by citing people with violations of the commercial traffic laws. There are ample case laws, to support this maxim of law. Take for instance Kent v. Dulles 357 U.S. 116, Thompson v. Smith 154 SE 579, Hertado v. California 110 U.S. 516, and Miller v U.S., 230 F 2d 486, 489. I suggest that people study these and many more case histories concerning the Right to Travel.

    The police are not intentionally violating the Citizens rights, as they are duped into beleiving that they are enforcing the law, and doing their jobs. But their superiors know this and will not inform the policeman of this felonious act or it will sever their cash cow in the jugular. Other U.S. court cases that confirm and point out the difference between the “right” of the citizen to travel and a government “privilege” are – Barney v Board of Railroad Commissioners; State v City of Spokane, 186 P. 864; Ex Parte Dickey (Dickey v Davis), 85 S.E. 781; Teche Lines v Danforth, 12 So.2d 784.

    Folks, when you were fraudulantly compelled to acquire that “Driver’s License,” without being told that you don’t need one to “Travel,” you surrendered your right, and gave jurisdiction to the State to regulate your every move through contract law, or administrative law. Officer’s can do what they do, as long as you have that License to drive. Do not give them juridiction. By the way, I suggest that all law enforcement research my information, as they are in violation of Title 18, section 241, 242, and Title 42 section 14141, amongst other’s.

    Basically, we’re all lied to. We are all comitting offenses without knowing it. Cops, Civilians, and kids alike. “Driving,” is a commercial act as is “Operating a Motor Vehicle.” “Motor Vehicle,” as defined in Blacks Law, 4th Ed., is a taxi, omnibus or any variey of motor vehicles exclusively used and designed for commerce.

    Don’t take my word for it, research it yourself. Just enter Right to Travel in your search window, and study the Law. One more thing, Other U.S. court cases that confirm and point out the difference between the “right” of the citizen to travel and a government “privilege” are – Barney v Board of Railroad Commissioners; State v City of Spokane, 186 P. 864; Ex Parte Dickey (Dickey v Davis), 85 S.E. 781; Teche Lines v Danforth, 12 So.2d 784. One more thing, Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137 (1803) states that The Constitution of these United States is the supreme law of the land. Any law that is repugnant to the Constitution of America is null and void.

    Murdock v. Penn., 319 US 105 (1943)
    No State shall convert a liberty into a privilege, license it, and attach a fee to it.

    Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham, 373 US 262 (1963)
    If the State converts a liberty into a privilege, the Citizen can engage in the right with impunity.

    Byars v. U.S., 273 US 28 (1927)
    Unlawful search and seizure, your rights must be interpreted in favor of the Citizen.

    Norton v. Shelby County, 118 US 425 (1886)
    An unconstitutional act is not law, it confers no rights, it imposes no duties, affords no protection, it creates no office.
    It is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never passed.

    Miller v. U.S., 230 F. 2nd. 486, 489 (5th Cir. 1959) Id. at 489-490
    The claim and exercise of a Constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.

    And finally just for laugths, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966)
    Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation, which would abrogate them.
    Have a nice day.

    “An action by Department of Motor Vehicles, whether directly or through a court sitting administratively as the hearing officer, must be clearly defined in the statute before it has subject matter jurisdiction, without such jurisdiction of the licensee, all acts of the agency, by its employees, agents, hearing officers, are null and void.”
    Doolan v. Carr, 125 US 618; City v Pearson, 181 Cal. 640.

    “Agency, or party sitting for the agency, (which would be the magistrate of a municipal court) has no authority to enforce as to any licensee unless he is acting for compensation. Such an act is highly penal in nature, and should not be construed to include anything which is not embraced within its terms. (Where) there is no charge within a complaint that the accused was employed for compensation to do the act complained of, or that the act constituted part of a contract.”
    Schomig v. Kaiser, 189 Cal 596.

    “When acting to enforce a statute and its subsequent amendments to the present date, the judge of the municipal court is acting as an administrative officer and not in a judicial capacity; courts in administering or enforcing statutes do not act judicially, but merely ministerially”.
    Thompson v. Smith, 154 SE 583.

    “A judge ceases to sit as a judicial officer because the governing principle of administrative law provides that courts are prohibited from substituting their evidence, testimony, record, arguments, and rationale for that of the agency. Additionally, courts are prohibited from substituting their judgment for that of the agency. Courts in administrative issues are prohibited from even listening to or hearing arguments, presentation, or rational.”
    ASIS v. US, 568 F2d 284.

    “Ministerial officers are incompetent to receive grants of judicial power from the legislature, their acts in attempting to exercise such powers are necessarily nullities.” Burns v. Sup. Ct., SF, 140 Cal. 1.

    “The elementary doctrine that the constitutionality of a legislative act is open to attack only by persons whose rights are affected thereby, applies to statute relating to administrative agencies, the validity of which may not be called into question in the absence of a showing of substantial harm, actual or impending, to a legally protected
    interest directly resulting from the enforcement of the statute.”
    Board of Trade v. Olson, 262 US 1; 29 ALR 2d 105.

  • Derp says:

    Your wrong. A well tuned, quality 49cc scooter can hit 50mph no problem. Look up an Aprilia SR50, Derbi GP1 or Yamaha Zuma.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    1. 30 mph max. on level grade.
    2. 50cc or less engine displacement
    3. Fully automatic transmission, without the ability to manually shift.

    Any scooter outside of these guidelines is considered a motorcycle and requires the full gamut of license, registration, MC endorsement, inspection and insurance.

  • jj says:

    Rep. Phil Shepard is correct. Driver need to be license and have insurance. That way if they wreck or hurt someone they have insurance like the rest of us to pay for the damage.

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