New safety and registration laws are now in effect for all South Carolina moped drivers. Starting November 19, 2018, all mopeds must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Officials believe that the new laws will keep moped drivers safer. The tighter regulations also allow law enforcement to find the moped owner in case of an accident or crime.
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New Moped Laws Require Licenses and Mandatory Registration
South Carolina moped owners and operators must now follow the same rules of the road as cars and motorcycles. Here are the new guidelines:
- Drivers must have a valid moped or driver’s license. Licenses are renewed every two years for $10.
- All mopeds must be registered with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Moped drivers can now be cited if they violate traffic laws. This includes Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).
- Moped drivers and riders under 21 years old must wear a helmet.
- All mopeds must use the far-right lane if on a roadway with several lanes. The only exception is if the driver is making a left-hand turn.
- Mopeds are restricted to roads where the posted speed limit is 55 miles per hour or less.
The new laws for the popular two-wheeled vehicles are the result of increased numbers of mopeds on South Carolina roads. Although an inexpensive and convenient way to travel, mopeds typically do not have the speed of motorcycles or the protection of cars.
Special Guidelines for Moped Drivers Under 18 Years Old
Moped drivers must meet other legal conditions. Prospective drivers must pass the vision and knowledge tests administered by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The following requirements are for moped drivers under the age of 18:
- Have a parent or guardian sign the application for a moped license.
- When applying at the DMV bring an original birth certificate, Social Security card, and two ways to prove a current South Carolina address.
- Pay via cash, check, or credit card.
Potential for Increased Liability Risks for Moped Owners
Currently, mopeds are not required to carry the same liability insurance as cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles. However, the new safety and registration laws may bring the potential for increased liability for moped owners. If mopeds must follow all road rules, moped drivers could be held liable in case of a crash or crime.