Legal or Not for Youth under 16?


Information below was accurate when published. However, state laws in effect should be vertified. Please notify if you have additional information to update this page.

New 2015 NC Law requires registration for all mopeds operated on state-maintained road.
The new 2016 law requires insurance

A question that is frequently encountered is how are motorized scooters or mopeds treated for enforcement purposes. The scooters, which may be gas or electric-powered, are often purchased by parents with the expectation that their children can legally operate the scooters on the street. That is not the case.

Motorized scooters qualify as mopeds under the statutory definition and should be treated as such. G.S. 105-164.3 defines a moped as a vehicle that has two or three wheels, no external shifting device, and a motor that does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement and cannot propel the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on a level surface.

Under G.S. 20-10.1, persons under 16 years of age are prohibited from operating a moped on public streets and public vehicular areas. A violation of the statute is a Class 2 misdemeanor, however violators must be charged as juveniles.

There are several new NC Laws that apply to mopeds and scooters that were passed in 2015 and 2016
New 2015 NC Law requires registration for all mopeds operated on a state-maintained road. The new 2016 law requires insurance

G.S. 20-140.4 requires that the operator and any passengers wear safety helmets. The operator of the moped is charged even if it is the passenger who is not wearing a helmet.


City Code (Section 14-130) prohibits the operation of vehicles on sidewalks within the city limits. State law (G.S. 20-160) prohibits the operation of motor vehicles on sidewalks.

The primary effect of the new ordinance is to prohibit mopeds/razor scooters (which by definition are “vehicles,” but not “motor vehicles”) from being operated on the sidewalks.

Therefore – to operate a scooter or moped on the streets of Davis Lake, the operator must register, license and insure the moped as if it is a motorcycle. But a motorcycle licence is not required. A drivers license is required to register the scooter or moped, and the operator must be over 16.

In relation to our bike trails and sidewalks – according to city laws, they cannot be operated there.

Your children can operate the scooter/moped on your own PRIVATE property. However, Davis Lake COMMON property is not PRIVATE property and the DLCA Board does not grant permission for them to be used as private property. So unregistered scooters and mopeds and operators under 16 are not to ride them on common property.

For the protection of our common grounds and the landscaping maintenance costs involved, , the DLCA board also requests that legal operators of licensed and registered moped and scooters not ride them on our landscaped common areas.