RICHMOND –Beginning July 1, Virginia law requires every moped driver to carry a government-issued photo ID, which does not have to be a driver’s license, and every driver and passenger must wear a helmet while riding a moped. Drivers must also wear a face shield, safety glasses or goggles unless the moped has a windshield.
Virginia law also requires mopeds operated on Virginia roadways to be titled and registered by July 1, 2014, but moped owners can jump start the process this summer. DMV will begin titling and registering mopeds this year on July 1. A moped title is $10. The annual registration fee is $20.25.
At the request of General Assembly, DMV established an ongoing work group to study a number of non-conventional vehicles including mopeds. According to the Non-Conventional Vehicles Study, the number of mopeds on Virginia roads has increased significantly as a result of the rising cost of gas, along with the affordability and availability of mopeds. With the increased number of mopeds sharing our roads, there has been an increase in the number of concerns expressed from the public, law-enforcement, and traffic safety advocates regarding the proper use of mopeds, their safety on the roads, and the existing laws surrounding the operation of mopeds on public streets.
Under current law, the lack of any identifying information on a moped makes them nearly impossible to recover after theft and complicates identification of the vehicle and operator in the event of a crash. For example, a member of the law enforcement community recounted a situation where it took a few days to identify a victim who had died in a moped crash because there was no identifying information on the victim or moped. Requiring titling and registration of mopeds will allow law enforcement to better track mopeds that are stolen and/or used in the commission of crimes and would allow them to more effectively deal with moped crashes.
Statistics show that over the past five years, there have been 2,062 crashes involving mopeds. 31 of those crashes resulted in fatalities, and nearly all of the crashes (1,967) resulted in injuries.