Moped Laws in Kentucky

Mopeds offer many individuals an affordable way to get around. However, it is imperative for individuals in Kentucky to understand the laws that apply to operating a moped. Here, we want to discuss the most pertinent moped laws that you need to be aware of in order to remain legal and safe on the roadway.

What is a Moped Under Kentucky Law?

In Kentucky, mopeds ae narrowly defined by KRS 189.285.  Under Kentucky Law, a vehicle is considered a moped if all four of the following are true:

1. It is a motorized bike with a frame that can include one or more crossbars that support the fuel tank and has petals OR is a motorized bike that has a step-through frame that may or may not have pedals.

2. Has an engine with a cylinder capacity that will not exceed 50 CCs and rated at no more than two brake horsepower.

3. There must be an automatic transmission that does not require any use of a clutch or shifting by the operator after the draft system is enacted.

4. Is capable of a maximum speed of not more than thirty (30) miles per hour.

Any vehicle not meeting (exceeding) these requirements will likely fall under the definition of a motorcycle under Kentucky law.

The legal operation of a moped requires a valid driver’s license, moped license or learner permit, taillights or red reflector visible to 500 feet, at least one headlight, turn signals, and a horn or bell.

Is a Moped license required in Kentucky?

Kentucky requires individuals to be at least 16 years old and have a driver’s license or a moped license or permit. Moped licenses are issued by the circuit clerk’s office in the county of the person’s residence. Individuals must be at least 16 years of age to obtain a motorcycle permit and to ride a moped in Kentucky.

Any person applying for a first-time moped license who does not already have a motorcycle or traditional driver’s license will have to complete a driver’s license application. They will be required to complete a general knowledge and vision test, but not a skills test. Upon successful completion of the required tests, a moped license will be issued.

If a person already has another valid form of operator’s license, they do not have to apply for a moped license. This includes a Class D, M, or CDL.

Moped Insurance in Kentucky

Generally, individuals will not need to purchase insurance if they wish to operate a moped in Kentucky.

However, vehicles that resemble mopeds and are capable of speeds greater than thirty (30) mph according to manufacturers’ specifications, do not qualify as a moped and require registration and insurance. 

If you are unsure, it is best that you contact your local county clerk’s office.

Are Helmets Required While Driving a Moped in Kentucky?

In the state of Kentucky, moped riders are not required to wear helmets. This differs a little bit from the motorcycle helmet law in this state that requires any person under the age of 21 to wear a helmet. However, safety experts strongly recommend that all moped riders wear a helmet to help protect against face, head, and brain injuries if an accident occurs.

Additionally, individuals do not have to wear eye protection while operating a moped in Kentucky. Still, it is imperative to be cautious while operating a moped to avoid personal injury.