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Legal Requirements for Driving a Moped in Colorado

Denver motorcycle accident attorneys at The Babcock Law Firm make certain you fully understand the legal obligations and safety concerns of operating a scooter in the Centennial State

You don't have to live in California or some exotic European city to take pleasure in zipping around town on a Vespa, moped or scooter. Colorado offers plenty of blue skies and beautiful scenery to take in as well — however, motorized motorcycle motorists are advised to be extremely cautious when driving in bad weather conditions such as snowy or icy roads.

Not only are mopeds and scooters fun to drive, they're also usually less expensive than a traditional vehicle and better for the environment. But before you start scooting around Denver, Boulder, or another Colorado town, it's important that you understand the legal requirements to operating a moped in this state, as well as the risks of driving without a helmet.


The Ultimate Coloradan's Moped & Scooter Guide

According to the Colorado DMV, the state defines a low-power moped (or other small, motorized vehicle) as a vehicle with no more than 3 wheels and an engine capacity of no more than 50 ccs or 4,476 watts. In addition, low-power scooters are self-propelled and do not have a manual clutch. Low-power scooters do not encompass electric bicycles, toy vehicles, wheelchairs, or any device designed to assist mobility impaired people who use pedestrian right-of-ways.

When it comes to driving low-power scooters in Colorado, there are a few rules you must follow:

4 Rules for Colorado Scooter Owners

You CAN'T operate them on any interstate, limited-access road, or sidewalk except in areas where bicycles are permitted.

You MUST wear a helmet with a chin strap if you're younger than 18 years old (even if you're just the passenger).

You CAN drive your scooter on roadways and in bicycle lanes within roadways.

You MUST have a valid driver's license to drive a scooter.


Do you need a special license to drive a scooter,
Vespa or moped in Colorado?

Typically, no — a standard driver's license will do. However, it ultimately depends on your vehicle.

While most Vespas and mopeds fall into the “low-power scooter” category, some motorized bikes are more powerful and therefore may be categorized as a motorcycle, meaning you'll need a motorcycle license. You should know which category your mode of transportation falls under in order to apply for the right license and registration.


Colorado Scooter License & Registration Requirements

Scooter owners will not need a special license to operate their moped unless it's powerful enough to be labeled as a motorcycle (see requirements above). In that case, you'll need a motorcycle endorsement license. Otherwise, like all Colorado motorists, you'll need to have a valid driver's license.

Colorado law does require scooter and moped owners to have certain paperwork on file in order to register their motorized vehicle with the state. In order to register your scooter, you'll need the following documents:


After gathering the required paperwork, you can submit your registration one of two ways:

Visit a State Registration Authorized Low-Power Scooter Agent who will be responsible for providing required documentation to the State Registration Section

OR

Complete Form DR 2701 (listed above) and submitting to the address listed on the form

The Registration Section on 1881 Pierce Street in Lakewood, CO also takes applications in person.


Driver Safety

It's important to be aware that riding a scooter does pose a greater level of risk to the driver. Those who drive closed vehicles are protected by their car's metal frames and safety features like airbags and seatbelts. However, scooter drivers don't have these protections.

Moreover, like motorcycles, scooters, Vespas and mopeds are small enough to get lost in the blind spots of other vehicles. And since these smaller vehicles are also often quiet (much quieter than a motorcycle), they are frequently unheard by other motorists.

Because of these risks, it's vital that you always wear a safety helmet when operating a scooter. In the state of Colorado, adults 18 or older are allowed to ride a motorcycle without a helmet; however, it's always better to err on the side of caution when riding a smaller vehicle at high speeds around larger vehicles. Teens under the age of 18 are required by law to wear a helmet when operating a scooter.

Failure to wear a helmet can make any scooter, Vespa or motorcycle accident significantly more serious, increasing the risk of head and brain injuries, or even death.

To learn more about moped accidents and scooter safety tips, read this article.


Scooter & Moped Accident Lawsuits

Due to the serious nature of injuries in most car accidents involving scooters and motorcycles, you should seek advice from a lawyer who has extensive experience with motorcycle accident cases and knows the laws surrounding them if you're unfortunate enough to be in such an incident.

If you sustain serious injuries or damages from another driver while riding a moped, scooter or motorcycle, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced collision attorneys at the Babcock Law Firm.

Continue browsing our blog and knowledge center to find more information about these and other types of vehicle accident cases.

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