Do You Need Insurance for a Moped in California?

Not all mo-peds require operators to have insurance.
Not all mo-peds require operators to have insurance. (Image: moped image by fuxart from

California’s vehicle code defines two types of mo-peds. Both have two or three wheels, an engine and possibly pedals for propulsion.

Mo-ped Insurance Exemption

California's motorcycle handbook includes mo-peds among the vehicles that must comply with all California Vehicle Code statutes. The mo-ped must have the proper registration and liability insurance. Riders must possess an M1 or M2 driver's license.

Mo-ped Insurance Exception

Mo-peds that meet the definition in California Vehicle Code section 406 (b) are exempt from registration, licensing and insurance requirements. These mo-peds have engines with a maximum power output of 1,000 watts. Even with the rider pedaling to aid the engine, its top speed is 20 mph on level ground.

Insurance Warning

The DMV warns mo-ped riders that many insurance companies do not cover mo-peds. Before riding on the open roads, mo-ped riders need to verify that their insurance policy covers them.

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