You might think that a golf cart, All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) or a moped is a fun and convenient way to get around the streets of your town or neighborhood, but according to Maryland law many of these modes of transportation are only legal as long as they are being operated on your own property. Read on to learn more about which types of vehicles are permitted on Maryland roadways and which are illegal.
Golf Carts and ATVs
Maryland law defines a motor vehicle as anything that is self-propelled or propelled by electricity (not operated on rails). According to this definition, mopeds and scooters are not considered motor vehicles; ATVs, go-carts, golf carts and motorized skateboards/bicycles/mini-bikes are considered motor vehicles by law but they cannot be registered. By law, any vehicle that is not registered in the state of Maryland may not be driven on any Maryland roadway. This means that ATVs, go-carts, golf carts, etc., can only be driven on private property with permission from the property owner. And for those of you looking for a loop hole: Maryland law also prohibits the operation of these types of vehicles on sidewalks and side streets in neighborhoods.
Mopeds and Motorized Scooters
A moped is a bicycle that is designed to be operated by human power with the assistance of a motor and is equipped with pedals that control the wheels. Mopeds typically have a motor with less than 1.5 brake horsepower and 2-3 wheels greater than 14” in diameter. Motor scooters are non-pedal vehicles with two wheels that are 10” or more in diameter. A motor scooter typically has a motor with a rating of 2.7 brake horsepower or less. Those wishing to purchase a motor scooter must have a valid driver’s license of any class in any state or country in which they reside or must acquire a moped operator’s permit issued by the Maryland MVA.
Any person operating a bicycle, motorized or not, or motor scooter should ride as close to the right hand side of the roadway where practical and safe. The exceptions to this rule are when the driver is attempting to make a left-hand turn, is operating their ‘vehicle’ on a one-way street, or is passing a slower or stopped vehicle. Two people may ride side-by-side as long as it doesn’t impede the flow of traffic. However, these types of ‘vehicles’ cannot be operated on a roadway with a speed limit of 50 miles per hour and cannot be operated in excess of 30 miles per hour. All bicycle, moped and motor scooter operators must wear a helmet.
Penalties for Violations
Anyone who violates the above laws and regulations will be subject to the following citations:
- Driving an unregistered vehicle on a highway: a $290 fine;
- Driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle on a highway without required license and authorization: Must Appear Citation, 5 points
- Operating a moped or motor scooter on the highway without required license or permit: Must Appear Citation, 5 points
- Driving an uninsured vehicle: Must Appear Citation, 5 points
An individual issued a Must Appear Citation will receive a court date in the mail and must see the judge; there is no preset fine.
If you or someone you know has received a citation for violating Golf Cart, ATV and/or Motorized scooter laws and regulations in Maryland, please give us a call today. The attorneys at Ferrante, Dill & Hisle, LLC are ready to help! Call us at (410) 535-6100 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.