What You Should Know about Moped Laws in South Carolina

Author: Auger Law | April 24th, 2019

If you are planning to spend time at a South Carolina beach destination this summer, you may be considering a moped for transportation. They have surged in popularity in recent decades, especially in coastal towns popular with summer tourists. They are inexpensive and get great gas mileage, making them perfect for zooming around the city.

That said, South Carolina has made recent regulation changes for moped drivers (in 2018). Auger & Auger Law wants you to be informed if you are planning to purchase or drive a moped within our state. Should you be involved in an accident on South Carolina roadways we can be reached at 800-559-5741. Please read on and learn what it means to stay moped-legal while increasing preventative measures you take on the road.

Mopeds Aren’t as Safe as You Think

Mopeds are easier to drive than motorcycles because they are lightweight, small, and typically cannot exceed speeds of 30-35 mph. They are often considered safe for these reasons. However, nationwide evidence points to the contrary.


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Drivers and passengers of mopeds are at a significantly higher risk for injury than drivers of cars. Like motorcycles, mopeds are compact and more difficult to spot in traffic. Mopeds have small tires which make them more susceptible to tipping or rocking on uneven pavement, potholes, or grates.

Drivers over the age of 21 are not required to wear helmets when operating motorcycles or mopeds. However, riding without a helmet or other protective gear increases your risk of injury if you are in an accident, particularly on roads with speed limits that exceed 20 mph.

Follow the Rules of the Road, Like Everyone Else

South Carolina now classifies the moped as a motor vehicle. Drivers of mopeds must follow the same that drivers of other motor vehicles are required to follow. Mopeds cannot be driven on medians, shoulders, or sidewalks. Like motorcycles, mopeds are allowed to ride two abreast in the same lane.

Despite the new classification, mopeds cannot drive on highways or freeways with speeds that exceed 55 mph because their slow speeds will impede traffic and create danger for mopeds and regular vehicles.

Mopeds must now be registered with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles and equipped with a license plate.

What are the Age Restrictions for Moped Drivers?

In South Carolina, you must be at least 15 years old to operate a moped. You do not need a special license to drive a moped if you are over 16 and already hold a valid driver’s license. A special moped license may be obtained if you are 15 years old and pass a vision and knowledge test.

Drivers who are under the age of 16 are not allowed to drive after dark without a passenger or supervisor who is at least 21 years of age.

Tried and True Safety Tips for All Moped Drivers

If you drive a moped or are planning to in the future, always follow these guidelines to reduce your chances of being injured in an accident:

  • Always drive defensively  
  • Never assume that cars on the road see you
  • Always wear a helmet
  • Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing
  • Drive on roads with lower speed limits and less traffic
  • Use hand signals to indicate turns
  • Make space between your moped and other vehicles  
  • Avoid driving after dark or in bad weather

Moped Accident? Auger & Auger is Standing By

Warm summer weather offers the perfect opportunity to explore the city on your moped. However, if you are involved in a collision, our local auto accident attorney at Auger & Auger is here to help you. In South Carolina, you have rights to compensation after an accident, for injuries, damages and pain and suffering. Call our office today at 800-559-5741 for a FREE consultation of your case.

Posted In: South Carolina Laws