Hawaii Moped Laws
A driver’s license is required. You can drive a moped with any class license. If you don’t have a license and desire only to drive a moped, a Class 1 license will meet your need. It allows the holder to drive only mopeds, and both a knowledge and a practical test are required. Persons under the age of 18 must complete driver education requirements. 286-110 (a), HRS sets the minimum age at which a permit can be obtained at 15 ½ years. Also see 291C-194, HRS. An out-of-state license is valid only if the holder is at least 18 years old.
Rider Safety Equipment
Wearing a helmet is not required, but it is very highly recommended. No one ever expects to crash, but if you do crash, a helmet will help protect your good looks, teeth, nose, eyes, skull and your brain. A full-face helmet provides the most protection. Having a face shield reduces wind noise and discomfort from bugs, dirt and rain. Additional recommended protective items are: eye protection, full-fingered gloves, long-sleeved shirt & pants and shoes that cover your ankles.
A moped would be easy to park if it wasn’t for laws and thieves. Whenever you park you moped, lock it. Since they are relatively small and light, they are relatively easy to steal. If you could chain your moped to a heavy bike rack, it would be difficult to steal, but it is not always possible or legal to do this. There are quite a few ordinances relating to parking. Here is a good one for you to know before you make your first trip.
Motorcycles, motorscooters and mopeds.
(a) The following shall apply to on-street parking of motorcycles, motorscooters, and mopeds in spaces marked for parallel parking on street blocks where there are no designated parking spaces for motorcycles, motorscooters, and mopeds as provided for in subsection (b) of this section:
(1) More than one motorcycle, motorscooter, or moped, or a combination of such motorcycle, motorscooters, or mopeds shall be permitted to park in spaces marked for parallel parking.
(2) Regardless of the number of motorcycles, motorscooters, or mopeds parked within a metered parking space, the parking fee shall be the rate established for such parking space.
(3) Any motorcycle, motorscooter, or moped parked within any space marked for parallel parking, shall be parked diagonally (at an angle of approximately 60 degrees to the curb line) with the front end facing the street and in the direction which the vehicles in the near lane of traffic are traveling.
(4) A minimum clearance of three feet at each end of the parallel parking space shall be maintained; provided that only the vehicle parked within the three-foot area shall be deemed to be in violation of the minimum clearance requirement.
(5) No person shall prevent the parking of additional motorcycles, motorscooters, or mopeds when space is available within any parallel parking space.
(6) Any motorcycle, motorscooter, or moped parked within any parallel parking space shall be entitled to the full parking time permitted by law; provided that in any metered space each and every vehicle parked within such space shall be deemed to be parked illegally, if the meter displays a violation.
(b) Nothing herein shall prohibit the director of the department of transportation services from establishing, marking and designating parking stalls specifically for the parking of motorcycles, motorscooters, and mopeds upon any street.
(1) Wherever parking stalls for motorcycles, motorscooters, and mopeds are so established, marked off, and designated, the driver of such vehicle shall park the vehicle completely within a designated stall.
(2) If on-street parking stalls or spaces are established, marked off and designated for motorcycles, motorscooters, and mopeds along any street block, it shall be unlawful for the driver of any motorcycle, motorscooter, or moped to park such vehicle on any portion of such street block, other than in a stall or space so established, marked off and designated for parking motorcycles, motorscooters, and mopeds along such street block.
(3) Wherever parking stalls for motorcycles, motorscooters, and mopeds are so established, marked off and designated, it shall be unlawful for the driver of any other vehicle to park in a stall designated for motorcycles, motorscooters, or mopeds.
(4) The term “street block” as used in this section shall mean one side of any street, the length of such side extending between two consecutive intersections; or, in the case of a dead-end street, one side of such dead-end street, the length of such side extending between the dead-end and the nearest intersection.
(Sec. 15-13.12, R.O. 1978 (1983 Ed.); Am. Ord. 90-76)
Rules of the Road
Although a moped is classified as a device and registered very much like a bicycle, when riding one, you generally must obey all traffic laws just like every motor vehicle that is on the road.
Traffic laws apply to persons driving mopeds. Every person driving a moped upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle under this chapter, except as to the special provisions of this part and except as to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application. [L 1978, c 175, pt of ∍15]
Effect of violations; vicarious responsibility; jurisdiction. (a) It is a violation for any person to do any act forbidden or fail to perform any act required in this part, except as otherwise provided by law.
(b) Any negligence, misconduct, or violation of this part by a minor while driving a moped shall be imputed to the parent or guardian having custody of such minor, which person shall be jointly and severally liable with the minor for any damages caused by such negligence or misconduct and any penalty assessed by the courts for such violation.
(c) This part applies to every person driving a moped upon any roadway or highway or any other publicly owned place under the jurisdiction of the State or any county. [L 1978, c 175, pt of §15]
Driver’s license required. (a) No person shall drive a moped unless the person:
(1) Possesses a valid driver’s license of any category listed in section 286-102 or 286-239; and
(2) Meets the requirements of section 286-105(3).
(b) The driver of a moped shall, upon the demand of a police officer, exhibit the driver’s driver’s license or instruction permit.
(c) Any person who is convicted of violating this section shall be subject to penalties as provided under section 291C-161(b) and (e). [L 1978, c 175, pt of §15; am L 1979, c 107, §1; gen ch 1985; am L 1998, c 86, §1; am L 2002, c 37, §2]
What persons are exempt from license. The following persons are exempt from license:…
(3) Any person who is at least eighteen years of age and who has in the person’s possession a valid driver’s license to drive the categories of motor vehicles listed in section 286-102(b), except section 286-102(b)(4), that is equivalent to a driver’s license issued in this State but was issued to the person in another state of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, a province of the Dominion of Canada, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for that category of motor vehicle which the person is operating;
(4) Any person who has in the person’s possession a valid commercial motor vehicle driver’s license issued by any state of the United States, Mexico, or a province of the Dominion of Canada that issues licenses in accordance with the minimum federal standards for the issuance of commercial motor vehicle driver’s licenses
Driving of mopeds.
(a) No person less than fifteen years of age shall drive a moped.
(b) No person shall drive a moped except while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the moped.
(c) No person shall drive a moped which is carrying any other person nor shall any person other than the driver ride upon a moped. [L 1978, c 175, pt of §15]
Driving mopeds on roadways.
(a) Every person driving a moped upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction, except under any of the following situations:
(1) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway, except where prohibited by official traffic-control devices;
(2) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge;
(3) When a roadway is designated and signposted to carry traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, a person operating a moped may ride as near to the left-hand side of the roadway as practicable.
Driving mopeds on bicycle lanes and paths.
(a) Wherever bicycle lanes are provided on the roadway, moped drivers shall use such bicycle lanes.
(b) The director of transportation by rule and the counties by ordinance may with respect to bicycle paths under their respective jurisdictions restrict or prohibit the use of such bicycle paths by mopeds. Signs clearly visible to an ordinarily observant person indicating the restriction or prohibition shall be placed along bicycle paths so designated and every moped driver shall obey the directions thereof
(b) Persons driving mopeds upon a roadway shall drive in single file.
(c) No person shall drive a moped on any sidewalk or area intended for use as a sidewalk, nor shall any person drive a moped on any path or other area intended for the exclusive use of pedestrians. [L 1978, c 175, pt of §15; am L 1982, c 38, §1]
Motorcycles and mopeds, noisy mufflers; penalty.
(a) Every motorcycle and moped moving under its own power on a public highway shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in constant operation to prevent any excessive or unusual noise and no such muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass, or similar device. No person shall modify the exhaust system of a motorcycle or a moped in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the motor of such motorcycle or moped above that emitted by the muffler originally installed on the motorcycle or moped except a motorcycle or moped that:
(1) Has three wheels;
(2) Is powered by an electric motor;
(3) Has a full body enclosed cab; and
(4) Has a seat belt assembly or a child restraint system for the driver and passenger;
shall not be required to be equipped with a muffler.
(b) As used in this section, “muffler” means a device consisting of a series of chambers or baffle plates, or other mechanical design, for the purpose of receiving exhaust gas from the engine of the motorcycle or moped, and being effective in reducing noise.
(c) Whoever violates this section shall be fined not more than $100. [L 1949, c 21, §1; RL 1955, §311-27; HRS §291-24; am L 1978, c 222, §7; am L 1986, c 189, §1; am L 1994, c 120, §4]
Consuming or possessing intoxicating liquor while operating motor vehicle or moped.
(a) No person shall consume any intoxicating liquor while operating a motor vehicle or moped upon any public street, road, or highway.
(b) No person shall possess, while operating a motor vehicle or moped upon any public street, road, or highway, any bottle, can, or other receptacle containing any intoxicating liquor which has been opened, or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.
(c) Any person violating this section shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both. [L 1981, c 152, pt of §1; am L 1986, c 171, §3; am L 1987, c 33, §7; am L 1998, c 287, §3; am L 2000, c 62, §1]