Illinois moped laws & insurance requirements

This state allows several types of street bikes, but the laws aren’t created equal.

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For your moped to be street legal in Illinois, follow both bicycle and motorcycle laws. And plan on getting at least liability insurance coverage for your ride.

Motorcycle vs. moped laws in Illinois

The laws for riding a moped are a combination of motorcycle and bicycle laws. Here’s what to expect.

Illinois motorcycle laws

Rides with engines over 150cc’s are classified as motorcycles in this state. Riders should obey all traffic laws, signs and signals, and other riding laws including:

  • Proper title and registration
  • Eyewear or a windscreen above eye level when seated
  • Daytime or modulating headlights
  • Visible headlight from 500 feet
  • Seat and footrest for passengers

Illinois moped laws

Mopeds in Illinois keep many of the same laws as motorcycles, including registration, headlights, eyewear and passenger requirements. But riders need to also obey bicycle laws and note a couple of differences for their low-powered steeds:

  • Display red reflectors at the rear
  • Tail light and red reflectors must be visible from at least 100 feet

What qualifies as a moped in Illinois?

In Illinois your ride classifies as a moped if it meets these requirements:

  • Reaches speeds up to 30 mph within one mile
  • Includes an engine size of 50cc or less if it has an internal combustion engine
  • Has an automatic transmission or doesn’t require gear shifting
  • Engine with two horsepower or less

Illinois scooter laws

If a scooter doesn’t fall in the moped classification, Illinois considers it a motor-driven vehicle and requires a license. In addition to the moped laws above, keep these scooter laws in mind:

  • Display a federal safety certification label
  • Display a VIN
  • Have a Class L motorcycle license if under 150cc
  • Have a Class M license if over 150cc

Illinois electric bicycle laws

Electric bicycles blend the freedom of bicycling — at higher speeds. To qualify as an electric bike, your ride must have fully functional pedals and a motor under one horsepower and 750 watts.

Safety laws for electric bikes:

  • May not exceed 20 mph
  • Follow all applicable bicycle laws
  • Ride on authorized streets or roads
  • Use bicycle lanes and paths
  • May not ride on sidewalks
  • May not ride on highways or roads with on ramps
  • Travel in the same direction as other motor vehicles
  • Right of way rules
  • Local police can limit the use of bikes on the road
  • Must be 16 or older to operate a Class 3 electric bicycle
  • Those under age 16 can ride a Class 3 bike as a passenger
  • Passenger bikes must have a seat designated for passengers

License requirements for mopeds

If your moped meets the Illinois guidelines, you can operate with any license classification. If your bike doesn’t meet moped guidelines or fall under the motorcycle category, you’ll need a Class L license. Motorcyclists need a Class M motorcycle license.

Moped learners permits.

Riders aged 16 and 17 can ride with a learner’s permit after meeting these requirements:

  • Complete drivers education
  • Pass a written motorcycle test
  • Apply for a 24-month permit
  • Ride in daylight
  • Ride supervised by a licensed driver over 21 with at least one year of driving experience

Motorcycle permit age 16 to 17.

Riders must meet extra guidelines to qualify:

  • Complete driver education
  • Complete approved motorcycle safety training
  • Pass motorcycle riding tests
  • Apply for a 24-month permit
  • Follow other motorcycle permit guidelines

Motorcycle permit age 18 or older.

If you’re younger than 21, you’re required to ride in the daylight, and to ride with licensed motorcycle supervisor older than 21, with one year’s experience. Riders can apply for a 12-month Class M permit after meeting these requirements:

  • Complete motorcycle exam
  • Complete an approved motorcycle safety course or taking a written or driving test

Moped insurance in Illinois

The state has more than 600,000 motorcyclists cruising its streets, according to the Illinois motorcycle manual. To give these riders an added layer of protection, all mopeds, scooters and motorcycles are required to keep liability insurance that includes:

  • $20,000 for bodily injury liability per person
  • $40,000 for bodily injuries per accident
  • $15,000 for property damage liability

To find insurer options, some motorcycle policies cover motorcycles, scooters and mopeds while others have requirements that may disqualify your ride. You can also consider a specialty scooter policy for more options.

Helmet laws in Illinois

The state doesn’t require riders to wear helmets, although it recommends them for added safety. In 2017, 162 motorcyclists were killed in Illinois with 67% of those not wearing helmets, according to a 2017 NHTSA motorcycle statistics report.

Riders have less vehicle protection in accidents than cars do, which can lead to severe injuries or death if riders don’t protect themselves.

Compare moped insurance

Name Product Roadside assistance Accident forgiveness Available states
Progressive motorcycle insurance
Yes (earned after 3 years with no accidents and 4 years of loyalty)
All 50 states
Get protection for any kind of bike with this big-name provider. Enjoy discounts galore plus cheap rates and free perks designed for bikers.
Geico motorcycle insurance
All 50 states
This well-advertised insurer lives up to its reputation with discounts, low rates and no-fuss coverage for bikes.
Liberty Mutual motorcycle insurance
All 50 states
Get add-ons to cover bike replacement and accessories and get rewarded for safe riding.
Allstate motorcycle insurance
Included free
All 50 states
Choose the most comprehensive coverage for your bike and save up to 50% with Allstate's discounts.
Esurance motorcycle insurance
Included free
Esurance offers discounts and wide motorcycle coverage with tech-focused account management and 24/7 claims.
Farmers motorcycle insurance
Included free
Get personalized service, optional coverage packages and rewards for safe driving with Farmers motorcycle insurance.
The General motorcycle insurance
The General offers no-frills motorcycle insurance for drivers who have a hard time getting coverage elsewhere.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Trek through Illinois laws based on the type of bike you ride. Be aware of headlight and tail light visibility, licensing or learners permits and insurance requirements. For the best insurance protection, look at several providers with wide bike coverage to fit your needs.

Questions about Illinois moped coverage

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