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Illinois moped laws & insurance requirements

Stay on top of this state's road rules, licensing and insurance for mopeds.

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In Illinois, mopeds involve relaxed requirements for getting a license. But you’ll need to follow specific rules for bike registration, headlight visibility and liability insurance before heading out on the road.

Major moped laws in Illinois

To drive legally on Illinois roads, moped drivers should be at least 16 years old with any driver’s license, while scooter drivers need a Class L or M license. Drivers aren’t required to wear helmets. However, mopeds should be registered with the Vehicle Services Department and have moped insurance.

Illinois has minimum liability insurance requirements for mopeds, including $20,000 for injuries per person, $40,000 for injuries per accident and $15,000 for property damage liability.

Illinois moped laws in more detail

Illinois requires mopeds to follow several laws for motorcycles and bicycles, including a few specifically for mopeds. Moped laws that are similar to motorcycle laws in this state:

  • Needs proper title and registration
  • Headlight visible from at least 500 feet
  • Eyewear or a windscreen on the moped that’s above eye level when seated
  • If passengers are riding, they must have their own seat and footrest

Moped riders should also keep these specific laws in mind:

  • Display red reflectors at the rear
  • Taillight 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

License requirements for mopeds in Illinois

If your bike is classified as a moped in Illinois, you can drive it with any driver’s license classification. However, you will find a few requirements for younger drivers. 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

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.

Illinois laws for motorcycles, scooters and electric bicycles

Rides with engines over 150cc’s are classified as motorcycles in this state. You can compare the moped laws above to the requirements for motorcycles.

Motorcycle 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 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, not 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
      • Must have a seat designated for passengers

        Laws about 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.

        Compare moped insurance

        Name Product Roadside assistance Accident forgiveness Available states
        Progressive motorcycle insurance
        Optional
        Yes (earned after 3 years with no accidents and 4 years of loyalty)
        All 50 states
        Enjoy some of the widest coverage with the lowest price thanks to add-ons and freebies like replacement cost coverage.
        Esurance motorcycle insurance
        Included free
        No
        43 states
        Cover pricey riding gear while snagging bike-specific discounts for motorcycle licensing or safety courses.
        Allstate motorcycle insurance
        Included free
        Yes
        All 50 states
        One of the longest lists of coverage options for bikes, plus free perks like equipment coverage for your high-end riding gear.
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        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 laws and insurance

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