Wisconsin moped laws & insurance requirements

Know the rules of the road for your motorcycle, moped or ATV

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The Wisconsin DMV makes sure riders stay safe with its young rider helmet laws and license requirements for motorcycles and mopeds. Even young ATV riders need safety training and parental supervision to ride on open land. Despite the relaxed laws for low-powered vehicles, riders might consider coverage like personal injury protection (PIP) to protect from the unexpected.

Moped vs. motorcycle laws in Wisconsin

Wisconsin blends mopeds and scooters to the same category. To qualify as a moped in this state, your two-wheeled vehicle:

  • Can’t exceed 50 cc for automatic transmissions.
  • Can’t exceed 130 cc for manpowered mopeds that use bike pedals.
  • Must have a built-in engine.
  • Must have a fixed seat.

Wisconsin motorcycle laws

Because motorcycles have more freedom to roam and reach higher speeds, these bikes sometimes have higher requirements. There’s no age requirement for passengers, and helmets are not mandatory for riders older than 18. Other laws for operating these bikes on the road include:

  • Headlights on day and night
  • Motorcycle-specific license or learner’s permit
  • Riders under 18 complete rider safety training
  • Riders in training with a permit are required to wear a helmet
  • Eye protection required
  • Bike must have rearview mirror, turning signal and muffler
  • Passengers must have a seat and footrest

Wisconsin moped laws

Riders on mopeds and scooters follow different guidelines than motorcycles. For example, mopeds can’t carry passengers and don’t have to have headlights on during the day. Other rules include:

  • Two mopeds can ride in the same lane on roads with speed limits less than 25 mph.
  • Must stay in the right lane, unless turning left.
  • Cannot ride on sidewalks, along fence lines or impede traffic or pedestrians.
  • Park mopeds in bike racks, on sidewalks or in spaces designated for cars.
  • Can use bicycle lanes if traffic signs allow.
  • Stay off freeways.
  • Must have title and registration.
  • Must obey all traffic laws.

Wisconsin ATV laws

ATV riders might have fewer age restrictions than the other vehicles in the state. But riders still have several requirements, including completing an approved safety course.

Requirements for those riding on public land:

  • Riders age 12 and over must take an ATV training course.
  • Riders should carry a Wisconsin ATV Safety Certificate.
  • All riders under age 18 must wear a helmet, unless:
    • Traveling for fishing or hunting and over age 12
    • Riding on private land owned by immediate family

Children under age 12 are still allowed to ride an ATV with a few restrictions. Along with completing the safety course and receiving a certificate, riders:

  • Must use a small ATV of 90 ccs or less
  • Need to wear a helmet
  • Must have supervision by a parent or legal guardian — not extended family, siblings or friends.
  • Must use an off-road ATV trail
  • Cannot follow or cross a road, even if it’s a designated ATV trail

Moped insurance in Wisconsin

Wisconsin requires minimum liability insurance for mopeds, similar to motorcycles. The key difference is that motorcycles also require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

For mopeds, liability includes:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury liability.
  • $50,000 for bodily injuries per accident.
  • $10,000 for property damage liability.

To fulfill that insurance requirement, you can compare motorcycle or scooter policies that also cover mopeds. Each insurer may classify mopeds under different policies, but just as long as you can fulfill state requirements.

License requirements for mopeds

Anyone can drive a moped in Wisconsin with a valid driver’s license. Riders can also opt for a special restricted license for moped use if they prefer. This requirement is less stringent than a motorcycle license — required to drive a motorcycle.

Helmet laws in Wisconsin

The state’s helmet laws differ based on the type of vehicle you ride. Mopeds don’t require a helmet at all, while motorcycles and ATVs require one if you’re younger than 18. Motorcycle riders with a learning permit should also wear a helmet.

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Bottom line

Wisconsin keeps bike and ATV laws interesting with different requirements for each, including licensing, helmets and age requirements. Consider insurance providers that meet or exceed state requirements for the most protection on these open-air vehicles.

Frequently asked questions about Wisconsin moped coverage

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