You Can Drive a Moped if You are Suspended

Update: After this post, the law regarding mopeds was changed. The law as of now, June 2009, is that you can drive a moped if you are suspended pursuant to an administrative suspension but not if you are suspended as a result of a DUI criminal court conviction. Like most things in Kansas DUI law, it is confusing.

As of a few years ago, the suspension periods in the State of Kansas got a lot longer, especially for people who invoke their right to refuse to take a breath test. Since most places in Kansas (and Missouri, for that matter) don’t have taxicabs, much less buses or subways, this makes it nearly impossible to get around legally while suspended. I frequently get asked what a person is supposed to do if he or she gets suspended for a long period of time. Drivers ask, “How does the State expect me to get to work” during a one, two or three year suspension. Well, the short answer is that they don’t care. If you lose your job and have to go live under a bridge, that won’t be their problem.

But there is one alternative. In the State of Kansas, a person who is suspended for a DUI can usually get a Class C driver’s license which will permit them to operate a “motorized bicycle”, also known as a moped or scooter. This is authorized by a statute, KSA 8-235. This may not be a very attractive option for many people, however, it may beat walking. A motorized bicycle is defined as a device with 2 or 3 wheels which has a motor which produces not more that 3.5 brake horsepower, has a cylinder capacity of 130 cc or less, and is capable of a maimum design speed of not more than 30 miles per hour. KSA 8-126. This license is available to those who have been suspended for a conviction or administrative suspension for DUI. It is not available to persons revoked as a habitual violator.

I had a client who was a motorcyle mechanic. He had lost his license to drive before he ever came to me. So, even though I ultimately got a “not guilty” verdict for him at trial, he had lost his license for one year. He took a moped frame and built a vehicle at looked almost exactly like a slightly smaller version of a Harley Davidson. It was pretty cool actually. He got the Class C license. He was stopped by a police officer for some reason who verified that the motor was the correct size and that my client was properly licensed. No problem.

So, there is this alternative to not driving a car or breaking the law by driving while suspended. At least you can get to and from the grocery store, even if you have to keep your helmet on in the store so no one recognizes you.

11 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I dont know if this has been updated or not. I just called the Kansas highway patrol they said that you can NOT operate a moped under a suspended license.

    I also contacted a moped dealer in kanas he said that federal highway funding is attached to newly revised MADD legislation.

  2. Jay Norton, Attorney at Law says:

    After this post, the law regarding mopeds was changed. The law as of now, June 2009, is that you can drive a moped if you are suspended pursuant to an administrative suspension but not if you are suspended as a result of a DUI criminal court conviction. Like most things in Kansas DUI law, it is confusing.

  3. abock6 says:

    So, if I got charged with a dui, but only convicted with a toc, am I able to get my class c DL?

  4. Jay Norton, Attorney at Law says:

    see the foregoing. You cannot get a Class C license if you have been CONVICTED of a DUI. You can if you have only been administratively suspended, or as long as you are not suspended for a DUI conviction.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Is a completed diversion for a 1st dui and 1 yr. DL suspension considered administrative? I was told no license was needed for the special 50cc moped. Geez…it is confusing.

  6. Jay Norton, Attorney at Law says:

    With a diversion, there was no suspension for a conviction so you should still be able to get a moped license. A 50cc moped that goes less than 35 mph is not considered a motor vehicle and I don't think you need a license or insurance at all to drive one. A vehicle less than 50 cc is considered a "motorized bicycle" and not a motor vehicle. Under a situation where there was a diversion, and so no suspension for a conviction, you should be able to get a moped license and drive a moped with an engine bigger than 50 cc.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hello , thank you for this very excellent discussion. I want to be clear on the interpretation.

    I took a DUI diversion, I will be suspended administratively more than likely for failure to be able to blow after 3 tries and I had hiccups. No attorney when I go to my admin hearing this month on the 12th.

    So assuming I get admin suspension, what are or will be my options. Again I have already set the diversion into the process.

    I can get a moped license, And I can drive a bike that is greater than 49cc, but must be less than ??? Yes Kansas has a problematic set of laws for DUI's, as the want to force the issue of conviction. Knowing most ppl will have to drive anyway, to work, kids to school etc. Suspensions build the books for profit on all the following driving while suspended tickets.. Im lucky I only have one small son, and he can ride on the back. If i had 3 kids I would need a motorized wagon i guess… or hell I wonder what the laws for horses are… I have a reasonable sized back yard!

    Anyway thank you for all the help your offering here..

  8. Anonymous says:

    but do you need to actually license the moped. with a plate on the back , i know you need to insure it but i beleive thats it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just wondering if there have been updates regarding these laws. I got my license suspended for a year at the end of august and as far as the dui case went I got a year of diversion so my question would be am I under administrative suspension or does the diversion for the dui case count as a conviction as they are 2 seperate cases. p.s. much respect for what you do wish I could have found u as my attorney I have only read a few of your blogs throughout today and must say you are one of the best true to the people attorneys. This past year I have had 2 bad experiences with attorneys including 1 arguing with me and gave me the impression he was on the johnson county courts side more than mine always defending kansas laws and saying " I'm stupid for thinking the state is out to get everyone just to make a quick dollar" actual quote I'm glad to see their are still legitiment attorneys out there because as far as I'm aware most are as corrupt as the courts themselves just trying to make quick money by always wanting to go the quickest route not really caring much about my outcome. Once again thanks for what you do

  10. ryan.jones says:

    so basically if you are diverting and have been administratively suspended you can still get a moped license or do I have this backwards?

  11. Angela says:

    If you live in ks, work in mo can you take moped accross state line if you only have moped license?

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