Can You Drive a Moped With a Suspended License?

If your license is suspended in Virginia, you MIGHT be able to ride a moped. That greatly depends upon the reason for your license suspension. Is it suspended for DUI / DWI or for something like fines and costs?

Video Transcription

Hello, my name is Andrew Flusche. I’m a Virginia traffic attorney. A lot of clients ask me if their license is suspended, are they able to drive a moped or a scooter or something like that? Unfortunately the answer is very complicated.

The first thing we have to look at is to be sure that you are actually talking about what we legally call a moped. That’s something you would want to talk to an attorney about; to look at the specific vehicle that you’re thinking of getting or riding and make sure it is actually what the law calls a moped. It has to be a certain size, under a certain CC’s, and importantly, you have to operate it under 35 mph at all times in order for it to be considered a moped.

But even if we are talking about a moped, there is another question we have to look at: why is your license suspended? There are 2 main different reasons why people get suspended in Virginia. One is due to an alcohol conviction. If you’re convicted of DUI or DWI in Virginia your license is suspended for 12 months for a first offense, and 3 years for a second offense. During that time, you cannot ride a moped. The law prohibits you from operating any engine, other than pursuant to a restricted license, during that 1 year or 3 year suspension. So you can’t operate any engine unless you have a restricted license. If you can get a restricted license you would be able to drive a car or other motor vehicle. So no mopeds except pursuant to a restricted license if you’re convicted of DUI.

However, if your suspension is due to something like failure to pay fines or costs to the court–if it’s simply due to owing the court money basically–you actually should be able to drive a moped while you’re suspended. So that can be a very critical difference, because if you’re suspended due to fines or costs, you normally can’t get a restricted license at all, you’re walking completely. But being able to drive a moped can at least give you some kind of mobility, and depending on all the facts of your case, it should be allowed.

It’s something you definitely want to talk to an attorney about before you purchase a vehicle like that and assume that you’re OK. Because if you are driving when you shouldn’t be you could be charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license and you could be looking at additional license suspension.

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