Student Affairs

Safety news: South Carolina adopts new laws governing mopeds


As part of the new moped laws that have taken affect as of Nov. 19, 2018 the Clemson University police department (CUPD) will be doing its part by enforcing and educating the Clemson community on these laws. Mopeds are required to be registered with the state Department of Motor Vehicles, just like any other highway vehicle. The cost is $10 every two years. It also requires drivers to get a license plate for his or her moped. If you are found driving an unregistered moped you can face fines up to $200 plus court fees.

A Clemson student riding a moped on Walter T. Cox Boulevard.
New laws governing the operation of mopeds in the state of South Carolina took effect on Nov. 19, 2018.

Part of the new laws also require that you must have a valid driver’s license or moped license to drive a moped. If you are 15, you may apply for a moped operator’s or Class G license by taking the vision and knowledge test at any SCDMV branch. South Carolina does not require a skills test for moped applicants. Drivers cannot operate a moped on a suspended driver’s license.

Moped drivers will also be subject to the laws of the road, meaning anyone driving a moped can be cited for traffic violations including driving under the influence. The following are part of the new laws that have taken affect and will be enforced by law enforcement:

  • A moped may not be used to carry more persons than the number for which it is designed.
  • A moped, while traveling along a multi-lane highway, must be operated in the farthest right lane except when making a left turn or when travel in the farthest right lane is unsafe.
  • A person under the age of 21 may not operate or ride a moped unless wearing a protective helmet.
  • A person may not operate a moped at a speed in excess of 35 miles per hour.
  • A person may not operate a moped on a public highway that has a speed limit of greater than 55 miles per hour. A person operating a moped may cross an intersection at a public highway that has a speed limit of greater than 55 miles per hour.
  • The operator of a moped must have functional lights at all times while the moped is in operation.
  • A person operating a moped must have in their possession a valid moped operator license or valid driver’s license and moped registration.
  • A person who violates the rules of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more than 30 days.

There is a large concentration of mopeds in the Clemson area and on university grounds. Over the past few years moped theft has increased in the Clemson area and registering mopeds will help law enforcement in deterring moped theft. This will make it easier to both trace these vehicles if they are used in a crime, and to hold moped operators more responsible in the event of traffic collisions or property damage. The new laws will also make South Carolina roads safer for all drivers.  The Clemson community can expect to see a heavy law enforcement presence on campus roadways enforcing these new laws.  If moped operators are found to be operating an unregistered moped, they can be cited.  Additionally, if the operator cannot prove ownership of the moped, it will be towed.

CUPD is committed to traffic safety. However, to accomplish this goal we need the assistance of all the Clemson community who use the roadways around the campus. We prefer to change dangerous and unsafe driving behavior through education and voluntary compliance rather than enforcement activity. Please assist us in making Clemson a safe and secure environment by obeying traffic laws and monitoring driving behaviors.

Community members can register their mopeds at any South Carolina Department of motor vehicles. There are three locations near campus located at:

13009 S Radio Station Rd, Seneca, SC 29678
2133 Gentry Memorial Hwy, Pickens, SC 29671
331 US-29, Anderson, SC 29621

To register your moped in South Carolina, you must bring all of the following to an SCDMV branch:

  • Completed Application to Title and/or Register a Moped (SCDMV Form 400-M).
  • Bill of sale and vehicle registration certificate, manufacturer’s certificate of origin, or documentation showing you are the legal and rightful owner of the moped.
  • Model name, serial number or other identifying number, date of sale, total cubic centimeters or wattage for engine, new or used condition.
  • Transfer plate number, if applicable.
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