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Traffic Laws and Unusual Vehicles

Type of Vehicle Distinguishing Features Under RCW Driver's License Required? Endorsement Required? License Plates & Registration Required? Restrictions that Apply

Motorcycle

  • 2 or 3 wheels
  • Driver rides astride power train
  • Steered by handlebars
 

Yes

Yes

Yes
RCW
46.16.01 0

Handlebars cannot be more than 30" above seat or if both feet on same side. RCW provides for skills classes (46.81A)

MOPED

  • 2 or 3 wheels
  • Wheels less than 16" diameter
  • PEDALS for human power
  • Electric or gas engine less than 2 hp
  • Speed up to 30 mph
 

Yes
RCW 46.20.500

NO
RCW 46.20.500

Yes
RCW 46.16.630

NO operation on trails, paths, sidewalks. Stay off Interstate Highways

Neighborhood Electric Vehicle Golf Carts

  • 4 wheels
  • Electric propulsion
  • Speed up to 25 mph
 

Yes
(Proof of insurance also required)

No

Yes

Drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts. OK on roads up to 35 mph speed limit. NOT allowed on Interstate or state highways. Subject to local regulation

Bicycle

  • 2 or 3 wheels
  • Human power only
  • One wheel larger than 16" in diameter
 

No

No

No

Regulated by cities in some cases. All traffic laws apply when in street. Treated as a pedestrian when on sidewalk or crosswalk (even if riding). Bike may be impounded if needed due to drunken rider

Electric Assist Bicycle

  • Bicycle with pedals
  • Electric motor with output of 1,000 watts or less
  • Speed 20 mph or less
  • Wheels larger than 16"
 

No
RCW 46.20.500

No

No
RCW 46.16.01 0 (3)(a)

Must be 16 years of age or older to operate. No operation on Interstate highways or sidewalks. Local jurisdiction can regulate access

Motorized Foot Scooter

  • Handlebar steered
  • Wheels 10" or smaller diameter
  • Stand or sit while operating
  • Internal combustion or electric
 

No

No

No

Daylight operation ONLY unless reflectors installed. Same access as bicycles to roads. NO access to trails built with federal funds. Local jurisdiction can regulate access. No age or helmet restrictions

Segway Human Transporter

  • 2 wheels, not in line
  • One horsepower motor
  • Self-balancing
 

No

No

No

All rights of a pedestrian. Allowed on sidewalks, trails, etc. Local jurisdiction can regulate access

 

Washington Traffic Safety Commission

Email the Traffic Unit