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How come a moped can go on streets without tags and insurance, but golf carts must have them?

Brian Freskos

A scooter travels down Carolina Beach Road on June 22, 2009. StarNews file photo.

The answer is simply a matter of law.

Mopeds, defined as a vehicle with an engine no larger than 50 cubic centimeters that cannot exceed 30 mph on a level surface, fall under a different set of rules than other vehicles. North Carolina does not require a driver’s license to operate a moped, nor do the vehicles have to be registered, inspected or covered by liability insurance, according to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.

It is the opposite for golf carts. Golf carts are classified as a low-speed vehicle, and therefore must meet minimum safety standards for tires, mirrors, lights and reflectors, safety belts and windshield wipers. They must also be registered, tagged and inspected, but only if driven on a public roadway. They cannot be operated on any public roadway where the speed limit is higher than 35 mph, according to the N.C. DMV.


Why aren’t moped drivers required to have insurance? Who pays if a moped is at fault in an accident?

Why are mopeds, which are limited by N.C. DMV to 30 mph, allowed on roads that carry higher speed limits?

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