May I Drive a Moped after My License is Suspended or Revoked?

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mopedThe answer depends on why your license was suspended or revoked.

If your license is suspended or revoked for failure to pay court fines, then you would fall under Virginia Code § 46.2-301. There it says that if your driver’s license, learner’s permit, or privilege to drive a motor vehicle has been suspended or revoked, you shall not: “drive any motor vehicle or any self-propelled machinery or equipment on any highway in the Commonwealth until the period of such suspension or revocation has terminated or the privilege has been reinstated or a restricted license is issued pursuant to subsection E.” However, that code section goes to say: “For the purposes of this section, the phrase “motor vehicle or any self-propelled machinery or equipment” shall not include mopeds.”

However, if your license was suspended because of a DUI or if you have been declared a habitual offender, you may not ride a moped. As the Virginia DMV website states: “It is illegal to drive a moped if your license is suspended or revoked for DUI/drugs or if you are a habitual offender.”

Specifically, the habitual offender statute under Virginia Code § 46.2-357 states that: “It shall be unlawful for any person determined or adjudicated an habitual offender to drive any motor vehicle or self-propelled machinery or equipment on the highways of the Commonwealth while the revocation of the person’s driving privilege remains in effect.” In the case of Saunders v. Commonwealth (48 Va. App. 196), the Court of Appeals clearly reasons that a moped is self-propelled machinery under this code section and that the moped exclusion of Va. Code § 46.2-301 does not apply to § 46.2-357.

The same “self-propelled machinery or equipment” language is used in the statute discussing revoked licenses because of a DUI. According to subsection D of Virginia Code § 46.2-391, you can not ride a motor vehicle or self-propelled machinery (like a moped) if your license is revoked because you had a DUI.

Laws can change and the Virginia code and case law is fairly complicated as to mopeds. Please call me if you are charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license. I would be glad to give you a free consultation.

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