Driver’s License Required?
Ben asked: Would I need a licence to travel on a gas powered bicycle that goes 45mph for private use only. I will not be delivering pizza’s or newspapers just going from one place to the other enjoying the sights. I want the right legal answer not a statue referring to motorized electric bike. I’m not using it for commerce just traveling.
We are a nation of laws that guide our activities and keep some organization in our society. The intent of this site is to inform and discuss those laws. There are some that believe the motor vehicle laws do not apply to them and they don’t have to comply. (There are also some who don’t believe they must pay taxes.) I won’t engage in a discussion of whether Florida has the legal basis to require compliance with motor vehicle laws. I will only try to show what the law actually says.
In Florida, we have motor vehicle laws that tell us what motor vehicles we can use on the roadways. In your case, your vehicle would be classified as a motorcycle.
s. 316.002 – Purpose
It is the legislative intent in the adoption of this chapter to make uniform traffic laws to apply throughout the state and its several counties and uniform traffic ordinances to apply in all municipalities.
s. 316.003 – Definitions
(40) Motor Vehicle – …. a self-propelled vehicle not operated upon rails or guideway, but not including any bicycle, motorized scooter, electric personal assistive mobility device, swamp buggy, or moped.
(41) Motorcycle – Any motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor or a moped.
Your vehicle is a motorcycle and not a moped.
(38) Moped – Any vehicle with pedals to permit propulsion by human power, having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels, with a motor rated not in excess of 2 brake horsepower and not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground and with a power-drive system that functions directly or automatically without clutching or shifting gears by the operator after the drive system is engaged. If an internal combustion engine is used, the displacement may not exceed 50 cubic centimeters.
Drivers must have a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle on the roadways except as noted in the statutes.
s. 322.03 – Drivers Must be Licensed; Penalties
(1) Except as otherwise authorized in this chapter, a person may not drive any motor vehicle …. unless such person has a valid driver’s license ….
Your vehicle must also be properly registered with the state.
s. 320.02 – Registration Required; Application for Registration; Forms
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, every owner or person in charge of a motor vehicle that is operated or driven on the roads of this state shall register the vehicle in this state. The owner or person in charge shall apply to the department or to its authorized agent for registration of each such vehicle on a form prescribed by the department. A registration is not required for any motor vehicle that is not operated on the roads of this state during the registration period.
Note that none of the statutes provide an exception for non-commercial use of a vehicle.
If you aren’t satisfied with that answer, you should seek the advice of an attorney.