Scooters and Mopeds in Ontario: Facts and Myths

Scooters and Mopeds in Ontario:  Facts and Myths

Moped? Scooter? No, according to the MTO this is a 125cc Motorcycle.

Some years ago I was in a motorcycle dealership in Toronto (no longer around), listening to a salesman telling a potential scooter buyer that the 50cc scooter they were looking was extremely fuel efficient (mostly true), that it was cheap on insurance (true) and that it didn’t require a M class license (very false.)

This wouldn’t be the first or the last time I would hear misinformation about scooters and mopeds in Ontario – with all of the different laws and regulations throughout Canadian provinces and the US, it can be difficult for many to know just what the true facts are, and what are myths or misunderstandings.

So we decided to help out – and write an article on Mopeds and Scooters – facts and myths alike.

Which you may have guessed, is this article.  So if we get into a long-winded discussion about appropriate motorcycle underwear choices we’ve probably gotten right off track.

Which of these is a motorcycle and requires a M class license? Well actually, all of them.

The first thing that you should know, is that while there is a “Moped” classification (Pedal equipped vehicles with a motor of no more than 49cc engine size in short) in Ontario, there really isn’t a “Scooter” classification in terms of the highway traffic act.  Instead, scooters will fall into one of three possible categories – LSMs (Limited Speed Motorcycles), Motorcycles, or Three Wheeled Motorcycles.

Below is an explanation of what each category actually means.

Limited Speed Motorcycles

 

What is a limited speed motorcycle?  According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (and as defined by the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act – which requires the vehicle have a compliance sticker indicating it is a type “LSM/MVL.”) – it would consist of the following characteristics:

  • Minimum attainable speed of 32km/h on level ground within 1.6 km of a standing start.  (I’ve had mopeds that barely met this particular standard).
  • Maximum speed of 70kph or less.
  • Steering handlebars that are completely restrained from rotating in relation to the axle of only one wheel in contact with the ground
  • Minimum seat height, when not laden, of 650 millimetres
  • Minimum wheel-rim diameter of 250 millimetres
  • Minimum wheelbase of 1,016 millimetres
  • Engine displacement of 50 cubic centimetres or less

So any scooter of 50cc displacement or less in Ontario would be a LSM.  They require a M class motorcycle license, the same insurance as any motorcycle (though quite often 50cc machines are relatively inexpensive), and in fact the only difference with a LSM is that if you take your license tests in Ontario on a LSM class machine, you will receive a M with LSM restriction for your license class and not have to take a highway test as part of your M2 (LSM) or M (LSM) testing.  This means you cannot ride a non LSM motorcycle in Ontario with these licenses.  For further information, consult the MTO motorcycle license webpage HERE.

Mopeds

What is a moped?  In Ontario, a moped (according to the Ministry of Transportation yet again) a moped has the following characteristics:

  • Weight of 55 kilograms or less
  • Attached motor driven by electricity or having a piston displacement of no more than 50 cubic centimeters

    Despite the tough looking exterior, this is just a moped – but you still need an M class license and insurance to drive it in Ontario.
  • Pedals that are operable at all times and may be used to propel the moped (EDITORS NOTE:  Frequently not very well.)
  • No hand- or foot-operated clutch or gearbox driven by the motor and transferring power to the driven wheel
  • Maximum speed of 50 km/h on level ground within 2 kilometers from a standing start

Furthermore – to quote the moped webpage on the MTO website:

“Under the Highway Traffic Act, mopeds are not considered motorcycles; however, mopeds require you to have the same types of riding skills as required for motorcycles, and you must hold a valid motorcycle class licence (an M1, M2(L), M2, M(L) or M) in order to drive on Ontario’s public roads. Your moped must also be registered with the Ministry of Transportation and have a valid moped licence plate attached. When registering your moped at a Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office, you must show the new vehicle information statement (NVIS). If your moped is a 1983 or earlier m­o­del, and you do not have an NVIS, you may make a self-declaration that the vehicle is a moped as defined under the Highway Traffic Act. After registering, you will be given a vehicle permit and a moped licence plate.”

Also according to the MTO website

“You do not need a safety standards inspection and certificate if you are:
registering a used motorized snow vehicle, off-road vehicle, motor-assisted bicycle (e.g. moped), or trailer”

For licensing, a moped would be considered in the LSM class and would need a M class license and would (if taken on the MTO drivers test) result in a LSM restriction on your M license.

Motorcycle

Basically, any scooter of greater than 50cc capacity is legally a motorcycle – with all the normal conditions and regulations that would apply.  You need an M class license, require insurance, and need all the normal registration and safety certifications when transferring a used scooter.   There is no “Scooter” class of vehicle as I previously mentioned, there are only the categories mentioned in this article.  (Well and e-bikes, but we’ll get into that in a bit.)  With the advent of machines like the Burgman 650 or the Honda Silverwing the only relevant difference for a maxi-scooter (usually defined as greater than 250cc in terms of engine capacity) is that it has a step through design and an automatic transmission – but in terms of how you are licensed and registered, there is absolutely no difference between a larger capacity scooter and a motorcycle.

Three Wheeled Motorcycles and Scooters

According to the MTO – a three wheeled motorcycle (or scooter) will have the following characteristics:

  • travel on three wheels, which are in contact with the ground
  • have straddled seating for the driver
  • use a handle bar for steering controls

    As soon as you add a sidecar, a scooter becomes a three wheeled motorcycle to the MTO
  • have no more than four seats
  • have a gross vehicle weight of 1,000 kg or less
  • not have a structure partly or fully enclosing the driver and passenger except in front of the driver and the seat backrest

Some vehicles with close spaced front wheels would be considered by Transport Canada to be a two wheeled open motorcycle and thus would give you a regular M license if you took your drivers test on them, but otherwise taking your M test on a three wheeled motorcycle (including a scooter/motorcycle with sidecar) will result in you receiving a M license restricted to three wheelers.

An odd choice really, since I think that trikes and sidecar rigs actually require more skill than a two wheeled motorcycle and I think on average trike and sidecar drivers have two wheeled experience before they ever get a three wheeler, but that can be how government classifications work sometimes.  Aside from the licensing aspect, these vehicles otherwise are treated as regular motorcycles.

The MTO FAQ on three wheeled motorcycles can be found HERE.

E-Bikes

Not exactly our favourite vehicles due to the tendency for Ebike drivers to be riding with an…. interesting interpretation of traffic rules and basic safety.  These do indeed work like bicycles in terms of licensing and not needing insurance – with the two caveats that if your license is suspended because of a driving prohibition due to a conviction you cannot operate an ebike in Ontario, and also under the criminal code the definition of “Motor Vehicle” includes ebikes and thus you will be subject to DUI charges if operating one when legally above the limit.

Municipalities can also pass by-laws prohibiting where ebikes may travel on roads, paths trails, etc.

The MTO page on ebikes can be found HERE.

So we hope this article helps shed some light on what the *real* laws are around scooters and mopeds – because if you get caught riding a 50cc scooter or moped without an M class license or insurance, you might find the resulting fines and legal issues getting beyond the actual value of the scooter or moped.  It’s up to us as riders to make sure that someone new to the word of scooters (or mopeds) has the correct information to safety and legally ride the roads.

Because if we don’t look out for other riders, who will?

48 Comments

    1. Author

      Unfortunately there isn’t much of an option if you have a medical suspension on your license – you *might* be able to ride an e-bike (legally in Ontario, a bicycle with electric assist limited to about 30kph) but that’s a bit of a grey area. According to the MTO FAQ – “Q5: Can I operate an e-bike if my driver’s licence has been suspended?

      It depends on the particular circumstances that led to your licence suspension. If your licence is suspended because of a conviction that has resulted in a driving prohibition under the Criminal Code of Canada, you cannot legally operate an e-bike.

      If your driver’s licence has been suspended under other circumstances, you should discuss your situation with a licensed legal practitioner before deciding to operate an e-bike.”

      In terms of moped riding, 50cc scooters, etc – those require a M class license so they can only be ridden with a valid license and insurance.

    2. Hi I have a 35 cc tomos a35 old school moped ..I’m curious if it’s legal without a licence ?

      1. Author

        Hi Sydney,

        You do need either a full M license or a M with L restriction (which is what you get if you take your test on a non highway capable machine more or less)

        It used to be years and years ago you could drive a moped in Ontario on a G class license but that’s not the case today.

        Only advantage you get with a moped is you don’t need a safety inspection to register it – you still need the M class license and insurance.

        Btw the A35 Tomos engine is actually 49cc – almost all mopeds tend to be 49cc (most places that have moped rules specify under 50cc.)

    3. So if I was to buy a Forza 350 is that classify as an m2-l I wanna get bike license but can’t use a clutch /footshifter

      1. Author

        Basically any scooter above 70cc would be legally a motorcycle (not an LSM), you just need it to be fast enough to go on the highway to use it to get a full M license.
        For example, I took my M license tests on a 250cc scooter no problem. This will allow you to drive any motorcycle.

        A Honda Forza 350 would be fine for this purpose – you can drive it on the 400 series highways and get your full M license without having to use something with a clutch or footshifter.

  1. Do you need ownership of a moped in Toronto to ride it?

    1. Author

      Yes, legally mopeds are “Limited Speed Motorcycles” and require an Ontario ownership and insurance. (usually cheap, but not all places insure mopeds.) Helmet is required as well.

      It used to be you could ride on a G license, but you need a M class license for them as well. (M1, M2, M or M with LSM restriction if you took your license test on a limited speed motorcycle.)

      Only thing you don’t need for a moped is a safety certificate – they are exempt from needing a safety when buying and registering.

      (Mopeds being classed as a 49 CC or less machine with pedals, E-bikes which are electrically powered pedal assisted machines are different)

      1. Just looking to get a 50cc scooter. Can i still do my whole m with that?

        1. Author

          If you do your tests with a 50cc scooter or moped you’ll be restricted to Limited Speed Motorcycles (50cc for all practical purposes) – so you get a M class license with LSM restriction.

          You’ll need something highway capable to get your full M so that you can do the highway part of the test – can still be a scooter, but a 50cc won’t do for the full M. You’ll likely need a 200-250cc for that. Worth doing, as it will give you an unrestricted M license.

  2. Any idea of what the process is to update a limited license to a standard motorcycle license? Is it equivalent to starting from scratch, or is there a simplified procedure?

    1. Author

      I *think* you would have to redo the M2 and M2 exit tests – and maybe the M1 if it had been more than 5 years since you did the written test. But probably without the waiting between tests – so you could do the tests quickly and not have to wait a year between the M2 and M2 exit for example. So not terribly simplified I believe. If at all possible, I always recommend people just do the tests on a highway capable machine and go for their full M – since pretty much the *only* advantage of the LSM restricted license is not having to do a highway test.

  3. Hey, I don’t know if you can answer this question but I don’t seem to be able to find anything online. What class would you fall into if you upgraded your ebike to go beyond 32km/h but less than 70 or less than 50. Does the throttle or pedals exclude it in the moped category?

    1. Author

      Basically “Ebikes” are only allowed if they meet certain requirements – namely:

      E-bikes must not weigh more than 120 lbs (includes the weight of bike and battery).
      All operators and passengers must be at least 16 years of age.
      All operators and passengers must wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmets.
      All electrical terminals must be completely covered.
      Two independent braking systems consistent with requirements for motorcycles and motor-assisted bicycles (mopeds) that applies force to each wheel and is capable of bringing the e-bike, while being operated at a speed of 30 km/h, to a full stop within 9 metres from the point at which the brakes were applied.
      The minimum wheel width is 35mm.
      The minimum wheel diameter is 350mm.
      No modifications to the motor to allow it to exceed a power output greater than 500W and a speed greater than 32 km/h.

      If you upgrade to go more than 32km/h – it’s no longer an Ebike. This is a problem because it isn’t a registerable vehicle (even mopeds have to have a VIN, title, be insured, etc to be on Ontario roads – only thing mopeds don’t need is a safety inspection) This means you’d have an illegal machine and could be (potentially) in legal trouble. How much all depends on the police officer who stops you – technically you might be charged with driving without insurance, registration, etc – and might have your bike seized (keep in mind, I’m not lawyer so take this opinion with a grain of salt but I’d still be careful.)

      The big problem would be insurance – without a registration you’ll never get it, and that is a *huge* fine. And as I mentioned, even mopeds have to have insurance.

      So I’d keep it as an ebike – and look for a cheap gas powered machine if you are looking for a budget ride. You might be able to get a 125-200cc scooter for cheap and then be legal. (You’d need a motorcycle license, insurance, and I’d recommend proper riding gear as well which does add the cost, but there are budget ways to get gear as well.)

      Hope that helps!

  4. Looking for options. We have a bicycle that I have mounted a 66cc motor onto. What would I need to ride this, how can it be registered. What’s required for insurance.

    1. Author

      This applies to Ontario – the rules elsewhere can often be different. (Legal definition of a moped, requirements, etc.)

      Unfortunately you really can’t register it or get insurance. Basically you can only register Limited Speed Motorcycles (under 70cc), Mopeds (LSMs that are under 50cc and have pedals, certain max speed, etc.), or regular motorcycles. All of these would have a VIN number and would have to go through an approval process with transport canada and meet certain standards based on the class of vehicle.

      There is the pilot project for Ebikes as well – but those (while legal) aren’t registerable, they just have to be electrically assisted bikes that meet certain qualifications. (Some manufacturers push beyond the limits that are supposed to be on the ebikes and make the pedals really non functional, but that’s a whole other story.)

      What you have isn’t a moped – it doesn’t have a VIN and the engine is too large (above 50cc – mopeds have to be below). It isn’t a motorcycle as again it has no VIN and doesn’t meet any standards and wasn’t approved by transport Canada. It wouldn’t be approved for on-road use. You *might* be able to get away with it, but you run the risk of being charged with operating a motor vehicle without insurance (which you can’t get, because it isn’t registered and it won’t be a recognized brand in anyone’s database of vehicles.).

      To quote the MTO website:

      “When registering your moped at a ServiceOntario centre, you must show the bill of sale. Dealers of mopeds are required by law to provide purchasers with a certificate that guarantees the moped fits the definition under the Highway Traffic Act.”

      https://www.ontario.ca/document/official-ministry-transportation-mto-motorcycle-handbook/keeping-your-motorcycle-or-moped-road#section-1

      If you *could* register it somehow – and I’ve never heard of anyone who did and got insurance, you’d need also a M class license. (Even for a moped, it can be a M with LSM restriction which basically is an M license where you don’t go on the highway for your test.)

      Not a risk I’d want to run – it’s a pretty hefty fine.

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news on this front.

      Some articles on the subject:

      https://business.financialpost.com/legal-post/ont-cops-crackdown-on-illegal-bikes

      From the below article – quote from the MTO – “”A converted moped would not meet the 12 federal safety standards for limited-speed motorcycles, and therefore would not be registered for use on Ontario’s public roads,” said Bob Nichols, a Transportation Ministry spokesperson.”

      https://www.therecord.com/sports/2010/08/21/motorized-bike-rider-left-with-a-fine-mess.html

  5. Hi ,Alot Of Great Questions along with Excellent Answears!Thank you. I really want to get a Motorcycle style ebike but i want to ride with traffic also .will getting a M1 help?I can put insurance on it so that’s not a issue i just want to know what i can do so i don’t have to ride in a bike lane and go the speed limit with Traffic..Thank you

    1. Author

      An Ebike (meaning an electrically assisted bicycle by the MTO definition) isn’t really going to keep up with traffic ever – they’re limited in speed and if you go above certain power levels your machine isn’t legally an Ebike anymore. And you can’t really register them or insure them if you upgrade the power because they lack several things a registerable motorcyle would need. (Note, this is separate from an electric motorcycle like a Zero – those are fully registerable, insurable and are proper motorcycles and will require an M series license to ride.)

      I’d recommend getting your M1 and if you are just starting out buying a gas powered scooter (which legally would be a motorcycle, or if its 50cc a limited speed motorcycle.) Many modern scooters depreciate by huge amounts when you drive them away from the dealer so you can get one for a pretty decent price if you shop around. A 125cc is probably a good purchase starting out – enough power for city streets and cheaper for insurance/to purchase, but not so much power you can get into trouble as easily.

      I’d also recommend a riding course – the motorcycle one, even if you plan to stick to scooters. It can help save on insurance (not a bad thing when you are just starting out) plus they’ll take you to a parking lot and teach you to ride a machine with a clutch, which is handy knowledge to have. Again, even if you stick to scooters you might one day get a bug to get a vintage machine.

      We wrote a piece about buying your first scooter a while back – might have some tips you would find handy – it’s at http://www.scoottoronto.com/2018/04/new-riders-how-youll-learn-to-stop-worrying-and-buy-your-first-scooter

  6. Great Post.

    What insurance companies in Ontario are willing to ensure MOPEDs. I have found nobody willing to write a policy.

    1. Author

      Generally, any place that will insure a motorcycle should insure a moped (Or Limited Speed Motorcycle, as they would classify by engine CC rather than the fact it’s a moped – so generally an insurance company should treat it the same as a 49cc scooter.)

      It can get tricky if it’s modified for displacement – at least one company used to not insure bikes between 50cc and 100cc (not sure why.)

      It can also get tricky if its older than 35 years – some companies don’t like to insure vintage bikes.

      I’d call around to a bunch of places and you should be able to find someone – you can also ask brokers for Facility insurance (insurance of last resort) – in at least one case (a CT90 I was looking to insure) it was cheaper than 90 percent of the other quotes I got.

      Here’s some places to try:

      JD smith insurance brokers – years ago I did have both a Tomos moped and a 49cc scooter (honda Jazz) with them. (Forget the actual insurance company at this point, but they were the broker)

      https://jdsmithinsurance.com/jds-motorcycle.htm

      Maybe try Riders plus? They specialize in motorcycle insurance

      https://ridersplus.com/

      Hope that helps! On occasion, it can take a while to get – but if you call everyone you can find with a google search for “ontario motorcycle insurance” you should be able to find someone.

    2. I’d try Dalton timmis/echelon

  7. Here’s a question I haven’t seen answered yet.. older vespas don’t appear to have turn signal inficators. Are these legal for the roads in Ontario?

    1. Author

      Hi Mark, short answer is probably yes, depending on the age of the Vespa. Basically any motorcycle older than a certain date (1970 if I recall correctly) has an exemption from the lighting requirements of a more recent bike. If turn signals were not originally on the bike, they are not required, and the rear running light/headlight only have to be on 1/2 hour before sunset to 1/2 hour past sunrise. (Some older 50’s and 60’s machines might not have powerful enough generators/stators to keep the battery charged if the lights run full time, which is of course a requirement on newer motorcycles.)

  8. Hi there. I am just wondering about the licence required in Ontario for an LSM electronic motorcycle. This one in particular Super Soco TC sold out of Vancouver from Motorino. https://motorino.ca/motorino-super-soco-tc//. It says only regular drivers licence is required but everything I am reading states we require M licence here in Ontario?? Or just the CBT? I am ready to move forward on this but am unsure.

    Please help I am wanting a firm answer on this topic but I see conflicting articles. – John L.

    1. Author

      Hi John,

      In Ontario, an LSM would need a M class license – this is different from BC where they do let people drive 49CC class machines on a G license.

      So you’d need for a LSM either a M1,2, or full M license or an M with L restriction (basically when you take your M test on a LSM, you get restricted to those)

      I’d make sure they are properly licensed, and you can get a proper ownership – might be fine but I don’t know that brand at all so I can’t say if they would meet the proper requirements, or if insurance would be an issue (if the insurance company could not find it in their databases it might cause issues, etc)

      But for your main question – you definitely need a M class license in Ontario. Not a regular car drivers license.

  9. Hi there. If someone is riding an ebike are they supposed to be in the bike lane when in operation allowing vehicles behind them to accelerate and pass them? Also is it legal for the rider to tow a small children’s wagon ? Thank you

    1. Author

      Hi Deborah, legally I believe an e-bike just follows all the rules a bicycle would follow. (It’s literally classified as an electrically assisted bicycle)

      That being said, different municipalities will have different rules for e-bikes. Toronto for example classifies e-bikes as “Pedal Assisted” and “Power Assisted” depending on if they need someone to pedal to operate (with motors assisting the pedalling) or if they can operate by motor alone. Here’s the city of Toronto website listing many of the rules – for example a “power assisted” ebike that can operate by motor only is not allowed on park multi-use bike paths.

      https://www.toronto.ca/311/knowledgebase/kb/docs/articles/transportation-services/transportation-infrastructure-management/cycling-infrastructure-and-programs/electric-bicycles-e-bikes-power-assisted-bicycles-city-streets-parks-bike-lanes.html

      Trailer would be the same for a bicycle I *think* but I haven’t read any specific laws, and it may depend on municipality etc – so I can’t promise that. (and it may be up to the viewpoint of the individual bylaw enforcement officer…. I suspect the more your machine looks like a regular bike, the less chance of anyone giving you grief)

      Hope that helps!

      Jamie

  10. How do I get full M license if I only want to ride moped, will the roadtest include riding in highways? Thanks.

    1. Author

      Hi Ramon,

      Ontario has M license with L restriction for Limited Speed Motorcycles (which include mopeds) that cannot go on a highway. This is basically the same as a regular M license *except* that you are restricted to riding LSMs (basically 49cc machine scooters or mopeds). I would recommend looking at getting your full M if you can – you can do a college motorcycle course to get your M2 for example and they will provide a machine for the course. If you have your full M, it will give you a *lot* more options on what you can ride – even if it is a 125cc scooter for example. (Which is the minimum you’d need if you hit a 80kph road.)

      You’ll need to tell them what type of license you want I believe when you go for your learners permit and start the M graduated licensing process.

      So in short…. if you really want to just ride a moped, get the M with L restriction and it won’t require any highway tests. But I recommend getting an M if you can.

      Jamie

  11. My wife had her driver license suspended following a stroke , peripheral vision problem, not yet lifted. Is she permitted to drive a Vespra type scooter while under suspension, what would her mobility options be if she fails the re-assessment. Thankyou

    1. Author

      Hi, unfortunately in Ontario you need a motorcycle license to drive a Vespa style scooter. (either full M, or a Limited Speed M which restricts you to scooters and mopeds). Legally, they’re motorcycles for any gas powered two wheeled vehicles that are allowed on road. Anything above a 50cc requires a full M basically. (Either M1, M2, or M)

      So if you have had your G license suspended, this means that you would also have your M license suspended – a suspension would involve both.

      The only option then would be an E-bike, but even there it’s at best a grey area – quoting the MTO FAQ on e-bikes:

      “Can I operate an e-bike if my driver’s licence has been suspended?

      It depends on the particular circumstances that led to your licence suspension. If your licence is suspended because of a conviction that has resulted in a driving prohibition under the Criminal Code of Canada, you cannot legally operate an e-bike.

      If your driver’s licence has been suspended under other circumstances, you should discuss your situation with a licensed legal practitioner before deciding to operate an e-bike.”

      So no-go for any gas powered Vespa styled machine, and e-bike may or may not be allowed – you’d have to get legal advice on that one unfortunately. While it’s unlikely she’d be pulled over on an e-bike, it’d still be a risk legally speaking.

      On a practical side – if she is having peripheral vision issues – I’d be hesitant about recommending she ride any kind of road going scooter, moped or e-bike. Having eyes in the back of your head is *very* important as you have to watch out for drivers who aren’t watching out for you.

  12. hi, i am 72 yrs old, have had 4 motorcycles over the years with an GM license, i really miss not having something to ride but motorcycle insurance are too expensive now. so i am looking for a antique gas powered moped under 50cc with pedals. because i have not owned a motorcycle for quite some years but kept my GM drivers license, is this going to be an issue.

    1. Author

      Hi Gerry – if you have your M then you shouldn’t have any issues at all. You might (or might not, depends on the company and their policies) pay like a new driver if you don’t have an insurance history recently for a motorcycle, but some quotes will let you know that.

  13. Hi great article, i just finished fixing up a friends old moped, it is a 1969 honda, however it was purchased some 25 years ago no ownership nor bill of sale, i read where you quoted the mto site that older mopeds can be self declaration that they are mopeds, i looked on the mto website but had no luck, would you be able to provide where you found those quotes about registering a pre 1983 moped for liscencing?
    And the part where it said a safety certificate was not needed on the mto website?
    Thanks again mike

    1. Author

      Hi mike – this page for one –

      https://www.ontario.ca/document/official-ministry-transportation-mto-motorcycle-handbook/keeping-your-motorcycle-or-moped-road#section-1

      To quote

      “ Before buyers can put their own plates on their new vehicle, they must have:

      The licence plates validated, if not already valid
      The vehicle portion of the permit issued for that vehicle
      The licence plate number recorded on the plate portion of the vehicle permit
      Valid safety standards certificate (does not apply to mopeds)
      The minimum insurance required under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act”

      For registering – generally a bill of sale, affidavit that is notarized with history of bike, maybe a letter from a motorcycle dealer of some kind testifying to VIN number and that it’s a moped. Especially since some early ones didn’t have the correct number of digits. But your experience may vary depending on the office and employee you speak too. Avoid using terms like “barn find” just say it’s been off the road for quite some time so far as you know.

      1. Hi thanks for the reply, i was just looking for the quotes from ontario website give me some ground to stand on, i have registers dome old classic vehicles with the affidavit before so imagine its similar to that, we will give that a try and hope it all works out, thanks again

  14. Great article. I am looking at buying an ebike with a 750 watt motor. Do you know what I would need to drive it legally in Ontario? You may have covered it in your article but I am admittedly confused over the numerous laws and regulations.
    Thanks, Syd.

    1. Author

      Hi Syd,

      Basically you can’t make modifications to the motor to allow it greater than 500w of power or it isn’t an e-bike. At that point, since it doesn’t have a VIN/federal motor vehicle requirements it basically can’t so far as I am aware be registered as a motor vehicle.

      Also, not being an e-bike you would probably be required to have insurance – which being as it isn’t registerable you won’t be able to get, and that is the big risk since it’s a quite large fine for riding without insurance.

      The MTO e-bike FAQ covers the requirements – http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/driver/electric-bicycles-faq.shtml

  15. Hey there! Great article! I have a 1972 Honda CB175 that I want to do a electric conversion to. I have a 4000w hub motor in mind for it (capable of 80 to 100km/h – regulated) The vehicle has a VIN and bill of sale. It is simply going to be powered by electricity instead of gas. I plan to get my M liscence. Do you see any obstacles in getting it legal for the road in Ontario?
    Thanks for your time.
    E.

    1. Author

      (usual disclaimer, am not a lawyer, this is just my opinion, take it with a grain of salt, etc etc)

      MTO wise it may be less of a hassle than insurance – if a mechanic signs off on the bike for a safety, you should be good to go.

      Insurance companies on the other hand tend to dislike insuring anything with a modified engine – and if you don’t notify them of the change, your insurance might not be valid.

      So you should start with the insurance – find a company willing to cover it. If you have a VIN but no ownership, you will need to get it registered with the MTO (which you can do even with a bare frame – but if its incomplete you’ll need to register it as unfit.

      With a 1972 you *may* need to do the affadavit plus bill of sale thing – I’d recommend taking a picture of the VIN as well. In my experience you may find this relatively easy, or some ServiceOntario locations may refuse to give you an ownership, it can depending on the person you are talking to. But that part is doable, and once you get it registered as unfit you just need a mechanic to give you a safety and have proof of insurance to get it legal for the road. I can’t comment on the safety part – but if you keep the frame intact, have proper brakes and shocks and the main change is the engine – I *think* you might pass. But you may want to talk to a licensed mechanic for their feedback on the requirements.

      Good luck!

      1. Author

        Actually I found more info – found this tidbit

        “Electric Vehicle Conversions:
        Electric vehicle (EV) conversions can be operated on roads in Ontario.
        Ontario is reviewing registration and safety requirements for vehicles that have been converted to
        electric power. In the interim, the following registration rules apply. Please note that these rules may
        change in the future.
        EV conversions are:
        • Road worthy vehicles that have been converted from an internal combustion engine
        (gasoline) to an electric power engine.
        • Powered exclusively by an electric battery.
        • Not equipped or powered by an internal combustion engine or any other method.
        To register an EV conversion in Ontario, you will need the following:
        • A completed EV Conversion Declaration form (PDF). • A valid Safety Standards Certificate
        (SSC) completed after the conversion date.
        • A vehicle permit if the vehicle is already registered in Ontario; or appropriate vehicle
        registration documents.
        • Two EV conversion decals (pictured below) which must be affixed to the front windshield
        and rear window of the vehicle. The decals will be provided at the Driver and Vehicle
        Licence Issuing Office.
        An EV conversion may only be registered at the following three Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing
        Offices:
        • College Park (Toronto) – 777 Bay Street, Toronto, M7A 2J3
        • Downtown Ottawa – 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, K1P 1J1
        • North York (Toronto) – 47 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto, M5W”

        So there may be more to the EV registration process with MTO than I was originally thinking. Though it appears to be just filling out a form and attaching a decal – at least for EV cars, but they don’t really specify cars in particular in their phrasing, so I would guess it applies to motorcycles as well.

        http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/graphics/english/dandv/vehicle/emerging/conversions-faq.shtml

        1. Thanks thats very accurate, I would think that if you can get it registered/certified then the insurance company will probably not have a problem with it. especially if you have a relationship with the insurer.

  16. Hi, Thanks for this great article. So hard to get information on scooters. I have a Vespa 150 and am preparing to get my M license. However, I have never gone on a 100K highway and don’t ever want to. When I bought it I was told it was highway capable at 95 kph but not highway appropriate and I agree – it’s not built for high speeds. However, as you say, the MTO handbook categorizes LSMs as going maximum of 70 kph. Does this mean I’ll have to take a highway test to get my M? Can I myself request the designation of M with a LSM limitation? Also, with an M with a LSM limitation, could I still travel on 80 k roads? Thanks so much.

    1. Author

      Hi Barb,

      M with L restriction will mean you cannot ride your 150 technically – since LSMs are restricted to 70kph if you had that restriction it would be more than you could ride. (It really in a practical sense limits you to 50cc machines.) If that machine is capable of 80kph you can still go on 80kph roads, but it’s a rare LSM that can do sustained 80kph. (LSMs are basically prohibited from 400 series and similar highways)

      From what I understand – and I haven’t checked this recently- in Toronto you may be able to get testers to take you on someplace like the Allen, but this would be subject to your tester and the local office.

      What I would do in your scenario is book your test in a place like Bancroft – it only has 80kph roads surrounding it and has less traffic to begin with, many driving schools go there for tests for that reason actually. Assuming you are in Toronto you’d be a few hours driving to there, but it’s a nice town and full of places to stay so it could make for a nice couple of day trip, and give you some introduction to some of the places you can go to on a 150.

      And yes, 150cc might be technically legal for the 400 series highways, but it’s too slow. Really 200-250cc would be the minimum scooter you would need for those.

      Hope that helps!

  17. Hey there! Just have a quick question I’m regards to what bike I can ride with an m1 license. I’m looking at purchasing a 250cc Kawasaki ninja and was wondering if I will even be aloud to ride it with just an m1 license.

    1. Author

      Hi Tyler, Ontario doesn’t have CC restrictions for it’s graduated licensing (I think it probably should, but that’s another discussion).

      So you can ride any motorcycle with an M1 – a 250 is probably a good learner machine and is fast enough to be a long term bike depending on your preferences and riding style.

      It’ll also be much easier on insurance than a bigger bike – though being a “sportbike style” you may end up paying a bit more.

  18. Hi I own a 1970 Honda Pc50, do I need a license to ride it? Also am I aloud to ride it on bike paths. It’s a different kinda a moped it’s has pedals with a 49cc motor and it has a pass though frame.

    1. Author

      Hi Tony, a PC50 should be classified as a moped – which means it is an LSM or Limited Speed Motorcycle. In Ontario, this requires an M class license (either a regular M, or a M with LSM restriction… basically an M where you don’t take the highway test.) As for riding on bike paths, it depends on the municipality – but generally it would be a bad idea since you can likely go 50kph plus which is too fast really for a bike path.

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