Questions from our readers: The ScooTToronto FAQ

Despite the generally good advice given to anyone perusing an internet blog or website – we *do* read the comments.

And often, in those comments on one of our articles we get questions about mopeds, scooters and other subjects involving two wheeled machines and riding in the GTA. It’s something we enjoy doing, answering your questions and sharing our (Editor’s note – add “Questionable”) knowledge of two wheeled machines and riding in Ontario.

Our team of experts – self proclaimed but they had a paper saying they had a degree in “scooterology” so we had no choice to believe them.

So we thought – what better use of our time than compiling some of those questions we have received in the comments into an article? I mean sure we could solve world hunger, cure cancer, or come up with a comfortable dual sport seat – but frankly those would just be too *easy* for our team. We have to keep them challenged, or they wander off and get into mischief.

Disclaimer: All the advice given is our understanding of Ontario law, at the time of publishing, and since we’re not lawyers and laws change, we always advise checking with the appropriate legal agencies for accurate (hopefully) answers. We cannot guarantee the accuracy – only that this is our understanding of the laws in Ontario. Get legal advice for anything that may impact you.

So below, see the first (and possibly last depending on how bad our advice is) “Scoottoronto FAQ”. Enjoy. It’s mandatory.

From “Scooters and Mopeds in Ontario: Facts and Myths”

“Do you need ownership of a moped in Toronto to ride it?”

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)

“Just looking to get a 50cc scooter. Can i still do my whole M with that?”

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.

“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?”

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.)

“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.”

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

“Hi ,Alot Of Great Questions along with Excellent Answers!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”

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

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

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

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.

“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?”

Hi, 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.

“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.”

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.

“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”

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)

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

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.

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

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.

“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.”

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.

“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”

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.

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

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.)

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