Some people who get around the Palmetto State on fewer than four wheels will have to follow new laws that go into effect this month.
Starting Nov. 19, all mopeds must be registered with the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles and must have a license plate displayed.
Registration costs $10 and must be renewed every two years. Moped owners don’t have to pay property tax, and they aren’t required to have insurance, according to the DMV’s website. Mopeds purchased after Nov. 19 must pay an “infrastructure maintenance fee” that is 5 percent of the cost of the moped, up to $500, the website said.
Moped riders under 21 also will be required to wear a helmet.
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Those who rent mopeds from Columbia scooter company Zapp RideShare won’t have to do anything different. Many local college students are among Zapp’s users. The company already has registered all 77 of its mopeds and has required users to wear helmets since it opened two and a half years ago.
“We’re really in favor of all the laws,” Zapp Founder and CEO Frank Scozzafava. “It’s been very hard to get the users to wear the helmets.”
Actually, Scozzafava said he didn’t think the laws, which were designed to cut down on moped deaths, went far enough. Lawmakers considered requiring riders to wear reflective vests or carry insurance, but those were not included in the law.