Mopeds, like cars, will now need to be registered, undergo safety checks

Mopeds, like cars, will now need to be registered, undergo safety checks
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lawmakers have given the green light for tighter restrictions -- and new fees -- for moped riders across the state.

To meet the new requirements, the state and city will have to build a new system to inspect and register the thousands of mopeds on the road.

That's causing big concern for moped riders and businesses.

"I just don't know who we're going to take it to to do the inspections," said Nathan Bingham, who owns Hawaiian Style Rentals and Sales, which has a fleet of 50 mopeds. "There's not a lot of people that will do them locally. It's kind of hard to get our motorcyles safety checked as it is right now," he said.

Sheri Kajiwara, director of the city's Department of Customer Services, said she'll be working with the state to develop a safety check system for mopeds.

"I am expecting that all service stations that do vehicles will be allowed to do moped inspections," she said.

There are more than 300 vehicle inspection sites on Oahu.

To get the moped inspection sites up and running, moped specifications will need to be added to electronic safety check systems and inspectors will need to be trained and certified.

The city's aiming to be ready by January 1, but officials acknowledge it will be tough to meet the deadline.

"It will be a huge undertaking," Kajiwara said.

Moped registration will cost $27 a year. The annual safety check will be around $13. In addition, moped owners will pay a one-time $5 fee for a license plate and 50 cents a year for a sticker.

Bingham said the fees will add up for his company and others that rent mopeds.

"It's just one more fee we have to pay. The cost of doing business here is a little bit higher now," he said.

Hawaiian Style Rentals' manager Brad Fresch believes many consumer-owned mopeds on the road right now won't be able to pass a safety check. He added that parts for older mopeds aren't easy to find.

"The moped shops don't have the capacity or parts to supply these mopeds that are already out there to put these parts on these vehicles to pass a safety inspection," he said.

The moped legislation is also intended as a tool to crack down on noisy, modified mopeds. "What they're going to do is take all their mods off, go get it registered and safety (checked), then put them right back on," Bingham said.

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