New moped law in effect, but you won't get a ticket for breaking it (yet)

New moped law in effect, but you won't get a ticket for breaking it (yet)
Updated: Jan. 10, 2017 at 4:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Good news, moped owners: You'll have some time to get up to speed with the Oahu's new moped registration rules before enforcement kicks in.

Under a new law that went into effect Jan. 1, moped owners are required to pay for a license plate, annual vehicle registration and safety check.

But the city and the Honolulu Police Department says this year will essentially be a grace period.

City officials told City Council members Tuesday that the new law will be implemented in a staggered approach.

There are about 43,000 moped owners on Oahu, and until now mopeds were only registered once -- when they were purchased.

The city is using that initial registration to determine when moped owners will need to comply with the law.

"So if you purchased your moped in the month of March, 45 days before the end of March you will get a notice that you are to register your vehicle and have a safety check before the last day of March." Shari Kajiwara, director of the city Department of Customer Services, told City Council members.

Because of this staggered approach, police are giving moped owners a break.

"During this calendar year, we're not going to stop (mopeds) based on registration or safety check because some of these mopeds will be in December," HPD Maj. Lester Hite said.

Stafford Montgomery, owner of Montgomery PowerSports on North Nimitz Highway, said the new law is a bit labor intensive.

"It's kinda a hassle for what we charge. The state determines what we can charge. Its $13.84," he said.

Moto Source Hawaii, meanwhile, has been fielding lots of questions about the new law.

"It's just an added cost. The reason people ride mopeds is the convenience, the low cost of it," said George Burmeister, of Moto Source Hawaii. "From what I've been told from my customers, a lot of them are just going to let their bikes sit and wait and see what happens."

The city says it plans to send letters to registered moped owners explaining the new law. The letter will include a list of the 12 moped safety check stations on Oahu.

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