If you have recently purchased a scooter, you may be wondering whether or not you need a motorcycle license. Motorized scooters are becoming increasingly popular across the country. They feature a small profile and the ability to travel up to 100 miles on just a single gallon of gasoline. Some newer bikes are even completely electric. For people who live in an urban or even a suburban area, these motorized scooters or “mopeds” can be a great, inexpensive transportation option. But before you purchase a moped, be sure you are aware of the motorized scooter licensing requirements in your state.
If you are interested in purchasing a moped, you may require a scooter license. States guidelines for scooter license requirements vary, but in most states a motorcycle license is required if the engine fuel capacity is 50 cubic centimeters or greater. A number of manufacturers have gotten around this requirement by making motorized scooters that come in just under this 50 cubic centimeter requirement. In most states, a scooter license is not required for these bikes that come in at 49 or fewer cubic centimeters of fuel capacity. Some states require you to have a motorcycle license if the scooter is capable of traveling at more than 20 miles per hour.
It is important to remember that some states require that you have a traditional driver’s license to operate a motorized scooter, even if they do not require a motorcycle license. Teenagers 14 years of age or older may be able to receive licenses to ride motorized scooters on area roadways.
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The best way to know your state’s requirements is to contact your local department of motor vehicles and ask them the specific regulations of your state. These laws change frequently, so websites that list motorized scooter license requirements might not be up to date. Before you call, know the specifics of your bike. They make ask you about the fuel capacity or the maximum speed. And many states that do not require you to have a motorcycle scooter license still require that you register your vehicle.
If you are purchasing a scooter with a fuel capacity of greater than 50 ccs, or your state requires you obtain a license for a scooter, you will need to register for a temporary motorcycle permit. This permit will allow you to ride your motorized scooter for a period of time before taking a test for a formal motorcycle license. You will also need to obtain insurance for your motorized scooter. Most policies are relatively inexpensive, and some companies even offer same-day coverage.
Some people begin riding motorized scooters after having their driver’s license suspended due to a DUI or other incident. Certain states do allow this, but other states restrict individuals with suspended licenses from operating any vehicle, including motorized scooters.
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In addition to the licensing requirements, motorized scooter riders should remember that appropriate gear can prevent injuries in crashes. Helmets, jackets, reflectors, and thick riding gear are all appropriate for riders of any bike – from a big Harley Davidson to a Vespa. Also, motorized scooter riders should remember the limitations of their vehicles. In order to prevent crashes, stay towards the right at all times, and away from faster traffic. It goes without say, avoid highways and freeways completely.
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Mopeds and motorized scooters are not immune from crashes! If you have been involved in a crash on your motorized scooter, our experienced motorcycle attorneys can help you recover money for your injuries. Our attorneys are just a phone call away at 1-800-MOTORCYCLE. Pick up your phone and call for a free consultation.