What Is a Scooter License?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2019
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A scooter license is an endorsement from a regulatory agency that indicates a person is authorized to operate a scooter, a lightweight motorized device with two to three wheels. Regulations pertaining to scooters vary, and people who want to operate them may want to check with local authorities to determine if they need a specific license to do so. Like other motor vehicle licenses, a scooter license usually requires periodic renewal to make sure a driver is still competent and able to operate the device safely and appropriately.

Requirements to get a scooter license vary. Usually drivers must be at least 16 years of age, and need to pass a written examination demonstrating their knowledge of the law. They may receive a specific scooter license, or an endorsement on an existing driver's license to indicate that they can operate scooters. The license expires within a set period of time, requiring a re-test to keep it current.

The scooter license can contain restrictions. People who need to wear corrective lenses or who cannot operate vehicles at night will have notes on their licenses to this effect. The license typically contains a picture of the operator along with basic demographic information like name, age, and address, for the benefit of law enforcement officers. Drivers must carry the license at all times when they operate a scooter, and the law usually requires that they submit it for examination by a government representative if requested.


This type of license may qualify the operator to drive several different kinds of motor vehicles in the same class as scooters. This can make the test more complex, as drivers need to demonstrate knowledge of legal and safety issues that pertain to a range of vehicles. The government may revoke a scooter license if the operator incurs a number of tickets, particularly for dangerous behavior. Licenses can also be suspended for activities like operating a scooter while intoxicated.

Scooter regulations are sometimes inconsistent. Some regions distinguish between recreational and mobility scooters, for example. Recreational scooters may not be allowed on public roads and sidewalks, while mobility scooters can be used on the sidewalk, and their operators may not need to hold licenses. Others may distinguish by engine size and maximum speed to determine what kinds of regulations are necessary for scooter use. The law also periodically changes, and it is important to keep up with the latest information.


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Post 2

@Phaedrus- I did have to purchase a motor scooter license when I bought my scooter last year. Mine can reach speeds of 50 mph, though, so that was probably a factor. It's about as close to a motorcycle as a scooter can get. My son didn't need a moped license when I bought him one for his birthday, though. It needed to be registered as a motor vehicle, but the county doesn't consider a moped with pedals to be in the same class as scooters.

Post 1

A long time ago, I bought a small scooter so I could save money on gas. I mostly rode it down one street from my house to my job at a mall restaurant. I honestly didn't know if I would need a motor scooter license to operate it on the street legally. I went to the courthouse and the license department told me the scooter would have to reach speeds of 35 mph in order to require a license. Mine went about 30 mph at most, so I only needed a tag to make it legal.

They also told me that since I had a motorcycle endorsement on my original state's drivers' license, I wouldn't need a motor scooter endorsement if I got a more powerful model later.

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