Scooter Laws

Last month MBG espoused the virtues of scooter ownership including an endorsement specific to the Vespa Granturismo 200. But what are the laws for scooter ownership?

The Saints Scooter club website has pages that outline the laws for DC, Maryland and Virginia. A brief scan of the laws show two major distinctions: 1) Would a given scooter be classified as a moped or a motorcycle 2) Distinctions between D.C. laws and Maryland/Virginia laws.

Piaggio Fly 50 – drastically different laws apply for 50cc in DC vs VA/MD

In the suburbs a “Moped” is any vehicle that has an engine size of 50cc or less, produces no more than 2 bhp, and can travel not more than 30 mph. These jurisdictions do not require a moped operator to carry a license, insurance, wear a helmet or register their moped to secure plates. In D.C every scooter, regardless of engine size, is a motorcycle. Only a motorized bicycle with pedals is considered a moped under D.C. codes. Therefore scooter owners must carry a motorcycle endorsement on their license and have liability insurance. The scooter must have a title, registration, and display plates and undergo bi-annual inspection. Operators must wear a helmet and eye protection and may only park in parking spaces provided for 4-wheel vehicles (no sidewalk parking).

Should D.C. be treating 50cc scooters more favorably? Helmets should be mandatory but what about the rest?

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  1. 1

    mediocre bad guy says

    If DC want’s scooters and motorcycles to park on the street then maybe they should consider parking spaces specifically designed for them on EVERY block.

    What is every scooter supposed to take a whole entire car parking space? and pay as much to park even though its 1/10 the size?

    Sounds kinda silly to me.

  2. 2

    Anonymous says

    i was pulled over tonight on my 50 cc yamaha got a ticket for no tags, registration and no insurance. $500. in the dmv manual they say that anything 50 cc and under is considered a bicycle. where is it written otherwise? help please b/c i need to go to court to contest this ticket. thanks.

    please respond to

    thanks for any help on this!

  3. 3

    fourthandeye says

    @animal_crackers – sorry none of our contributors on this site is an authority on scooter laws. I merely linked to the Saints Scooter club’s FAQs. I don’t think we can help you.