Scooters are wonderful vehicles in some ways. In fact, some of them do not even require gas due to their excellent fuel economy. They are simple to park and highly manoeuvrable.
Limited Use Motorcycles, Mopeds, and Motor Scooters
“Limited use motorcycles,” mopeds, and motorised scooters all refer to the same type of vehicle under New York law. However, the term “scooter” typically refers to a more robust vehicle. How then can you determine if you are riding one? However you refer to them, motorised scooters are vehicles that:
- Have two or three wheels, handlebars, and are designed for standing or sitting.
- Are subject to certain (slow) maximum speeds;
- Are propelled by an electric or gasoline-powered motor and do not rely on human power (such as pedalling)
Under the preceding criteria, electric bicycles do not qualify as motor scooters because their locomotion is partially dependent on human power rather than motor power.
Restrictions on Various Types of Scooters, Mopeds, and Similar Vehicles
The New York DMV classifies scooters based on their top speed, not their horsepower.
Class A scooters and mopeds have a top speed between 30 and 40 miles per hour. Riders are required to possess a motorcycle licence, register their motorcycles with the DMV, and carry insurance. You are required to wear a helmet.
Class B mopeds have a top speed between 20 and 30 mph. You can operate a moped with either a car or a motorcycle licence. You are required to register and insure your Class B motorcycle. You may only ride it in the right-hand lane or on the shoulder, and a helmet is required.
The top speed of a Cass C moped is only 20 mph (lower than most bicycles). You can ride them with a valid driver’s licence or motorcycle licence, and they must be registered. Insurance is optional, but it is offered. You are only permitted to ride it in the right-hand lane or on the shoulder, but you are not required to wear a helmet.
Electric bicycles are partially powered by human energy. To operate one, you do not need a driver’s licence, but you must be at least 16 years old. There is no requirement to register your vehicle. You may only ride them on streets with a maximum speed limit of 30 mph and designated bicycle lanes.
Similar to motorised vehicles, they cannot be ridden on the sidewalk. You must wear a helmet if you are 16 or 17 years old, if you are employed (such as a delivery driver), and if your motorcycle’s throttle allows speeds up to 25 miles per hour (instead of the 20 mph limit that many electric bikes are subject to).
These vehicles are off-road only. They cannot be registered, nor can they be ridden on sidewalks, streets, or highways.
How To Register Your Scooter
To register your scooter (assuming New York requires registration), bring the following to the nearest New York DMV office:
- Application for Vehicle Registration and Title;
- A Statement of Transaction for Sales Tax, evidence that you paid sales tax, or evidence that you are exempt from sales tax;
- Demonstrates ownership of the vehicle.
- You may use a bill of sale, a previous registration of the same vehicle (if it transferred ownership to you), or a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin; A government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s licence or state-issued personal ID; and a copy of the vehicle’s Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin.
- Sufficient funds to cover the registration fee.
- These costs fluctuate frequently.
You should not drive your unregistered vehicle to the DMV.
Why Scooters Are Dangerous
Scooters provide no protection in case of an accident. Even a motorcyclist has limited acceleration capabilities when confronted with a hazardous traffic situation. Although you cannot travel very quickly on a scooter, the majority of other vehicles on the road can, and they pose the greatest risk.
You cannot avoid this risk by riding on the sidewalk, as New York law prohibits riding scooters on sidewalks. Strictly adhere to all New York scooter laws, as they exist for your safety and the safety of others.
Reach Out to a Lawyer If You Suffer an Injury Accident
Accidents involving motorcycles and scooters result in a distressingly high number of wrongful death claims. If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a scooter accident caused by someone else, do not suffer in silence. Contact a personal injury attorney to arrange a free consultation.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.