If you want to zip around town, then a scooter is just what you need. The practicality and ease of riding a scooter give it an edge over motorcycles. I love my Kawasakis and the KTM. But if I need to run a quick nearby errand, I would bring my Honda 110cc scooter instead!
But do I need a motorcycle license for a 150 cc scooter? Yes, in most cases. Most states require a license if your vehicle exceeds 30 mph. You can exceed the speed limit of 50 mph on a 150cc scooter.
So, you will need a motorcycle license to ride one. Or a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement.
Table of contents
- What does a 150cc engine mean in a scooter?
- A motorcycle license to drive a 150cc scooter
- How to get a motorcycle license?
- What are the benefits of having a motorcycle license?
- Safety rules for riding around on your 150cc scooter
What does a 150cc engine mean in a scooter?
The cc stands for cubic centimeters. It’s a measurement of the size of the engine chamber of a motorcycle or scooter. It helps indirectly describe how much power an engine produces.
The lower the cc number, the lower the engine’s power, generally speaking. So, the higher the cc number, the faster the scooter can go, generally speaking. Scooter engines usually start from 50cc and can go up to 500cc or even higher.
A motorcycle license to drive a 150cc scooter
As mentioned, you must have a motorcycle license in most states to drive a 150cc scooter. For example, this includes California and Florida.
In California, a motorcycle is defined as a motor with 2 or 3 wheels. It has an engine size larger than 150 cc. You need a Class M2 motorcycle license to drive one.
Meanwhile, a motor-driven cycle is a vehicle that has 2 or 3 wheels with an engine size smaller than 149 cc. You can drive one if you have a Class M1 or M2 license.
In Florida, you can get a motorcycle-specific license. Or you can get an endorsement instead.
In Ohio, you must have a motorcycle/motor scooter endorsement or license to legally operate a scooter. Additionally, like motorcycles, you need insurance and registration for motor scooters.
On the other hand, scooters that have engines larger than 50cc are often legally classified under “motorcycles.” This is mainly for license purposes.
How to get a motorcycle license?
Most states require the rider to pass two types of tests at the local DMV to get one. One is a written test that tests your knowledge of rules for driving on the road.
The other is a skills test or road test, which shows how good you are at handling your vehicle. Additionally, you must pass other tests, such as vision tests. And also complete a course from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
In most states, riders must also be a certain age to get a driving license and legally drive any engine over 50cc. This is usually 16 years of age.
In California, if you are under 18 years, you also need to get a motorcycle permit first. You can apply for a motorcycle license or endorsement only after you get a permit and hold it for 6 months. Proof of insurance is also mandatory.
States like California have motorcycle-only licenses (Class M), which you need to drive motorbikes and scooters.
Meanwhile, states like Washington have no option for a motorcycle-only license. They need you to get an endorsement or your regular driver’s license. This applies to both two and three-wheeled vehicles.
What are the benefits of having a motorcycle license?
You get to ride legally.
Having a motorcycle license allows you to legally ride your scooter on public roads and public highways. Then you will face fewer issues with law enforcement and are not in any violation of traffic laws.
You get to ride safely.
When you have a license, you are more likely to be well aware of traffic rules. And you can also handle your motorcycle or scooter better as you had to pass a test. So, this keeps you and others around you safer. It’s not just your safety but of the others on the road, as well!
Better insurance rates
Insurance companies usually decide insurance coverage rates for you depending on the size and weight of your scooter. And also whether or not you have a license to ride it.
These rates tend to be lower for a 150cc scooter with a Class M license compared to someone without one.
Safety rules for riding around on your 150cc scooter
Once you get a motorcycle license to take your scooter around, that’s not the end of it. Again, depending on where you are, you need to follow specific rules. They include rules such as having to wear a DOT-approved helmet. And wearing eye safety gear or a face shield.
So, do you need a motorcycle license for your 150cc scooter? In most cases, yes, you do. And if not a special license, then you will need at least a motorcycle endorsement on your valid driver’s license.
This is because most state laws legally classify a 150cc scooter as a motorcycle and apply similar rules. So, before you take your scooter out on public roadways or city streets, make sure to get the proper license.