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Driving a 50CC Scooter: Do You Need a License?

  • Driver's License
  • Nova Kainen
  • 4 minutes

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Technically speaking, a 50cc scooter is not considered a motorcycle, but does that mean you won’t get into trouble while driving it without a license? Driving a 50cc vehicle without a license might sound fine for most people, but is it always fine to drive without a license? Do you need a license to drive a 50cc scooter? Here’s the answer.  

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Moped vs. scooter

A Moped is a two-wheeled vehicle having a step-through frame with or without pedals and smaller engines with displacement below 50cc. In contrast, a scooter is a two-wheeled vehicle with a step-through chassis and footrest platform having an engine with displacement ranging from 50cc to 250cc. 

Most states consider 50cc scooters as mopeds. Hence, based on your state, the rules and regulations concerning the licensing requirements vary. You should check out the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website to know the age-specific rules for operating a scooter in your state.  

What are the different licensing rules to drive a 50-cc scooter?

While driving a 50cc scooter, there are certain rules that you need to know. Here are the rules: 

  • You must have a minimum age of 16 years. 
  • While driving a 50cc scooter, you must wear a helmet. 
  • While riding a 50cc scooter, you must have a valid driver’s license. 
  • You must obey all traffic laws. 
  • You must have a clean driven record. 
  • You must have a minimum age of 15 to get a moped permit. 
  • You can only drive scooters on local streets and roads, not Interstate highways. 
  • Some states require vehicle registration, rear license plates, and insurance. 
More: Can You Get a DUI on an Electric Scooter?

Do you need a license to drive a 50-cc scooter?

It is the state you are in which determines whether you need a license to drive a 50-cc scooter or not. In most states, you need a license if you are under the legal age to drive in your state. You will need a take your parent or guardian with you while operating a 50-cc scooter if you are over the legal age to drive age. Certain states permit you to drive a 50cc scooter without a motorcycle license.  

Some states where a license is not compulsory are Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and a few others.  

More: What Does Your Car Say about You? Unlocking the Unseen!

Is There a 50cc Scooter Driving Test?

You must complete the comprehensive basic training (CBT) to qualify to ride a 50cc scooter; the test is valid for two years. To get this training, you need a learner’s license. You can ride certain scooters with a learner’s permit or a full driving license. 

With a provisional license and CBT, you can ride 50cc scooters if you’re 16 or older and 125cc scooters if you’re 17 or more. Scooters must have L-plates and cannot transport passengers. 

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How can you get the 50cc scooter license?

It usually takes around two months to get the 50cc scooter license, which varies based on your locality. 

To get the 50cc scooter license, you should: 

  • Be at least 16 years old 
  • Pass the vision test 
  • Have a driver’s license 
  • Provide proof of insurance 
  • Pass the driving test 

Is it ok to drive a 50cc scooter without a license?

You should not drive a 50cc scooter without a license. Some of the major penalties you could face are: 

  • The court might charge fines up to $1000. 
  • You might be put in jail for six months.  

If found riding without a license while intoxicated, the consequences could be severe. Under state law, 50cc scooters are not considered motorcycles as they have smaller engines.  

Bottom line

Driving a 50cc scooter does not always necessitate a driver’s license, and it purely depends on the state you are in. If you are at least 16 and possess a valid driver’s license, you do not need further authorization to ride a 50cc scooter. The rules of the road should be followed at all times, regardless of the vehicle type. Before taking your scooter out on the open road, you should educate yourself about the local laws.  

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