TN Scooter Laws
As gas prices rose out of control in 2022, many commuters and travelers began to look for cheaper options to get around town. They searched for alternatives that cost less, were friendlier to the environment, and made getting from point A to point B easier. In densely populated areas, from small towns to large cities like Nashville, more and more travelers have been discovering the convenience of motor scooters.
Motor scooters offer drivers a fun way to save money in place of using regular passenger vehicles for transportation. Plus, they consume far less gas for your travel purposes, and many electric scooters are now being manufactured as well. They are a very economical method of getting from place to place, Scooter drivers also enjoy more mobility than cars and are less constrained by gridlock or traffic jams.
In some localities, governments are even providing scooters that you can rent and placing them throughout the area for anyone to use for a small mileage fee. Driving a scooter for pleasure, work, or other purposes is growing in popularity, so city officials are hoping to create less congested roadways by providing these alternatives for people to travel.
What is Considered a Scooter?
Classifying different types of two-wheeled or three-wheeled vehicles comes down to engine size. A motor-driven cycle, also known as a scooter, is defined by Tennessee law as any vehicle with two or three wheels that has an engine cylinder capacity up to 125cc. Anything that exceeds this limit is considered a motorcycle.
A moped, or motorized bicycle, on the other hand, is considered a mix between a pedal bike and a scooter. The state defines it, therefore, as having two or three wheels and a cylinder capacity of 50cc or less.
Both of these machines typically operate with an automatic transmission, making them the perfect two-wheeled vehicle for commuters or pleasure riders in towns and cities.
What are the Motor Scooter Laws in Tennessee
To operate a motorized scooter in Tennessee, there are a few regulations that you need to follow to do so legally. This applies to both motor-driven cycles and motorized bicycles.
Registration for Your Motor-Driven Cycle (Scooter)
Motorized scooters are not like toy scooters. In Tennessee, motor-driven cycles are technically considered motor vehicles, and therefore must be registered with the Tennessee DMV to purchase and operate one. All scooter drivers need to register their scooter or moped is a valid Tennessee driver’s license. You do not have to have a motorcycle license or any special classification as long as it is at least a class m limited license. A limited license restriction prevents certain people from operating specific classes of automobiles.
Additionally, if you plan to use this vehicle on public roads, then you will need to have a valid license plate attached on top of legal registration.
The state of Tennessee requires drivers to purchase insurance for their scooter or moped. However, unlike motorcycles, you are not required to do so to register these automobiles. However, if you were to get into an accident or be pulled over by the police, then you would receive some disciplinary action for not having insured the scooter or moped.
Just like you do when buying a regular motor vehicle, purchase insurance for any scooters or mopeds that you own and operate.
Rules of the Road
Since most motor scooters and mopeds have maximum speed capabilities of around 30 mph, they are only allowed to ride on certain roads within city or town limits. Motor-driven cycles and motorized bicycles are not allowed to go on any highways because of these restrictions.
While on public roads, scooter and moped drivers must ride with traffic and stay as close to the right side of the lane as possible or nearest to the curb. If you are passing another vehicle or making a left turn, then you can move across the lane. Essentially, you follow the same rules that a regular bicycle rider follows.
No matter your age or license classification, Tennessee law requires that you wear a helmet at all times. This is for your protection and you can be fined or charged with a misdemeanor if you wail to wear one while operating the motor-driven cycle or motorized bicycle.
When moped or scooter drivers operate their automobiles, they are much more exposed to injuries than passenger car drivers, so driving your two-wheeled vehicle safely is extremely important.
The Same Regulations Apply to Motorized Bicycles
If you have a slightly smaller engine capacity below 50cc, then you must follow all of the same Tennessee laws as a motor scooter operator. When driving a scooter or moped, you must be aware of these regulations for the safety of yourself and fellow drivers on the road.
Being a Safe Scooter or Moped Driver
Safety is crucial for operating these automobiles because of the lack of protection that the frameworks provide for the driver. By following safer practices, you will be less likely to get involved in an accident. Try to ride only when it is a sunny day, as wet and slippery roads are especially dangerous for two-wheeled vehicles. Also, stick to level ground as you travel from place to place, as scooters and mopeds are less capable of handling rough terrain.
What Should You Do After a Motor Vehicle Accident?
After seeking medical attention and sorting things out with the other driver at the scene of the accident, there is one crucial step you should take once you get home…contacting a car accident lawyer. These legal professionals are available to guide you through any insurance or personal injury claims to ensure that you get the payout you deserve for any damages suffered.
This applies to motor scooter and moped operators as well. Just because your automobile is not like regular passenger vehicles does not mean that you have fewer rights in the event of an accident. If you suffered injuries or property damage, you deserve to pursue compensation for your losses.
Contact Mitch Grissim & Associates
Our professional legal team in Nashville has decades of experience defending clients and guiding them through the claims process successfully. When you need help navigating Tennessee law in regards to accidents involving mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, cars, trucks, or even boats, give us a call at 615-255-9999 for a free consultation.
Together, we will discuss the merits of your case and figure out the best path forward for your claim.