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Q

I live in Michigan and I want to know how old you have to be to get a scooter license?


A

It will depend upon if your scooter is classified as a moped or motorcycle in your home state of Michigan as to the age you must be to get a license to drive it.

Michigan like most states has its own definitions of 2 wheeled vehicles. In MI, a moped is defined as having less than 50 cc engine displacement, less than 2 brake horsepower, and is capable of no more than 30 mph on a level surface. If it does not meet all three of the listed requirements, it is considered a motorcycle.

In the state of Michigan a scooter may be either a moped or a motorcycle depending on its size. Riding a motorcycle requires a CY endorsement on your Michigan license. A properly registered moped can be ridden on the street by any licensed driver or anyone 15 years of age or older with a moped license.

The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) notes that a moped is defined by law as a motor vehicle with two or three wheels that:

  • Produces 2.0 horsepower or less
  • Has an engine that does not exceed 50 cc piston displacement
  • Does not have a gearshift
  • Has a top speed of 30 mph or less on a level surface.

Vehicles exceeding any of the criteria above must be registered and titled as a motorcycle. The definition of a motorcycle, per the MI motorcycle handbook, is a two- or three wheeled motor vehicle with a saddle or seat that produces more than 2.0 brake horsepower and can attain speeds greater than 30 mph on a level surface.

Other types of vehicles, such as electric scooters, "pocket rockets" and mini-choppers, may fit the definition of a moped or a motorcycle, but cannot be registered by the Department of State if they lack the equipment required by law to legally drive on public roads.

If you do not have a valid operator or chauffeur license and are at least age 15, you may apply for a moped license if your scooter falls into the definition of a moped. The MI SOS notes that you are not eligible for a moped license if your operator or chauffeur license is suspended, revoked or denied unless the suspension is for a medical reason.

To obtain a moped license:

  1. You must pass vision, knowledge and traffic sign tests. You do not have to pass a driver education course or a driving skills test.
  2. If you are under age 18, a parent or legal guardian must sign your license application.
  3. You must give up your moped license if you obtain a regular operator or chauffeur license.
  4. The original moped license fee is $7.50. Applicants who are under 20 years, 6 months old receive a moped license valid until their 21st birthday. Any other moped license expires four years from the applicant's last birthday. The four-year renewal fee is $6.
  5. If you are under age 19 you must wear an approved and properly fastened safety helmet when riding a moped on a public road.

To operate a motorcycle on public roads, you must possess a valid Michigan driver's license with a motorcycle endorsement. The cost of the motorcycle endorsement is added to the regular driver's license fee.

To obtain a motorcycle endorsement, you will need to pass a vision screening and a written knowledge test as well as a motorcycle safety course or a motorcycle skills test. The requirements for obtaining a motorcycle endorsement differ for teens and adults.

To apply for a motorcycle endorsement, teens must be at least 16 and:

  1. Possess a valid Level 2 or Level 3 Graduated Driver License.
  2. Successfully complete an approved motorcycle safety course.
  3. Pass the written knowledge test administered at a Secretary of State office.

To apply for a motorcycle endorsement, adults 18 or older must:

  1. Possess a valid driver's license.
  2. Pass the written knowledge test administered at a Secretary of State office.
  3. Pass the motorcycle skills test given by a third-party testing organization approved by the Department of State or pass a motorcycle safety course approved by the Department of State.

The Michigan Department of State can issue a motorcycle Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP). A motorcycle TIP allows applicants to practice riding on public roads under the constant visual supervision of a licensed motorcycle operator age 18 or older. You may not ride at night or carry passengers when using a motorcycle TIP.

The motorcycle TIP is valid for 180 days from the issue date. To apply, you must have a valid operator's or chauffeur's license, pass a written test, and pay the endorsement fee. Teens ages 16-17 must have a valid Level 2 or Level 3 Graduated Driver License and present proof of enrollment in or completion of an approved motorcycle safety course.

So if your scooter falls under the definition of a moped you can apply for a moped license at age 15 though a parent or guardian must sign on your moped license application. If your scooter is considered by the state of Michigan to be a motorcycle than you must be at least 16 years of age and have a Level 2 or 3 graduated driver's license (GDL) in order to apply for a motorcycle endorsement on your license.

To find out more information about the definition of moped, motorcycles, etc and the steps to get the type of license you need to drive your scooter contact the MI SOS directly.

For affordable Michigan car insurance click here. Get MI motorcycle insurance quotes here.


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