Do I Need a Motorcycle License to Ride a Scooter?

Yes, you do…

Don’t be fooled by slick advertising, you must have a motorcycle license to legally ride a 49cc motor scooter. The flood of Chinese scooters to the market has caused advertisers and some dealers to classify them as mopeds.

Mopeds and scooters are two different vehicles and fall under the different DMV laws and regulations in California. A moped can have a 49cc motor, and a motorcycle license is not required. A scooter with a 49cc motor requires a M2 license, and any two-wheeled vehicle over 149cc requires an M1 license.

It is important to do your research prior to purchasing a scooter to make sure you are within the law. It’s also a good idea, if you have never been on a scooter or motorcycle, to learn how to ride safely. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) provides information on rider training and licensing.