Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Tennessee

There are plenty of reasons to want to get around town on a scooter or a motorized bicycle.  You’ll be saving gas, stressing less about parking—and it’s fun! But before getting on the road, keep reading to see how the state of Tennessee regulates scooters and motorized bicycles so that you can ride safely and legally.

Tennessee Motor Driven Cycles (Scooters)

In Tennessee, a scooter is classified as a motor-driven cycle. To be considered a scooter, your bike can sport either 2 or 3 wheels, and must have a motor that EITHER:

  • Doesn’t produce more than 5 brake HP.
  • Has a cylinder capacity no larger than 125 CC. 

Driving a Scooter in TN

If you want to drive a motor driven cycle in Tennessee, you will need to have at least a Class-M Limited license, meaning you will have to pass a series of tests, including a:

  • Vision screening.
  • Rules of the road knowledge test.
  • Pre-trip inspection.
  • Skills/road test. 

NOTE: If you don’t already have a driver’s license or permit, you’ll also need to pass a regular written knowledge test of TN’s rules of the road.

You can apply for your license and take your tests at any Tennessee full-service Driver Services Center.  You will need to have:

  • Proof of:
    • U.S. citizenship or legal presence.
    • Identity (2 documents)*.
    • Residency (2 documents), which must:
  • Your Social Security number.
    • If you don’t yet have one, bring in your sworn affidavit.

*NOTE: If you have a different name than the one on your ID, bring proof of your name change.

TN Motorized Bicycles

Tennessee classifies motorized bicycles as vehicles that have:

  • 2 or 3 wheels.
  • An automatic transmission.
  • A motor that:
    • Is 50 cc or less.
    • Doesn’t produce more than 2 brake HP.
    • Can’t go faster than 30 MPH on level ground.

To ride a motorized bicycle in Tennessee, you DO NOT NEED to have a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license. Similarly, goggles, windshields, and other types of equipment needed for riding a motorcycle or motor driven cycle ARE NOT needed to ride a motorized bike—but you DO NEED to wear a standard helmet.

You cannot ride your motorized bike on:

  • Interstate highways.
  • Any type of limited access multi-lane highway.
  • Sidewalks.

These vehicles don’t need to be registered or insured, either.

If you have any more questions about your motorized bicycle or motor-driven cycle, feel free to call the Tennessee Driver Services Division at (866) 849-3548.

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