Scooters, Mopeds, Etc... in Vermont
The state of Vermont has different names and classifications for motor vehicles that drive on two and three wheels. If you’re looking for a way to spend less on gas and take up less space in the parking lots, but aren’t quite sure of all the laws associated with your motor-driven cycle or autocycle, continue reading to see what you need to hit the road legally and safely.
Vermont Motor-Driven Cycles
A motor-driven cycle in the state of Vermont is defined as any vehicle with:
- Either 2 to 3 wheels.
- A power source that:
- Can produce up to 2 brake hp.
- Has a piston or rotor displacement that can’t go above 50 cc if a combustion engine is used, allowing the vehicle to drive 30 MPH maximum on level ground without the help of human pedaling.
- Is built with a power drive system that works directly or automatically—meaning that you don’t have to clutch or shift once the drive system starts up.
Vermont Motor-Driven Cycle Laws
In order to ride a motor-driven cycle in Vermont, you DO NOT need to have a motorcycle endorsement, but you DO NEED to have a valid driver’s license.
When riding your motor-driven cycle, you must:
- Only ride sitting on the permanent and regular seat that it was made with.
- Always sit facing forward and straddling the seat, with one leg on each side of the vehicle.
- Carry anyone else with you on the motor-driven cycle, unless the vehicle is designed to carry multiple people at once.
- Travel with any packages, bundles, or other objects that could keep you from having both hands on the handlebars at all times.
- Ride OR carry someone in a way that can affect your ability to control the vehicle safely.
VT Motor-Assisted Bicycles
In the state of Vermont, a motor-assisted bicycle is any bicycle or tricycle with:
- Pedals for you to use.
- A motor that:
- Has a power output of EITHER 1,000 watts or less OR 1.3 hp.
- Can go up to 20 MPH on level pavement (this is assuming the rider weighs 170 lbs).
Vermont Motor-Assisted Bicycle Laws
A motor-assisted bicycle in Vermont DOES NOT have to be registered or inspected, and you DO NOT need to have a license to ride one.
Because the state considers motor-assisted bicycles to be bicycles, you would follow all of the bicycle laws while riding, which include:
- Riding as far to the right as possible, except when:
- Getting ready to turn left.
- Coming up to a right turn lane when you’re planning on going straight.
- Passing another vehicle.
- Avoiding any hazards on the roadway.
- NOT riding:
- Side by side next to more than 1 person at a time in a single lane.
- At night (between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise) without having:
- A white lamp on the front of the bike that shines at least 500 ft. in front of it.
- A red lamp (either flashing or steady) on the back of the bike that you can see from at least 300 ft. away.
- Reflectors with a surface area of at least 20 sq. inches. on the bicycle or on you, that is visible from at least 300 ft. away.
*NOTE: There is a $100 fine for riding your bicycle at night without the proper lights.
Scooters in Vermont
Depending on the size of your scooter’s engine, it can either be classified as a motor-driven cycle or a motorcycle. For more information about how your scooter is classified, call the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles at (802) 828-2000.
Your scooter will have to be registered and insured, and you will also need to have a motorcycle endorsement. However, as long as you complete the Scooter Basic RiderCourse, you won’t have to take the motorcycle written and skills tests.
Scooter Basic RiderCourse
With 5 hours of classroom training and 10 hours of on-scooter training, the Basic RiderCourse is set up to teach you the skills you’ll need before hopping aboard your scooter in Vermont.
To enroll in the class, you must:
- Be at least 16 years old.
- Hold a valid Vermont driver’s license.
- A DOT approved helmet (If you don’t have a helmet, one will be provided for you to use for the course).
- Footwear that goes over the ankle.
- Long, durable pants.
- A jacket or long-sleeved shirt.
- Protective eyewear.
- A pair of sturdy, full-fingered gloves.
Textbooks and scooters will also be provided to you to use for the class if needed.
A motorcycle with 3 wheels in the state of Vermont is called an autocycle.
- Ridden while sitting down with your legs forward.
- Controlled with a steering wheel AND pedals.
- Built with safety belts for all riders.
- Sometimes fully enclosed, meaning that they are sometimes built with a windshield that has full enclosures covering the top and the sides of the autocycle to protect its passengers.
While riding your autocycle, you will need to follow Vermont’s motorcycle laws for the most part; however, you DO NOT need to have a motorcycle endorsement to ride. You also DO NOT need to wear a helmet if your autocycle is fully enclosed.