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ODPS Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Motor Scooter Information

ODPS | BMV | Motor Scooter Information

Ohio's Motor Scooter Laws

Motor scooters and mini-motorcycles have become hot items among children and teenagers.

Parents, grandparents and other family members are spending their hard earned money to purchase scooters and mini-motorcycles – only to find out that most cannot be operated on Ohio’s roads.  Often times their children - or grandchildren cannot legally operate the vehicle.

In Ohio, the motor scooters and mini-motorcycles cannot be legally operated on public roadways unless they are:
          • titled,
          • registered
          • properly insured
          • operated by a properly licensed rider at least 16 years old

Most of the small electric and gas powered motor scooters and mini-motorcycles that are sold by sporting good and department stores are not roadworthy, and therefore cannot be titled or registered.

In order for a motor scooter or mini-motorcycle to be considered roadworthy in the State of Ohio, it must:
          • contain a seat or saddle
          • must not have more than three wheels in contact with the ground
          • must contain the proper brake lights, turn signals, horn, side rearview mirrors and headlights

In addition to the physical requirements for roadworthiness, the owner of a motor scooter or mini-motorcycle must also provide proof that the vehicle meets Federal safety standards (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or FMVSS) in order for the vehicle to be titled. 

This can be accomplished in one of three ways:
          • a letter from the manufacturer stating that the vehicle meets FMVSS
          • a picture of the FMVSS sticker on the vehicle including the VIN or
          • the manufacturer's certificate of origin (MCO) stating that the vehicle is FMVSS compliant.

If you purchase a motor scooter or mini-motorcycle and obtain the proper documentation to prove its road worthiness, then you may proceed to the nearest county Clerk of Courts Title office to have a title issued for your vehicle.

After you purchase the title, you will need to obtain insurance and register your vehicle at any deputy registrar's office. Contact the deputy registrar for fees.

When you purchase the registration, a motorcycle plate will be issued and it must be securely fastened to the rear of the vehicle.

It is important to note that the owner and operator of a motor scooter or mini-motorcycle are both subject to financial responsibility suspensions if the proper insurance is not maintained.

In order for an individual to legally operate a motor scooter or mini-motorcycle he or she must be at least 16 years old and hold a valid driver license with a motorcycle endorsement or a motorcycle license. It is important to know Ohio’s road laws and signs before attempting to operate a vehicle of any kind on Ohio’s roadways.

If you have questions you may contact the BMV at 614-752-7600.  You may also want to contact your local law enforcement office for further information.

It’s about your safety, your family’s safety and the safety of all Ohioans.