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Old 02-18-2007, 07:01 PM   #1
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Default Renting a scooter in USA / Canada

How easy is this? Or even just buying a cheap one. What are the licence requirments - would I able to ride one with a provisonal UK licesnce + CBT (Complusary basic training) ?

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Old 02-18-2007, 07:15 PM   #2
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If the scooter is under 150cc's, in most states in the U.S. you do not need a license to ride one. As for renting them, that all comes down to where you are. A lot of beach cities will have scooter rentals, and in the bigger cities, you should be able to find something. Good luck. American drivers aren't very scooter concious. I know, I ride a scooter everyday.
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Old 02-18-2007, 07:44 PM   #3
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if you're hoping to travel around N.A. on a scooter, it's gonna take awhile! Also their pretty strict on age, and the type of license you have. If your getting one that can go fast, and would be considered a proper vehicle, then you'd need your full license.
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Big Papi View Post
If your getting one that can go fast, and would be considered a proper vehicle, then you'd need your full license.
and you'd have to be over 25 in most places...not sure about scooters though. There's probably an age limit on them as well
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Old 02-19-2007, 12:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by marc873 View Post
If the scooter is under 150cc's, in most states in the U.S. you do not need a license to ride one. As for renting them, that all comes down to where you are. A lot of beach cities will have scooter rentals, and in the bigger cities, you should be able to find something. Good luck. American drivers aren't very scooter concious. I know, I ride a scooter everyday.
For you to ride a scooter without a motorcycle endorsement, the motor needs to be less than 50cc's in the states. You still need a driver's license to operate any motor vehicle on the roads (basic rule of thumb, if it has a license plate, you need a driver's license) Anything larger than that, you'll need a motorcycle endorsement, as well.

Given that much, you can usually rent a scooter (often called mopeds) in many major cities - more likely in cities where the weather is lovely, less likely where the weather stinks. You'll have to check for listings online, and they'll usually outline their requirements on their website.

The license requirements will depend on the agency you're renting from. I would assume if you can rent a car and drive it legally in the U.S. you should be able to rent a moped as well. I can say that you're not likely to be able to rent one if you're under 18.

Buying a cheap one, the person selling the scooter probably doesn't care whether or not you've got the right license, just that you've got the cash to pay for it. Cheap depends on several factors, not the least of which is what time of year it is - it's a known fact that motorcycles sell better when the weather turns nice, and the price goes down over the winter.

Check Craigslist for the city you intend to travel in, you'll get an idea of what prices they're running for a cheap scooter, and what's even available. There's also a paper called Auto Trader that has really good listings, as well (they also have online versions, and they have specific papers for cars, trucks, RVs and motorcycles)

Last but not least, don't expect to use your scooter to travel outside of the city - in most cases, you won't be able to get anywhere outside of town without hitting the freeway, and you can't take a small cycle on the freeway.

The provisional license may be an issue, regardless - though the requirements for licensing in the UK are much stricter than in the U.S., the fact that it's provisional may cause problems for you here.
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:17 PM   #6
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I live in Charlotte NC and ride a full size Italian Aprilia Scarabeo 125. In my state, you do not have to have any special license to ride a scooter under 150cc's I've been riding mine full time for over a year. I don't know the specifics of other states, but its fully legal in mine. And I do ride on the interstate as my scooter will do 90mph easily. Buts thats just me
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:53 PM   #7
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Under North Carolina law, if you're riding a 2 wheeled vehicle over 50cc, it's a motorcycle, and you need an endorsement.

http://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislat...s_20-4.01.html

Paragraph 27 defines a motorcycle.

That's the motor vehicle law for North Carolina, only mopeds are exempt from licensing requirements, and they're defined as having a motor less than 50cc

Even your scooter is considered a motorcycle in your state, so you need an endorsement. The reality is that almost half the motorcycle riders in the U.S. don't actually have the endorsement on their license.


This is one of the problems we do run into in the U.S., many of these answers depend on where you're travelling and each state will make their own laws regarding this stuff - often in direct contradiction of other state's laws. Provides for lots of confusion.
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:03 PM   #8
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Thats very interesting, I guess the dealership misled me. I did have to get a license plate, but was told I didn't need a motorcycle license. Oh well, no plans on getting one anytime soon.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:09 PM   #9
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I'd been riding bikes off and on since I was about 16 without the endorsement, I finally got one a couple years ago because I bought a bike that was likely to get me pulled over (a Hayabusa)...

It does lower the cost of insurance on the bike, though.
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