California Motor Scooter (Vespa-type) Laws

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Xander562, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. Xander562 macrumors 68000


    Apr 2, 2006
    Hey so I've been looking into (maybe) wanting to get a little motor scooter. However, I'm not really sure what the laws are pertaining to them. I've tried looking for them on the California DMV website, however there seems to be a lot of confusion on what a "motor scooter" is, since it obviously can refer to this:
    or this:
    or this:

    Yet I am only interested in the third one. the "vespa" style motor scooter. So does anyone know anything about the laws surrounding these? E.g. what type of license you need, regular drivers license vs. motorcycle license. Any strange limitations? I'm fairly certain they aren't allowed on freeways, but that doesn't bother me. Again this is in the state of California. If you don't personally know for sure, can you recommend a comprehensive version of the California vehicle code? Thanks!
  2. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I want to know the same thing but for Texas. The sources that I have found so far are very confusing.
  3. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040


    Sep 13, 2003
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    Obvious answer is ask someplace that sells them.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2007
    Has a salesman ever lied to you?

    Obviously, the answer is NOT to ask a scooter salesman. Has a salesmen ever told you a lie just to sell you the product? "Heck no, you don't need no stinking license to ride this 250cc scooter. How would you like to pay for it?"

    I'm sure the information is on the state DMV website, you just have to find it.
  5. TheAnswer macrumors 68030


    Jan 25, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    A couple of my friends have had Vespas or similar over the years...IIRC, it's the motorcycle license and if it has enough HP they can go on the freeway. However, this is from memory and not from the Vehicle Code, which surely has all the info you need somewhere inside. The Motorcycle Handbook might actually have what you need and is easier to navigate.
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    in BC, a resident has to have a full driver's license plus a Class 6 or Class 8 motorcycle license. There is a cutoff based on the motorsize - 50cc - below which you can operate with just a driver's license.
  7. caseybru macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2008
    motor scooter laws in Ca

    First you must be sure it is Ca approved [ CARB ] then you must get an M2 license for a scooter or an M1 license for a motorcycle. This became law in 2006. Before that you could ride with a class C license.
    I just bought a new Titan 150cc. The Chineze operators manual says it has a fuel shutoff lever at the left side of the tank and I can`t find it. I found an electronic shutoff switch. Anyone know any thing about this scooter. It is also called a Lifan Velocity 150cc.
  8. sgbaird macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    Regardless of the state you live in, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation can link you to what you need to know.

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