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The Scooterist in Vermont

If Vermont DMV classifies a scooter as a "Moped" if the engine displacement is 49cc or smaller, and a "Motorcycle" if it is larger. What that means to the new scooterist in Vermont is as follows:

Moped Laws: If your scooter is 49cc or less, you do not need a motorcycle endorsement on your license to operate a scooter, though you will need a standard Class D car operators' license. You will need to insure it, and you will need it inspected on a yearly basis. A helmet is not required while operating your scooter, and you can park it on the sidewalk at any bicycle rack.

Please Note There have recently been some conflicts with the VT DMV as to whether or not a 50cc scooter is in fact classified as a "moped." Read the VT "Moped" Definition section to learn more.

Motorcycle Laws: If your scooter is above 50cc, you will need a motorcycle endorsement on your standard Class D operators' license. You will need to insure your scooter and have it inspected on a yearly basis. You are required to wear a DOT-approved helmet, and must park your scooter anywhere a car and/or motorcycle can be parked.

Refer to our Scooter Buying 101 article if you are not yet a scooterist and are trying to decide whether to buy a "moped" scooter or a "motorcycle" scooter.

Scooter Insurance

If you need to insure your scooter, many of the larger insurance companies will offer policies which cover both larger and smaller scooters. Defintely shop around for rates, as they vary a lot more than you might think.

My strongest suggestion is to contact Fernet Motorcycle Insurance Brokers at (800)391-8144, and ask to speak with Phyllis. She is great with finding the best policies, especially if you ride a vintage scooter (where your options are drastically slimmer, as not all insurance brokers carry a vintage vehicle program). Thanks to Phyllis I have awesome rates on both my bikes.

Scooter Riders' License

If your scooter is above 50cc, you will need a motorcycle endorsement on your license in order to ride. The easiest and smartest way to accomplish this is to enroll in the Vermont Rider Education Program basic rider safety course. This is a very popular class, sign up as soon as you can - the waiting list can be more than 2 months long!

The class is only a weekend long, there is a short classroom-based class on the friday, riding all day on saturday, and final testing on sunday. Upon completion of the course you will automatically receive your motorcycle endorsement, AND, you will receive a 10% discount on your motorcycle insurance for the rest of your natural-born life.

You don't need to bring your own bike - they provide the motorcycles there, as well as helmets if you need one. The class is early in the morning but it's a lot of fun, and you'll meet some great people and learn some gotta-have motorcycling skills that you probably wouldn't have learned otherwise (the drills on effective cornering and braking alone make this class worth the hundred dollars!).

Article by Kevin Montanaro


The VTScoot InfoBase

The Scooter Defined Winterizing Your Scoot
The Vermont Scooterist Spring Tune-Up
Scooter Buying 101 Tools to Carry
Riding Gear 101 Buyer Beware: Modern
Buyer Beware: Vintage VT "Moped" Definition
Tuning Your Carburetor Basic Maintenance
How to Manual Shift Vespa vs Lambretta
Rules For Group Riding  



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