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Do You Need a License and Insurance To Ride a Scooter in Buffalo, NY?

Posted on 04/10/24

Operating a scooter in the state of New York requires operators to be licensed and the scooter to be registered and insured.

There can be some confusion about what actually classifies as a scooter and what would classify as a moped or other similar type of low-speed vehicle. Here, we want to discuss license, insurance, and registration requirements specifically for scooters as they are defined under the New York DMV classifications.

Class A Scooters in New York

Class A scooters come with very specific requirements for owners and drivers. These are vehicles that reach top speeds between 30 mph and 40 mph. Operating Class A scooters requires that drivers obtain a motorcycle (M/MJ) license, and these vehicles can be operated in any traffic lane.

How does a person get an M/MJ license in New York?

  • Start with a learner’s permit. First, you’ll need to pass a written test to obtain your learner’s permit. This test covers the basic rules of the road and motorcycle safety practices. You can prepare by studying the New York State Motorcycle Operator’s Manual and taking practice tests available on the DMV website.
  • Complete a pre-licensing course. New York encourages all riders to take a motorcycle safety course, which can provide valuable riding tips and often allows you to skip the road test. The course, typically a DMV-approved Motorcycle Safety Program (MSP) course, culminates in a written and skills test.
  • Schedule and pass the road test. If you choose not to take or do not pass the safety course, you will need to schedule a road test where you’ll demonstrate your ability to handle a motorcycle in various traffic situations under the observation of a DMV examiner.
  • Apply for your license. Once you’ve passed your tests, you can apply for your Class M or MJ license. Ensure you have all necessary documentation, including proof of identity and New York State residency.
  • Understand insurance requirements. In New York, having insurance for your scooter or motorcycle is mandatory. Ensure you have the proper coverage before hitting the road to avoid legal issues and protect yourself in case of a motorcycle accident.

Carrying Insurance on Your Scooter in NY

Almost every major insurance carrier and most smaller carriers will provide some type of insurance coverage for Class A scooter operators. This type of insurance is not terribly expensive, but drivers must obtain and provide proof of this insurance before operating these vehicles on New York roadways.

Registering the Scooter With the DMV

Registering a Class A scooter in New York is not terribly difficult, but it will require a trip to the DMV. The date provides a form that you can use to help determine what documents you will need to bring to the DMV in order to obtain your scooter registration. Please note that you will have to click the button that says, “Motorcycle or Moped,” as Class A scooters are simultaneously called Class A mopeds in New York.