Jill Kolodner | November 17, 2023 | Maryland Law
In a city as densely populated as Baltimore, getting around by car or truck is not always easy. A more convenient way to travel Baltimore streets is often by scooter. These small, two-wheeled devices are small and agile and can take a rider to places even a bicycle or motorcycle cannot go — at a cost less than that of traditional vehicles.
While the benefits of scooters may be clear, what you must do to operate them legally may not be as obvious. Here is what you need to know about scooter license and insurance requirements in Maryland.
Definition of a Motor Vehicle by Maryland Law
To understand licensing requirements for scooters, it’s helpful to first consider whether scooters fall within the definition of a “motor vehicle” in Maryland law. In Maryland, cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles are subject to licensing and insurance requirements.
Maryland statutes do not treat scooters of any type as a motor vehicle. Section 11-135 of the Maryland Transportation Code contains the “motor vehicle” definition and expressly excludes motor scooters and electric low-speed scooters.
However, while Maryland law doesn’t consider a scooter a motor vehicle, this does not mean that scooters are automatically excluded from license and insurance requirements as well.
Do I Need a License To Ride a Scooter in Maryland?
You will need a driver’s license if you want to drive a motor scooter in Maryland. If you have a valid driver’s license for other motor vehicles, you do not need to obtain any special motorcycle or moped license to drive a motor scooter. Absent a valid driver’s license, you must obtain a moped permit to drive a motor scooter.
Do I Need Insurance for My Scooter in Maryland?
Yes. In Maryland, you will need to make sure you carry liability insurance for your scooter. This means that you must have adequate insurance to cover you and your scooter in the event of a Baltimore crash. The minimum policy requirements include up to $30,000 for bodily injury per person, up to $60,000 for bodily injury per claim, and up to $15,000 for property damage.
Electric Low-Speed Scooter License and Insurance Laws
Conversely, a rider does not need a scooter license or to carry any insurance when using a low-speed electric scooter. An electric low-speed scooter is a device that has:
- A seat for an operator
- Two wheels, one of which is at least ten inches in diameter
- A step-through chassis
- An automatic transmission
- A motor with a rating of 2.7 horsepower or less, or a capacity of less than 50 cubic centimeters of piston displacement
In the event of an accident, other insurance coverage the rider or at-fault driver may have would pay for the losses you might suffer.
Knowing Maryland Law Can Protect You on the Road
While you can ride an electric low-speed scooter in Maryland without complying with any additional licensing or insurance requirements, keep in mind that the same is not true if you want to use a motor scooter in Baltimore.
Before legally using a motor scooter on the road, you must have at least a moped permit or other driver’s license and the state’s minimum vehicle liability coverage. This protects you and others if you are involved in a crash. A scooter accident lawyer will be able to further safeguard your rights and interests after a wreck in Baltimore.
Contact the Baltimore Personal Injury Law Firm of WGK Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
For more information contact the Baltimore personal injury law firm of WGK Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation.