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Street Legal Scooters: What You Need To Know To Keep It Legal

Jun 26, 2008
Street legal scooters are a lot of fun. Anyone who has ever driven one knows this. However if you are in the market for a new scooter, then you will want to know a little about what is necessary for a scooter to be street legal. This article touches on the different things you will want to know before you purchase your new scooter.

What is Required for a Street Legal Scooter?

- EPA: For one thing, a street legal scooter will need to have an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) approval. This means the scooter can legally be driven without breaking the EPA standards for air quality control.

- DOT: There is also something called D.O.T. compliancy which has to do with the Department of Transportation (DOT). Every state has a department of transportation so you will want to check your state for proper compliance. However, most states will follow the Federal Department of Transportation's vehicle design safety and equipment requirements so this should be fairly standard from state to state.

- Certification of Origin: This is needed for a scooter to be street legal and this should come with the purchase of the scooter. It is also called an MCO or Manufacturers Certification of Origin. Essentially, the MCO is a document that releases the scooter to you by endorsing the Certification of Origin. Usually if you buy a scooter online, the MCO documents are sent a few days after shipment of the street legal scooter.

- Attention California Residents: You will also want to make sure your scooter can pass CARB Certification if you live in California. CARB stands for California Air Resource Board and was created in California to provide more strict policies in the fight for air pollution control and regulations. If you live in California and buy a scooter from another state, make sure to find out about the CARB Certification of the scooter as some scooters are not compliant.

- How Old Do You Have To Be To Drive a Scooter Legally?: This varies from state to state, but 16 is the average age that is permitted in most states. Always make sure to check with your DMV. They should have an easy to use Website that will answer all your questions about driving a scooter in your state.

- What Else Do You Need To Know About Street Legal Scooters?: You will be required to wear a helmet to drive a scooter. However you will not need to carry registration, have license plates on display, or even carry liability insurance. Although it is always recommended you check with your insurance company for potential coverage.

The Street Legal Conclusion:

It is important to be aware of the street legal concept when buying a scooter. The idea is that when you are shopping for a scooter, you will be fully aware of the requirements in your state. This will give you a good starting point but always do your own research concerning the topics mentioned above. Most scooters will be compliant, but make sure to check your DMV website and get all the details from the scooter retailer before the big purchase.
About the Author
Seth Daugherty has a B.S. in Instructional Technology and is currently getting his masters degree in
library and information science. For more information on Street Legal Scooters go to TheScooter.Info
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