A motor scooter is defined in Maryland Vehicle Law, Section 11-134.5 as a non-pedal vehicle that:
- Has a seat for the operator.
- Has two wheels, of which one is 10 inches or more in diameter.
- Has a step-through chassis.
- Has a motor with a rating of 2.7 brake horsepower or less or if the motor is an internal combustion engine, with a capacity of 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement or less.
- Equipped with an automatic transmission.
If a vehicle matches these criteria, but has an engine displacement of 51 cubic centimeters, or more, it is considered a Motorcycle as defined under Section 11-136.
A Class M motorcycle license is not required. However, each individual operating a moped or a motor scooter on any roadway in Maryland must have a driver license of some class issued in this state or from his or her state of residency. A moped operator's permit issued to the individual is also valid. The MVA will not issue a moped operator's permit to any individual whose driver's license is suspended or revoked.
Effective October 1, 2012 all Motor Scooters and Mopeds must titled, insured, and display a registration decal. For information please go to Titling and Decal for Mopeds and Motor Scooters.
Traffic laws that apply to individuals riding a bicycle also apply to people operating a motor scooter.
When operating a motor scooter, the rider must ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practical and safe except when:
- Making a left turn.
- Operating on a one-way street.
- Passing a stopped or slower moving vehicle.
- Avoiding pedestrians or road hazards.
- The right lane is a right turn only lane.
- Operating in a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle or motor scooter and another vehicle to travel safely side by side.
Effective October 1, 2012 operators Operators of motor scooters are encouraged to must wear a DOT compliant motorcycle helmet and approved eye protection.
Motor scooter operators may ride side by side only if the flow of traffic is unimpeded and must exercise due care when passing a vehicle.
A passenger cannot be carried on a motor scooter unless the motor scooter is equipped to carry a passenger.
The use of headsets covering both ears, or earplugs are prohibited except in certain circumstances.
A person may not operate a motor scooter on a roadway where the posted maximum speed limit is more than 50 miles per hour, or on an expressway or other controlled access highway. If the roadway has a bike lane paved to a smooth surface or a paved shoulder, a person operating a motor scooter must use the bike lane or shoulder and may not ride on the roadway except for a situation identified above as (1 through 6).
A motor scooter may not be operated at a speed in excess of 30 miles per hour.
It is unlawful to operate a 3-wheeled Motor Scooter in any jurisdiction other than Ocean City.
Operators of motor scooters should check their local jurisdictions for any laws that may affect the operation of a motor scooter.
Prior to the sale of the vehicle, any dealer or agent or employee of a dealer, salesman, or other person who sells the motorcycle must inform the buyer of the operation restrictions.
For a list of Frequently Asked Questions go to Mopeds and Motor Scooters.