What are the Florida laws regarding motorized scooters on public road ways?

For help finding your local law enforcement on the Internet, visit this link and choose your state then choose government regarding motorized scooters.

For help finding you local law enforcement through the phone, refer to a local phone book and call your local law (non-emergency) enforcement regarding motorized scooters.

July 25, 2002

INFORMATION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF LEGAL AFFAIRS

REGULATION OF MOTORIZED SCOOTERS

This office previously issued an opinion on March 18, 2002, as to the legality of operating motorized scooters, or go-peds, on the roadways of this state. The legislature has just amended the statute addressing this issue which now requires us to alter that opinion.

Prior to July 1, 2002, a motorized scooter was included in the definition of motor vehicles and as such, was subject to the equipment and operating laws applicable to all motor vehicles. The Attorney General of Florida, as well as multiple courts, issued opinions consistent with our prior opinion.

As of July 1, 2002, the legislator specifically excluded motorized scooters from the definition of “motor vehicles” for the purpose of Chapter 316, Florida Statutes. As a result, motorized scooters are not subject to the equipment and safe driving requirements of a motor vehicle contained in that chapter.

Chapter 316.003(21), Florida Statutes has been amended to define “motor vehicles” as

“[a]ny self-propelled vehicle not operated upon rails or guideway, but not including any bicycle, motorized scooter, electric personal assistive mobility device, or moped.”

The legislature also added subsection (82) §316.003, F.S., which defines “motorized scooter” as:

Any vehicle not having a seat or saddle for the use of a rider, designed to travel on not more than three wheels, and not capable or propelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground.

As the law currently stands, a motorized scooter does not fall within the definition of moped, motorcycle, or motor vehicle, and as such, the laws governing operation of such vehicles do not apply to motorized scooters.

However, the definition of “motor vehicle” contained in §322.01(26), F.S., was not amended and under this definition, the operator of a motorized scooter is required to posses a driver’s license.

Essentially there is conflict between Motor Vehicle Statute (Ch.316) and the Drivers License Statute (Ch. 322) as to the definition of a motor vehicle and how it relates to motorized scooters. The Attorney General of Florida has issued a similar opinion, concluding that “the legislature may wish to readdress these issues and clarify its intent regarding the operation of motorized scooters in this state.” Copies of the AG Opinion may be obtained from my office upon request.

As a result of the new legislation, effective July 1, 2002, motorized scooters are specifically excluded from the definition of “motor vehicles” for purposes of Chapter 316, F.S., and therefore are not subject to the equipment and safe driving requirements of a motor vehicle contained in that chapter.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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