Rules of the Road for Scooters

Smashed Scooter

Increasing Concern

Motorized scooters, or mopeds, as they used to be called, are becoming more popular in the Springfield area. The Police Department frequently receives questions about the license requirements for the vehicles and their drivers. The scooters are not required to be licensed with the state (because they are considered motorized bicycles) as long as they are under 50cc's in size, are not capable of going more than 30 miles an hour on level ground, have less than three (3) gross horsepower, and have an automatic transmission.

The Rules

In February 2015, Springfield enacted a new ordinance changing the requirements to operate a motorized bicycle (scooter). 

106-514:  License required to operate motorized bicycle; passengers prohibited when; protective headgear required; proof of financial responsibility. 

(a) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle on any highway or street in this city unless the person has a valid license to operate a motor vehicle. 
(b) A person operating a motorized bicycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto. Such operator shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorized bicycle anywhere within city limits unless the motorized bicycle is designed to carry a passenger. If a motorized bicycle is designed to carry a passenger, the operator shall not carry more than one passenger. 
(c) Every person operating or riding on any motorized bicycle upon the streets of the city shall wear protective headgear at all times the motorized bicycle is in motion. The protective headgear shall meet the standards and specifications established by the state director of revenue. 
(d) No person shall operate any motorized bicycle upon the streets of the city without proof of financial responsibility for the motorized bicycle that is the same as the proof required by RSMo 303.010 et seq for motor vehicles.

In Summary

To summarize, operators of motorized bicycles (scooters) must have a valid driver’s license to operate the vehicle. A passenger can only ride when the motorized bicycle is designed and equipped for a passenger (designated seat and some type of footrests). Both the driver and passenger must wear DOT approved helmets, and the driver must provide proof of financial responsibility upon the demand of a law enforcement officer who lawfully stops such operator.