Do I Need a License and Insurance to Drive a Scooter in Chula Vista, CA?

Scooters have seen a significant spike in popularity over the last few years. They are affordable, use less gas than cars, and offer a quick and efficient means of traveling short distances.

Different types of vehicles, including motorized vehicles, have specific requirements for licensure, insurance, and registration. Because scooters are a type of motorized vehicle, there is much confusion on whether they come with the same requirements.

For this reason, it can be helpful to know a little bit more about them and the particulars of their legality on the road.

There Are No License or Insurance Requirements for Scooters in California

The California DMV defines a scooter as a two-wheeled device with a motor, handles, and driver’s seat or floorboard for standing, along with the ability to be “powered by human propulsion.”

Under California law, motorists can operate scooters along bike paths but not on sidewalks. They also can’t exceed 15 miles per hour. 

Unlike other motorized vehicles, you don’t need a special license to operate a scooter in California; any standard driver’s license will do. However, you must still obey traffic laws like you would while operating any other vehicle.

California is strict about insurance coverage, but it’s not necessary to have any specific type of insurance to drive a scooter. Additionally, you don’t need to register scooters with the DMV like you would other types of vehicles.

Although scooters don’t have strict requirements, you should always make it a goal to ride safely and observe the laws of the road.

What About Other Types of Motorized Vehicles?

Several other types of motorized vehicles do come with specific legal requirements. 

The California DMV provides descriptions of the different kinds of motorized vehicles and their licensure requirements.


A motorcycle is defined as a two or three-wheeled vehicle with an engine larger than 150cc.

California law requires riders to acquire a special type of license to operate a motorcycle. Licenses for small motorized vehicles in California fall into two separate classes: M1 and M2. Operating a motorcycle requires an M1 license.

Additionally, motorcycle riders must obey the law by purchasing minimum insurance. Minimum insurance includes $15,000 for injury or death to one person, $30,000 for injury or death to multiple people, and $5,000 for property damage.

Motor-Driven Cycles

A motor-driven cycle is similar to a regular motorcycle but with an engine smaller than 150cc. You must also register motor-driven cycles and obtain an M1 license and minimum insurance to drive them legally.


Many people confuse scooters and mopeds, but the two are not the same.

Mopeds, also called motorized bicycles, have two to three wheels and an electric motor with an automatic transmission. To drive a moped, you must be at least 16 years old and wear a helmet at all times.

Mopeds require a motorcycle license, but you can drive one with either an M1 or an M2 license. An M2 lets you legally operate a moped, motorized bicycle, or scooter, while an M1 license gives you more flexibility and allows you to operate a wider range of vehicles.

Mopeds do not require special insurance. However, you must register your moped, which involves applying for special license plates, obtaining an identification card, and paying associated fees.

Stay Protected Legally

Just as it’s important to protect yourself physically while on the road, it is similarly important to protect yourself legally by obtaining proper licensure, registration, and insurance. If an incident arises, you’ll be glad you did.

If you’ve been in an electric scooter accident, contact a personal injury lawyer for help. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact the Chula Vista Personal Injury Law Firm of Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Today To Get More Information

If you’ve been injured in San Diego or Chula Vista, please call Mission Personal Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer or contact us online.

We proudly serve San Diego County and throughout California.

Mission Personal Injury Lawyers
2515 Camino del Rio S Suite 350, San Diego, CA 92108

(619) 777-5555

Mission Personal Injury Lawyers – Chula Vista Office
690 Otay Lakes Rd #130, Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 722-3032

We also serve the state of Texas. Contact our personal injury law office in El Paso for legal assistance today.

Mission Personal Injury Lawyers – El Paso Office
201 E Main Suite 106, El Paso, Texas 79901
(915) 591-1000