Requirements for Driving a Scooter in Tennessee

Tennessee regulates the operation of motor scooters on the roads and highways in the state.
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Motorized scooters that meet the Tennessee Department of Public Safety's definition of a motor vehicle are permitted to be driven on the roads in the state. The law requires that scooter drivers operate the two-wheeled vehicle safely and in compliance with Tennessee laws and regulations. Scooters offer drivers an economical method of transportation and a fun way to enjoy a sunny day.


The state of Tennessee requires drivers of motorized bicycles, motor scooters and mopeds to have a driver's license with a class "M" limited license restriction. The state defines a motor scooter as a vehicle with two or three wheels and an engine size that does not exceed 125 cubic centimeters. The motor scooter is classified by the Tennessee Department of Safety Driver Control Division as a "motor driven cycle." The limited license allows drivers to ride a moped or motor scooter in the state, but does not allow the driver to operate a motorcycle. A class "M" license without restrictions or limitations is required for the operation of a motorcycle in Tennessee.

The state issues class "M" limited licenses to drivers between the ages of 14 and 16. The 14- to 16-year-old drivers are limited to operating the motor scooter between 4 a.m. and 8 p.m. The younger drivers must also stay within a seven-mile radius of the driver's home under Tennessee law.

Registration Requirements

The Tennessee Department of Safety requires motor scooters and mopeds to be titled and registered in the state to legally drive on public roads. The driver must follow the same process as a motorcycle operator when registering the vehicle. The state requires the title or the Manufacturer's Statement of Origin and proof of residency in Tennessee to register the scooters in the state. The County Clerk registers vehicles in the state of Tennessee. The operator must provide proof of identity to the County Clerk when registering the motor scooter in the state as well.

Safety Rules

Tennessee requires helmets for all operators of motor scooters, mopeds and motorcycles in the state.