Scooter drivers need a license

Wednesday, September 28th 2005, 10:04 am
By: News On 6

There are plenty of scooters on the roads these days and plenty of scooter drivers - without the proper license.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says it seems they're everywhere - those scooters that people are buying to save on gas.

Danita Alexander bought one and loves it. Her scooter gets 80 miles per gallon, but she's driving without a permit, because she didn't think she needed one. "The lady at the DMW told me the state doesn't require it if it's less than 250 CC's, and this is 150 CC’s, so I've been riding around without the endorsement.”

The confusion is because state law hasn't caught up with scooters - that can now go as fast as a car on a much smaller engine. Ken Miller with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety: "There's still a lot of people who are not aware or don't know you need one."

The Department of Public Safety tests motorcycle and scooter drivers, and gives them a special endorsement on their license. It's a driving test, just like the one given to people driving a car, except the examiner follows behind.

At scooter stores, the license question is one of the first ones asked. Sasha Wycoff-Lanford with Scooters of Tulsa: "We tell them you need a motorcycle endorsement on your license, but sometimes they call a tag agent or the DMV and they do not know."

Until the laws are clarified to define models that might and might not require a license, the state uses a rule of thumb to make the decision.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission says if a scooter has a VIN number for registration, it has to have a tag and the Department of Public Safety says if the scooter has a tag - the operator has to have motorcycle endorsement on their license. That's almost all of the new models, which are fast enough and big enough to commute and thrifty enough to fill up with just one gallon of gas.