Getting a licence

So now that you have made the decision to buy a scooter, do you have to get a special licence to hit the road?

You need to follow the licensing rules of the country you live in.

The short answer is it depends on where you live and the type of scooter you want to ride.

Scooter Licensing in the United Kingdom

Licensing rules on the web: Department of Motor Vehicle and Licensing Agency

Make sure you follow the rules above – here are some quick answers to common questions:

  • Can I ride a 50cc scooter without a special scooter licence? Check out the rules for those who hold a full UK driving licence issued before February 1, 2001. In some situations you can ride a 50cc scooter without L plates (and carry a passenger).
  • What is Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)? If you hold a driving licence issued on or after February 1, 2001, check out the rules for Compulsory Basic Training (CBT). This is a full day with an approved instructor, covering areas such as safety theory and riding skills, and can lead to a certificate valid for two years. 
  • What about scooters up to 125cc? Check the rules and you may find you need a full UK driving licence and a CBT, and L plates until you obtain a full motorcycle licence. No passengers without a full licence.
  • What about scooters without power restrictions (above 125cc)? Once again, check the rules, you will need the CBT and a provisional motorbike licence to undertake the Direct Access course, which is a three to five day training in motorcycle skills and handling. If you pass you may get issued with a licence to ride any motorcycle.

Scooter Licensing in Australia

Licence conditions vary greatly depending on where you live, and you need to check with your state or territory’s licensing department for the rules that apply.

50cc scooters are often referred to as mopeds and there is often no distinction made between scooters and motorcycles thereafter.

Here are some links to the licensing rules from different states:

States with special motorcycle licences to drive a scooter on the road.

States with special rules (if you have a driver’s licence) for scooters up to 50cc:

Note where there are special rules for scooters/mopeds up to 50cc, scooters that are more powerful require tests (theory and practical) for a motorcycle licence.

In some states, such as NSW, you can obtain a learner’s permit at 16 and nine months.  In others, such as Queensland and Victoria, you must be 18 to do the same.

Some authorities also restrict the type of scooter you can ride. For example, in Western Australia, you need to have held an R-E licence (for anything over 50cc up to 250cc) for a year before you can take the practical test for an R licence, which enables you to ride above 250cc.

You do need to check the rules in your state, so follow the links and learn about the rules that apply to you.