Notice of disclaimer: On this web page you will find information that is not legal advice. You as a consumer are responsible for researching local state and city laws/regulations to ensure that you’re legally operating a mobility scooter.
Many customers ask us questions like “are mobility scooters street legal?” or “am I allowed to ride my mobility scooter on the sidewalk?” and it’s hard to answer that question because laws vary from state to state and from city to city. In most cases, it’s perfectly legal to do so, but in some private areas and even certain public shopping plazas, they might prohibit the use of scooters.
We highly recommend that you DO NOT use your mobility scooter or power wheelchair on a bike lane or main road where automobiles are meant to drive. Driving your mobility device on a main road or bicycle lane is DANGEROUS and likely illegal (which can result in a fine).
In most states and cities, you are not required to have a license to operate a mobility scooter or power wheelchair that is battery operated. There is a difference between a mobility scooter and a recreational vehicle. Find our if the unit is classified as a recreational vehicle and not a mobility scooter before making a purchase. Recreational vehicles are usually those units that go faster than the average 3-5 miles per hour (like a golf cart or scooter that is not designed for a handicapped person). Laws for recreational vehicles are much different than laws that pertain to mobility scooters and you will need to conduct your own research on local, state and federal laws that pertain to recreational vehicles like the one below:
If you drive on the unit on a side walk or public area where pedestrians are walking about freely then you should be fine. However, if you start to take your mobility scooter on main roads or neighborhood strolls, there are sometimes laws that you need to research which can prevent you from getting in trouble. If you stay off any roads or streets, you should be OK.
The Federal Legalities:
The ADA is typically the entity responsible for setting forth regulations with respect to mobility devices and the rights of individuals living with a disability. It’s encouraged that you get familiar with the ADA Requirements for Mobility Devices which can be found here.
The above regulation states where mobility devices such as power wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and other power-driven mobility can be used.
CHECK FOR LOCAL LAWS:
Some municipalities might set forth specific restrictions, rules, and laws pertaining mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs, and mopeds. Check with your local authorities.
KNOW YOUR STATE LAWS:
In many cases, states develop their own restrictions/rules pertaining to mobility scooters and power chairs that may or may not have an impact on your ability to drive a mobility scooter on the main road bike lane. Check with your state Division of Motor Vehicles so that you know your rights and responsibilities under the law.
Information can also be found on the Wikipedia.org website on electric bicycle laws, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws , but this article does not have the status of law and in some cases is incomplete and/or out-of-date.
Andrew Fatalo is the owner of Statewide Mobility Inc & Mobility Scooters Direct. He has been in the mobility product industry since 2005 and knows a ton about e-commerce marketing. Further, Andrew Fatalo holds numerous mobility product certifications that are all are up to date. He gives back to the handicap community by hosting mobility scooter and electric wheelchair give-aways which you can learn more about by following his companies on Facebook.