In order for a motor scooter (motor-driven cycle as
defined by the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code (PDF) to be legally operated on roadways, it must be titled and registered in the commonwealth and have the proper insurance. In order to be titled and registered it must meet PA's
equipment and inspection requirements (PDF) for motor-driven cycles.
Many motor scooters do not have the necessary equipment, such as fenders, turn signals, lights, etc., to pass inspection. Individuals who are looking into purchasing a motor scooter for transportation purposes should verify that there is a manufacturer's certification label affixed to the scooter indicating the scooter meets the applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) for a motorcycle and the certification label is located on a permanent part of the scooter close to the intersection of the steering post with the handlebars and should be easily readable without moving any part of the vehicle except the steering system. Those not manufactured for highway use will not have a certification label and cannot be operated on highways.
Even if a motor scooter were properly equipped and could pass inspection, it still may not be appropriate for use on all roadways if it is not powerful enough to keep up with other traffic. According to Section 3364 (PDF), Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law, no person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic. A motor scooter owner or potential owner should check with local law enforcement officials to ensure they can operate a motor scooter on their intended travel route.
For more information, review the Mopeds, Motor-Driven Cycles and Motorcycles fact sheet.