What type of license do I need for a scooter?

Half the states and territories in Australia require you to have a motorcycle licence to ride a scooter (electric motor or internal combustion engine).

The other half allow you to ride a scooter if you have a car licence – but only if the scooter’s engine size is 50cc or less and/or it can’t go faster than 50kmph (scooters of this nature are also called ‘mopeds’).

The following table outlines the rules in the respective jurisdictions:

Riding a scooter in Australia1
Engine capacity / top speed Motorcycle licence required Car licence acceptable
50cc or less / 50kmph or less ACT, NSW, Tas, Vic NT, Qld, SA, WA2
More than 50cc / more than 50kmph All states / territories No states / territories
  1. Details correct as of April 2019. For more information about the licencing of scooter riders, contact the road and transport authority in your state or territory.
  2. Learner drivers in South Australia and Western Australia must pass riding tests before they can legally ride a moped.

Carrying passengers on mopeds

While some states and territories allow car-licence holders to ride mopeds, few, if any, allow them to carry passengers on a scooter.

In Queensland, for example, scooter riders can only carry passengers if the rider has held a motorcycle licence for at least 12 months.

Automatic car licences

If you live in a state or territory that permits licenced drivers to ride scooters and you have an automatic car licence, you may be restricted to riding an automatic scooter (which most of them are anyway).

Learner drivers

While Queensland, for example, allows learner, provisional and open drivers licence holders to ride mopeds, learners in South Australia and Western Australia must pass riding tests before they can legally ride a moped. 

Plan to ride a scooter on your overseas trip?

Budget Direct travel insurance policyholders can be covered for claims arising from two- and three-wheeled motor vehicles, including scooters, as long as:

As the driver or passenger:
  • you are wearing a helmet (regardless of the law of the country you’re in)
As the driver:
  • you hold a licence appropriate for the country you’re in, and
  • if using a motorcycle rated 125cc or higher, you hold a valid licence for driving the equivalent-rated motorcycle in Australia.

More information

For more information about the licencing of scooter riders in Australia, contact the road and transport authority in your state or territory.

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