Tennessee Motorized Bicycle Rules

License Required & Registration Not Required

  1. hey guys
    not been on here in a long time. Graduated from nursing school and passed my boards this semester whoo hoo!

    I found a news article for florida about not being able to ride in Florida any longer except on private property


    I got on here but not much about TN law so I found it on line
    so here is Tennessee law .. wheew we are lucky they have not started on us yet but.. there are not as many of us here like other places.
    I spent a lot of time but finally found this so now can rest....
    we dont have to have tags but maybe we will just go ahead and get TN tags just to be safe when we travel with our bikes.
    That is sooo sad about florida cause that messed it up for us
    we go there to ride


    (37) "Motorized bicycle" means a vehicle with two (2) or three (3) wheels, an automatic transmission, and a motor with a cylinder capacity not exceeding fifty cubic centimeters (50cc) which produces no more than two (2) brake horsepower and is capable of propelling the vehicle at a maximum design speed of no more than thirty miles per hour (30 mph) on level ground. The operator of a motorized bicycle must be in possession of a valid operator's or chauffeur's license, and shall be subject to all applicable and practical rules of the road. A motorized bicycle may not be operated on a highway of the interstate and defense highway system, any similar limited access multilane divided highway, or upon sidewalks;

    Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 55-8-101 (Copy w/ Cite)

    Pages: 10

    Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 55-8-101

    © 2011 by The State of Tennessee
    All rights reserved


    Title 55 Motor and Other Vehicles
    Chapter 8 Operation of Vehicles--Rules of the Road
    Part 1 Operation of Vehicles -- Rules of the Road

    Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 55-8-101 (2011)


    (k) The owner of a motorized bicycle may, subject to the approval of the commissioner, apply for registration and registration plates for the motorized bicycle. The commissioner shall by regulation provide for the manner in which single applications are to be made and the conditions under which they may be allowed; however, this subsection (k) shall not be construed as granting the commissioner authority to issue registration and plates for motorized bicycles on any basis other than as is required in this chapter. Each applicant for registration under this provision shall be charged the same registration taxes imposed on Class (A) motor vehicles by Sec. 55-4-111.

    Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 55-4-101 (Copy w/ Cite)

    Pages: 5

    Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 55-4-101

    © 2011 by The State of Tennessee
    All rights reserved


    Title 55 Motor and Other Vehicles
    Chapter 4 Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicles
    Part 1 General Provisions

    Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 55-4-101 (2011)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2015

  2. IbedaYank

    IbedaYank Member

    laws are in motorcycle permit handbook
  3. Maxx Ported

    Maxx Ported Member


    motorized bikes do not need a licence plate in tennessee

    Tennessee law has special provisions regarding motorized bicycles that are less than 50 cubic centimeters. Most laws regarding motorcycles and scooters do not apply for motorized bicycles, though the state does require drivers to follow some safety regulations.

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    All Tennessee residents holding a valid driver's license may drive a motorized bicycle, though teens aged 15 and 16 must apply for a motorized bicycle restricted license, issued after vision, written and practical driving tests have been passed. Teen licenses are valid within seven miles from the license holder's home and only between 4 a.m. and 8 p.m.


    Motorized bicycles are not required to be registered with the state, nor is a title necessary, though Tennessee residents may register their vehicles if they wish. Drivers under age 18 must complete a "Minor/Teenage Affidavit and Cancellation form," making a parent or legal guardian financially responsible for the teen driver's actions.


    Most equipment required for motorcycle driving, such as goggles and windshields, are not required when driving a motorized bicycle. However, crash helmets are always required when using a motorized bicycle, regardless of the driver's age.

    Read more: Tennessee State Law for Motorized Bicycles | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_7440106_tennessee-state-law-motorized-bicycles.html#ixzz1mEH3ZbrV
  4. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    (34) Motor-driven cycle means every motorcycle, including every motor scooter, with a motor that produces not to exceed five (5) brake horsepower, or with a motor with a cylinder capacity not exceeding one hundred twenty-five cubic centimeters (125 cc). TC title 55-8-101 (34), you can also build in this category but there are lighting, braking, horn, registration, insurance, and motorcycle license requirements. Pocket bikes, larger than 50 cc mopeds, street dirt bikes etc fall into this category but you can build a bicycle to fit into it as well.
  5. kaylus

    kaylus New Member

    Actually - The rules

    Sorry to Zombie this old thread, but it comes up first amongst Google searches and has a bit of misinformation in the last post. There are quite a few code warriors who read the Tennessee code and extrapolate their information.

    This morning while riding my Tomos A3 I had a Police Officer pull up next to me and shout through his loudspeaker: You need to drive that on the Sidewalk or get tags!

    What!? Seriously?

    I called up the County Clerk and they said: If it is under 50cc it is motorized bicycle and does not need to be registered or titled.

    They pointed me to the Motorcycle Manual, page 3, and advised me to carry the manual with me:


    MOTORIZED BICYCLE: (under 50 cc) The motorized bicycle does not have to be registered, nordoes a certificate of title need to be obtained. An owner may register the vehicle underregulations issued by the Commissioner of Revenue.No endorsement is required on a driver license in order to operate a motorized bicycle; thus themotorized bicycle may be operated by anyone with a valid driver license.

    Goggles, windshields and other special equipment required for motorcycles and motorͲdrivencycles are not required for operation of a motorized bicycle.However, crash helmets are requiredregardless of the operator's age.

    Minors between the ages of 15 and 16 may apply for a restricted license to operate a motorizedbicycle, just as they would to operate a motorͲdriven cycle.For instance, the applicant must takea written test, vision screening and demonstrate the ability to operate the motorized bicycle.Thelicense issued will be restricted to a motorized bicycle only.

    The license will be valid only betweenthe hours of 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and within a seven (7) mile radius of the motorͲdriven cycledriver's home.Applicants less than eighteen (18) along with the parent or legal guardian must complete aMinor/Teenage Affidavit and Cancellation form making the parent or legal guardian financiallyliable for the applicant's action.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  6. 2old2learn

    2old2learn Member

    Seems like a very reasonable set of rules.
  7. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Well the law plainly says you can't ride a motorized bicycle on the sidewalks either in Tennessee. Tennessee has thee categories motorized bicycle, motor driven cycle and motorcycle. If you were to build a motor driven cycle it'd have to pass all safety inspections before a tag could be issued for it.

    The law I'm referring to is 55-8-101(34) motor driven cycle; not to be confused withe 55-8-101(35) motorized bicycle.