Tennessee Law is lenient, thankfully!

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by decompiler, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. decompiler

    decompiler Member

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws#Tennessee

    As of April, 2008:

    "Motorized Bicycle: The motorized bicycle does not have to be registered nor does a certificate of title need to be obtained. An owner may register the vehicle under regulations issued by the Commissioner of Safety.
    No endorsement is required on a driver license in order to operate a motorized bicycle, thus the motorized bicycle may be operated by anyone with a valid driver license. Goggles, windshields and other special equipment required for motorcycles and motor-driver cycles are not required for operation of a motorized bicycle. However, crash helmets are required regardless of operators age. Minors between the ages of 14 and 16 may apply for a restricted license to operate a motorized bicycle, just as they would to operate a motor-driver cycle. For instance, they must take a written test, vision tests and demonstrate their ability to operate the motorized bicycle. The license issued will be restricted to a motorized bicycle only. The license is valid only during daylight hours and within a seven-mile (11 km) radius of the driver's home. Applicants for any type of license less than eighteen (18) years old, must complete a Minor/Teen-age Affidavit and Cancellation form making the parent or legal guardian financially liable for the applicants action."


    Well, according to this article here in Tennessee, as long as you're an adult rider, all that is required is a mandatory helmet and a driver's license. I have to admit to being quite relieved since many other states have very constrictive motorized bicycle laws. I get very weary of all the multitude of laws and regulations having their hooks in you. The list of things you CAN'T do is far longer than the list of things you CAN do! So it's nice to know that if I mind my P's and Q's, ride responsibly and follow the rules of the road that at least here in Tennessee I'm allowed a small inch of breathing room.


  2. beast775

    beast775 Guest

    excellent news

    sounds like a responsible state ive always liked tennessee.:smile:
  3. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    That may very well be accurate, I don't know- but never trust your legal compliance to Wikipedia.
  4. Torques

    Torques Guest

    Driver's license? I don't think that is a good goal. It's still a bicycle, not a motor vehicle yet they require something that is related to a motor vehicle. There ARE people who don't drive or can afford an automobile and a driver's license shouldn't be a requirement.
  5. decompiler

    decompiler Member

    I think being required to have a driver's license has everything to do with getting more money out of you than anything. I wonder if also allows for an official TN I.D. to be accepted in place of a DL.

    I live 1 minute from a Driver's License office so I really need to go by there and ask them to spell out Motorized bicycle laws for me. I am hesitant to do it since I will probably have to sit them down and explain the whole motorized bicycle phenomenon to them.
  6. crabdance

    crabdance Member

    Hi decompiler,
    Thanks for all the info about Tennessee. I live in Alamo, just north of Jackson in west TN. Where do you live? I don't have a bike yet... still in the "want to" stage <grin>. Did your trip to the DMV turn up any new things about the laws? I would be interested to know.... thanks!
  7. eljefino

    eljefino Member

    I figure the driver's license requirement is so they have something they can take away from you if you get too many OUIs.
  8. crabdance

    crabdance Member

    Can't have too many of them :). I found your intro and found out that you were in Columbia. I used to live there about 8 years ago and then we moved here. Too bad we could not have been riding buddies then.
  9. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    if a dl is required it would remove mbs as an alternative for people that come affoul of the law.
  10. crabdance

    crabdance Member

    you're right there!
  11. crazeehorse

    crazeehorse Member

    tca- 55-8-101:-(34) “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;

    this is copied, form tennessee code. i could find no law stating anyone over the age of 16 is required to wear a helmet. check it out for yourself, but i have been riding without one for a while.

    here is the link to the entire tennessee code


    if you find a law stating adults have to wear a helmet, let me know. i don't need any tickets .
  12. crabdance

    crabdance Member

    Thanks for the Tennessee law quote. I'm about to get my bike together and I need to know these things. I didn't know about the highway law because I think we have one that has a bike lane on it??? Maybe I'm reading it wrong. I read somewhere that you have to wear a helmet. I can't back it up but it was a post on this board and probably on this thread. Either way I'm going to wear one because I know who wins when it comes to cagers vs. bike or road vs. bike. Thanks for the info!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015