Scooter Endorsement Raises Questions - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Scooter Endorsement Raises Questions

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KENNEWICK, Wash-- Do you need a motorcycle endorsement to legally ride a scooter or not?  There has been plenty of confusion about the issue.  The answer to the question depends on who you ask.

Scooters are booming in popularity, mostly because they can save you a lot of money on gas.

"I'd filled up the previous week $79 and I thought: $79 versus filling a scooter up for $12 that I can ride 150 miles," says Joan Anderson.

Joan recently purchased a new pink scooter.  But she may have hit a bump in the road.  She heard since her bike went over 30 miles per hour she would need an endorsement.  But she was under the impression an endorsement was only required for bikes with a 50-cubic-centimeter engine or higher.  Hers is 49.5-cubic-centimeters.

"We were initially told under 50 C-C, no endorsement is required," says Walt Marsh, a partner of 'Scooter Connections.'

And there in lies the confusion.  Kennewick police officers say Joan does not need an endorsement since her bike is below the 50-cubic-centimeter engine size. 

"Any scooter under 50 C-C, you have to have a Washington state license, you have to wear a helmet, but you can ride it without an endorsement," says Officer Tony Valdez of the Kennewick Police Department.

But not so fast.  KNDU News contacted the Department of Licensing, who says the law reads over 50-cubic-centimeter or over 30 miles per hour, a bike needs an endorsement.

"If you have a vehicle that is 50 C-C or larger, or a vehicle that will go faster on level ground, you should have an endorsement," says Stephen Stewart, manager of motorcycle safety at the Department of Licensing.

That means Joan needs an endorsement.