Scooter Friendly City or Not? Portland Revises It’s Motorcycle/Scooter Licensing Policies

The Department of Motor Vehicles requires that a motorcycle endorsement be listed on your drivers license in order to ride a scooter or motorcycle legally in most states. In a city such as Portland Oregon, where the metro area boasts eight scooter/motorcycle shops within the city and considerably more within the suburban area… there’s not but one location that offers the training required for one to obtain a motorcycle endorsement. Otherwise one must drive to Beaverton, Troutdale or Oregon City for classes. The only “inner city” location is so far on the outskirts of the city, that it’s considered within the city limits only on technicality.

Classes used to be offered within the inner city until the DMV began relinquishing the responsibility to a company called TEAM Oregon. Now that the city has officially ceased to offer classes, the public has no choice but to purchase the training from this company as the class is now a requirement for anyone over the age of 60 obtaining a motorcycle endorsement. Beginning in 2012 the City of Portland began requiring that all those under the age of 80 would be required to take basic rider education from an approved company. In 2013 the requirement was extended to those under the age of 70… and soon everyone will be required to purchase the training.

As the proud new owner of a 2012 Fiddler II, I have personally felt the sting of this. I contacted the DMV and shared with them my feedback regarding the lack of training facilities close in. I mentioned that I thought it was hard to believe that the very areas that host the largest number of scooters, wouldn’t have a training location that’s more accessible. I can only feel for those who may move here from larger cities such as myself, but that do not have alternate transportation in order to get to the facilities. What if, for instance, you didn’t have a car? You would have to take public transportation two hours out in any direction in order to access the required classes. The classes make sense! The Portland DMV is supporting another location being built within the inner city to help facilitate the processing of the inner city population. Yes DMV! If you built it, they will come!

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