Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report

June 27, 2000




By: James J. Fazzalaro, Principal Research Analyst

You asked if a motorized skateboard falls within the statutory definition of a motor vehicle.

A motorized skateboard appears to fall within the statutory definition of a motor vehicle.

The law defines a “motor vehicle” as any vehicle propelled or drawn by any nonmuscular power and a “vehicle” as “any device suitable for the conveyance, drawing, or other transportation of persons or property, whether operated on wheels, runners, a cushion of air or by any other means.” Certain things are specifically excluded from the motor vehicle definition. These include: aircraft; motor boats; road rollers; baggage trucks used at railroad stations; battery operated wheelchairs operated at speeds of no more than 15 miles per hour; golf carts used solely to cross a road from one part of a course to another; golf carts operated by state employees on the grounds of state institutions; agricultural tractors and farm implements; vehicles that run only on rails or tracks; self-propelled snow plows, snow blowers, and lawn mowers when used for their designed purposes and at no more that four miles per hour; special mobile equipment as defined by law; and bicycles with helper motors (mopeds) (CGS 14-1 (47)(90)).

Since a motorized skateboard appears to fit within the definition of a vehicle, is powered by nonmuscular power, and is not one of the specific exemptions, it seems to fall within the definition of a motor vehicle. John Yacavone, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) chief of legal services, and John Cronan of the Chief State's Attorney's office confirmed our reading of these definitions as accurate with respect to motorized skateboards.

State law prohibits a motor vehicle from being operated or towed on any highway, except as expressly provided by law, unless it is registered with the DMV (CGS 14-12). Yacavone stated that a motorized skateboard would likely not qualify for a registration because it could not meet the various statutory requirements that apply to them. Thus it appears that anyone operating a motorized skateboard on a public street could probably be cited for violating (CGS 14-12).