Rules and Regulations for Using a Scooter in NSW
To ensure maximum safety whilst using your wheelchair or mobility scooter, please read the information below.
What skills do I need to safely drive a mobility scooter or powerchair?
In order to safely operate a mobility scooter or powerchair, you must be able to do the following:
- Keep your balance and adjust your body position and weight when you travel across uneven ground;
- Manoeuvre the machine;
- Operate the controls;
- Judge speeds and distances;
- Spot obstacles and avoid collisions;
- Be sound of mind enough to make safe judgements in order to protect yourself and others around you.
Am I required to have a driver’s licence to drive an electric scooter or powerchair?
No licence is required, however, you must be able to prove that you are legitimately unable to walk, or have difficulty walking, to lawfully drive a motorised scooter or powerchair on the footpath or public road. Generally a doctor’s certificate is appropriate proof of your mobility impairment.
Do I need insurance?
In the case of an accident involving a third party, the Nominal Defendant Scheme covers the third party, however only within road areas, not shopping malls. Therefore, it is recommended users obtain additional insurance covering public liability, home and contents and personal effects, and personal accident. Often motorised wheelchairs and scooters can be included in home and contents insurance.
Do I have to register my mobility scooter or powerchair?
Neither powerchairs, nor electric mobility scooters, need to be registered under NSW law. However strict adherence to the road rules outlined below, is important.
What NSW road rules must be followed?
- A speed limit of 10km/hr must be observed at all times;
- The safety of others must be a priority at all times;
- The footpath and nature strip must be the primary travel route. You should only drive on the road when the footpath or nature strip is unsafe;
- On a path or nature strip, users must give way to other road users;
- If using the road, the mobility scooter/ electric wheelchair user must keep as close to the side of the road as possible and face oncoming traffic;
- The most direct route must be used when crossing a road;
- The mobility unit must not exceed 110kg unladen;
- The motorised wheelchair or mobility scooter must not be used with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 or more.
Do I need third party insurance?
Please refer to the above section ‘Do I need insurance‘. Contact the NRMA to arrange.
How can I increase my safety driving a scooter or power chair?
There are a number of things you can do to easily increase your safety whilst driving a scooter or powerchair. Some of these include:
- Attach an orange safety flag to your chair, ensuring it is high enough so pedestrians and surrounding vehicles can see it;
- Stick to quiet streets and pavements and stay away from major roads and highways;
- Plan your route in advance so you are confident in finding suitable public footpaths;
- Avoid traveling at night. If such travel is absolutely necessary, use reflectors and lights to increase your visibility;
- Know where driveways and kerb ramps are to enable safe crossing.