Mobility Scooter Rules and Laws for NSW and QLD

Mobility Scooter NSW

Using a mobility scooter or motorised wheelchair in NSW

Scooters, gophers and powered wheelchairs all come under the umbrella term ‘motorised  wheelchairs’. A person using any of the above machines is defined as a ‘pedestrian’ under the NSW Road Rules.

Some commonly asked questions to help you with your decision to purchase a mobility scooter or other motorised mobility aid.

Do I have to register my mobility scooter or power chair?

Under NSW law you are not required to register your scooter or power chair. You and your motorised wheelchair must comply with the NSW Road Rules.

What NSW Road Rules does a person using a scooter or other mobility equipment need to observe?

  1. You cannot travel faster than 10 kilometres per hour on level ground
  2. The mobility unit must not exceed 110 kilograms unladen.
  3. You must not travel on the road unless it is impracticable to travel on the footpath or nature strip next to the road.
  4. You must keep as far to the side of the road as possible and face oncoming traffic if no footpath is available.
  5. You must not use the motorised wheelchair with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 or more.

Do I need a special licence to drive a scooter or power chair?

There is no formal test or requirement for a special licence. However you must be unable to walk or have difficulty in walking to be able to lawfully drive a motorised wheelchair on a footpath, public road or road related area.

Do I need to pay third party insurance?

No, you are not required to pay third party insurance.

What skills do I need to drive safely in a mobility scooter or power chair?

There are some basic skills required to operate the mobility equipment safely. You must be able to:

  • Operate the controls and manoeuvre the machine
  • Keep your balance and adjust your body position when you travel across uneven ground
  • Spot obstacles and avoid collisions
  • Judge speeds and distances
  • Make good judgements to protect your safety and others.

How can I increase my safety driving a scooter or power chair?

There are a few things that you can easily do to improve your safety and the safety of others.  These include:

  • Attach an orange safety flag to your chair high enough so that other vehicles and pedestrians can see it
  • If possible attach rear view mirrors to your scooter
  • Plan your travel in advance so that you use public footpaths as much as possible
  • Know where the kerb ramps and drive ways are for safe crossing
  • Avoid highways and major roads, and if you need to use a road try to use quiet streets
  • If you have to travel at night, use lights and reflectors to increase your visibility

Your new mobility scooter or power chair will provide you with greater freedom and a much improved lifestyle. Get out and about, chat to others and most importantly of all…. smell the roses!

QLD Mobility Scooter Rules and Road Regulations

Using a mobility scooter or power chair in Queensland

Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs all fall under the category of ‘Motorised wheelchairs’ with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads – Registering Motorised Wheelchairs

Some commonly asked questions:

To avoid repetition, the term ‘scooter’ will also refer to ‘power chair’ in this article.

Do I have to have a driver’s licence to drive a scooter in Queensland?

No, you are not required to have a licence but you must have a doctor’s certificate verifying that owing to severe mobility impairment there is a need for assisted travel.

Do I have to register my scooter?

Yes, all mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs must be registered if using public footpaths and roads. There are no feesfor registration or compulsory third party insurance (CTP). CTP is free to registered motorised wheelchair users and is provided by the Nominal Defendant – a statutory body tasked with compensating people who are injured as a result of negligent driving of unidentified and/or uninsured (no CTP) motor vehicles.

What information do I have to provide to have the scooter registered?

The following information is required:

How fast can I travel on a public footpath or road?

All mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs are restricted by law to a maximum speed of 10km/h and a maximum tare weight of 110kgs.

Can anyone else drive my scooter on a public footpath or road?

A mobility scooter or powered chair can only be used by the registered operator.

What Queensland Road rules must be observed?

The driver must be capable of operating the machine safely and must observe all Queensland Road Rules as well as those relating to pedestrians. The definition of ‘pedestrian’ in the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995  (p. 528) includes a motorised wheelchair.

Queensland Road Rules include:

  • giving way to other road users on a path or nature strip
  • exercising due care and attention for the safety of others at all times
  • driving on the footpath or nature strip at all times and only using the road when the footpath or nature strip is not suitable
  • if driving on the road you must  drive as close to the side of the road as possible and face oncoming traffic (except for a one-way street)
  • using the most direct route available when crossing a road
  • travelling at no faster than 10km/h
  • driving on the road alongside no more than one other pedestrian or vehicle travelling in the same direction, unless it is necessary to overtake other pedestrians comply with other road rules as they apply to pedestrians

What are the registration requirements for an organisation?

Organisations such as nursing homes, shopping centres, education institutions and hire companies that provide mobility scooters or powered chairs for residents, shoppers, students or hirers must also apply for registration. At the time of registration they must provide a statement on the Motorised Wheelchair Statement form certifying that the mobility scooter or powered chair will be used solely by individuals who possess a doctor’s certificate confirming that they require the vehicle for assisted travel owing to impaired mobility.

Other requirements include:

  • Vehicle Registration Application form (F3518)
  • Vehicle Details form (F3529)
  • evidence of the vehicle’s origin – former registration papers or purchase receipt
  • evidence of the vehicle’s garaging address – Queensland driver licence, rates  notice, electricity or phone bill
  • organisation identification such as Certificate of Incorporation, Business Registration Certificate or Certificate of Company Registration. As a registered business is not a legal entity identification for the legal identity behind the business must also be provided. Organisation representatives must also produce personal identification.

Your new scooter or power chair will give you freedom and the opportunity to lead a more interesting and independent lifestyle.  Drive safely, take care and get out and about and….don’t forget to smell the roses!!