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Do You Know Pennsylvania’s Autocycle Laws?


You may have seen a new category of motor vehicle on the highway that has three wheels, a steering wheel, and a driver’s seat that is neither car, nor motorcycle.  There are several manufacturers of these vehicles such as Elio Motors of Louisiana, and Polaris industries of Minnesota which makes its “Slingshot” model. As these vehicles gain popularity, it becomes crucial to understand the legal framework governing them.

What Are Pennyslvania’s Laws for Autocycles?

The Pennsylvania legislature created a definition for this new category of motor vehicle called an “autocycle” effective July 25, 2016.  Under Pennsylvania law, an “autocycle” is defined as “[a] three wheeled motorcycle that has a steering wheel and seating that does not require the operator to straddle or sit astride.” 75 Pa.C.S. Section 102.

  • Pennsylvania law requires that an autocycle have at least three wheels, a steering wheel, and seating for the operator to straddle or sit astride.
  • Pennsylvania also requires an autocycle to be registered as a motorcycle, but the driver only needs a Class C license to drive the autocycle and not a motorcycle license (Class M).
  • Regarding the operation of this vehicle, all laws that apply to riding a motorcycle apply to riding an autocycle, such as requirements for wearing a helmet.
  • It is also important to note that one cannot take a driver’s test in an autocycle in Pennsylvania for either Class C, or Class M license.
  • In addition, because an autocycle is classified as a motorcycle, it is not required to meet the Pennsylvania standards for a Class C passenger vehicle.
  • An operator of an autocycle is prohibited from allowing a child under the age of eight years of age to be a passenger in an autocycle if the child would be required to be secured in a passenger car seat.  75 Pa.C.S. Section 3527.

As of June 2021, 46 states require a standard Class C driver’s license to operate an autocycle. Pennsylvania, New York, and Alaska are the only states that require registration of an autocycle as a motorcycle. State laws regarding wheels, seat belts, seating, etc. for autocycles vary widely.

Injured in an Accident? Let Freeburn Law Fight for You

Injured in an accident with an autocycle or other motor vehicle in Pennsylvania? Call Freeburn Law at (717) 777-7777 to discuss your legal options in a FREE consultation. At Freeburn Law we have recovered over $100 million for injured victims throughout central Pennsylvania. Let Freeburn fight for you.


Christina and Jessica are a dynamic duo. They will make sure everything that needs to be done will be done. They make sure to stay on top of things and will not leave you in the dark about anything. Highly recommend this firm.