Newly instated law allows electric scooter rentals to operate in unregulated localities without licensing requirement

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Scooters started off on a bumpy road when they arrived in Virginia but a state law taking effect on Thursday will pave the way for smoother introductions.

Localities were given the opportunity to regulate and require licensing for the rental of motorized skateboards and scooters as well bikes. Starting on Thursday the absence of any regulations or laws in a locality will allow these vehicles to be available for hire without any licensing.

Unlicensed and unwarranted electric rental scooters first appeared in Virginia in 2018. The scooters appeared in Alexandria and then in Richmond in August. The scooters in Richmond were impounded by the City of Richmond while city leaders worked to determine regulations for the devices.

Under the law localities are still able to enact, revise or amend any rules regarding the use of scooters and similar vehicles after Oct. 1. Any companies already offering such rentals will before the law was passed will be able to continue operating and will be subject to any new ordinances and actions.

In Richmond there are specific regulations for scooter share programs. Companies interested in renting out scooters must pay an annual permit fee to the city.

Chesterfield County says they do not have any regulations in place for scooter rentals. A county spokesperson explains to 8News that they are just too suburban for scooter rentals to make sense.

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