New Mexico, Oklahoma and Oregon are the latest states to reclassify the licensing requirements for the Polaris Slingshot, a three-wheeled, open-air-cockpit “autocycle,” according to manufacturer Polaris Industries.
Slingshot drivers in these states now can operate the vehicle with a valid state driver’s license rather than the previously required motorcycle endorsement or license.
With the addition of the three states, a total of 33 states have reclassified the licensing requirements for the three-wheeled autocycle, according to Polaris.
Because of the unique three-wheeled configuration and characteristics of the vehicle, determining how to classify the Polaris Slingshot has been a challenge for many state governments.
When the Slingshot was introduced in 2014, consumers were required to have a motorcycle endorsement or license to operate it. However, unlike true motorcycles, Slingshot does not feature handlebars or a throttle. The vehicle features a steering wheel, five-speed manual transmission and side-by-side bucket seats.
“We are proactively educating state officials about the characteristics and unique attributes of the Slingshot,” said Rachael Elia, Slingshot marketing manager. “As we do this, they are realizing the licensing requirements for the roadster share more similarities to a car rather than a motorcycle. Our goal is to gain a unified classification across the country to provide more opportunities and driving freedom for consumers looking for the ultimate thrill experience that the bold three-wheeled roadster offers.”
Today, 33 states including the District of Columbia require only a driver’s license to operate the Slingshot. The remaining states require a motorcycle endorsement, but efforts are underway to reclassify the vehicle to gain full conformity throughout the United States.