Polaris Slingshot Licensing

When Polaris rolled out the three-wheeled Slingshot model back in 2014, it kicked up a lot of interest and excitement, but also some confusion in regards to licensing.

Where, exactly did the open cockpit creation fit in the licensing scheme of each state, given the fact that federal regulations slotted it in as a motorcycle?

Did operators need a motorcycle license or validation to operate one? If the state required helmets for all motorcycle operators, did that include the Slingshot? Did it get motorcycle license plates, automobile plates, or something else altogether?

Autocycle Classification Simplifies Licensing for Polaris Slingshot Owners
Polaris Slingshot

Since then, Polaris, the Slingshot’s manufacturer that also owns Indian Motorcycle, has been working with legislators and regulators to lift the fog and come up with state-by-state classification uniformity nation-wide.

“Since introducing the one-of-a-kind Slingshot in 2014, we have partnered with state officials to properly classify the operating requirements to a standard driver’s license,” said Josh Fulkerson, Slingshot Sr. Director. “Our efforts have led to incredible results with 43 states reclassifying three-wheeled vehicles. We continue to work diligently on converting the remaining states.”

As of this writing, a lot of progress has already been made with the state of Mississippi adopting a new “autocycle” classification that closely aligns with similar changes in 42 other states. Under new rules, as of July 1, 2018, state residents can operate a Slingshot with a valid state driver’s license rather than the previously-required motorcycle endorsement. Under an “autocycle” classification, drivers do abide by the state’s motorcycle helmet laws.

All Slingshot models are powered by a 173 horsepower, 2.4L four cylinder GM engine that produces 166 ft-lbs of torque. Slingshot’s 2018 lineup includes three models, the S, SL and SLR, and two limited-edition offerings, the Grand Touring LE and SLR LE. Pricing ranges from an entry-level $19,999 (S) to $30,999 (SLR LE).