Electric Bike Laws and Rules By US States

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Many people have these questions before buying an electric bike. Do you need a license? What is the top speed of an electric bike? What class does the ebike belong to? Can you ride an electric bike without a license?

Electric bike (e-bike) laws vary in every state and can be confusing for riders, retailers, and suppliers. E-bike laws can be messy and difficult to understand in the U.S. Individual municipalities also enact their own laws regarding electric bikes. So it’s worth looking up what restrictions and licensing requirements might be specific to your municipality before hitting the streets or the trails.

In many states, electric bicycles are regulated under antiquated laws primarily aimed at combustion engine vehicles such as mopeds or scooters. PeopleForBikes is clarifying state laws governing the use of electric bicycles in the U.S. Every state’s law is different, but the objective is to ensure that low-speed electric bicycles are regulated similarly to traditional, human-powered bicycles.

Twenty-six states (Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming) have created a three-tiered e-bike classification system.New Jersey and West Virginia both established a two-tiered classification system.

According to PeopleforBikes, the nation’s leading bicycle advocacy organization, we will lay out those basics to let you know what you can and can’t do on your e-bike in U.S.state.

Electric bicycles are regulated like bicycles. The same rules of theroad apply to both electric bicycles and human-powered bicycles. Electric bicycles are allowed on bicycle or multi-use paths. Persons under 16 years of age may not operate a Class 3 electric bicycle but they may ride as a passenger.All riders and operators of a Class 3 electric bicycle must wear a helmet. Anyone under the age of 16 on an electric bicycle or traditional bicycle must wear a helmet.

Electric bicycle riders must carry an operator’s license. Electric bicycles are not subject to registration or insurance requirements.Helmets are not required. There is a 14 year age minimum for electric bicycle use. Electric bicycles are not allowed on sidewalks or bike paths.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.Helmets are not required and there is no age minimum for electric bicycle use. Electric bicycles are allowed on sidewalks and bike paths.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.Helmets are required for riders of Class 3 electric bicycles under 21 years of age. Persons under 16 years of age may not ride a Class 3 electric bicycle. There are certain access restrictions for Class 3 electric bicycle riders. Local governments have the authority to restrict the use of electric bicycles under motor power on bike paths.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.Helmets are required for riders of Class 3 electric bicycles. Persons under 16 years of age may not ride a Class 3 electric bicycle (unless as a passenger. Local governments have the authority to restrict the use of electric bicycles under motor power on bike paths.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Helmets are required for riders of Class 3 electric bicycles under 21 years of age. Persons under 16 years of age may not ride a Class 3 electric bicycle. There are certain access restrictions for Class 3 electric bicycle riders.Local governments have the authority to restrict the use of electric bicycles under motor power on bike paths.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Helmets are required for riders of all classes of electric bicycles. Persons under 16 years of age may not ride a Class 3 electric bicycle, unless as a passenger Class 3 electric bicycles are not allowed on a bicycle trail or path or multiuse trail or path. Local governments have the authority to restrict the use of e-bikes under motor power on bike paths.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.Unless otherwise prohibited by a governmental entity having jurisdiction, a person may operate an electric bicycle on any bicycle lane, path or multi-use path in this state. When in doubt, check with your town, city, or county for local rules and regulations before riding. Persons under 16 years of age may not ride a Class 3 electric bicycle, unless as a passenger. All operators of a Class 3 electric bicycle must wear a helmet.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.Class 1, 2 and 3 electric bicycles may be ridden wherever bicycles are allowed including bicycle paths and multi-use paths. All operators and passengers of an electric bicycle under 16 years of age are required to wear a helmet.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.Class 3 electric bicycles are not allowed on a bicycle path or shared use path unless it is within or adjacent to a highway or roadway, or they are specifically allowed by the local authority or state agency with jurisdiction.The local authority or state agency with jurisdiction can restrict where electric bicycles are allowed to ride.You must be 15 or older to operate a Class 3 electric bicycle, although a person under 15 may ride a Class 3 electric bicycle as a passenger. Helmets must be worn by any person who operates or rides as a passenger on a Class 3 electric bicycle.

Electric bicycle owners are required to be registered and pay a fee of $30 at any city hall satellite location or the state business registration unit in Honolulu. You must at least 18 years old to register. Persons 15 years and older may operate an electric bicycle if it is registered to a household member. Helmets are required for anyone under the age of 16.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.Electric bicycles are allowed bike paths. However, local goverments have the ability to restrict the use of electric bicycles on bike paths.The use of electric bicycles on singletrack mountain bike trails is determined by the agency or local authority with jurisdiction over that land. Check with your local land manager for information about access.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.Persons under 16 years of age may not operate a Class 3 electric bicycle.Electric bicycles may not be ridden on sidewalks. Electric bicycles are allowed on bike paths. However, local govements have the authority to restrict the use of electric bicycles on bike paths.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.Class 3 electric bicycles are not allowed on a trail, bicycle path or multipurpose path unless it is within or adjacent to a highway or roadway, or they are specifically allowed by the local authority or state agency with jurisdiction.You must be 15 or older to operate a Class 3 electric bicycle, although a person under 15 may ride a Class 3 electric bicycle as a passenger. Helmets must be worn by any person who operates or rides as a passenger on a Class 3 electric bicycle and is under 18 years of age.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.Persons under 16 years of age may not operate a Class 3 electric bicycle but they may ride as a passenger.People riding Class 3 electric bicycles on bicycle or multi-use paths must not exceed the posted speed limit, or if there is no posted speed limit, 20 miles per hour.Electric bicycles are allowed on bicycle or multi-use paths. However, local governments may restrict the use of electric bicycles on paths.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.A person under 16 cannot operate a Class 3 electric bicycle but can ride as a passenger. Electric bicycles are allowed on bicycle or multi-use paths. However, local governments have the authority to restrict the use of electric bicycles on paths.

Electric bicycle are not subject to the registration, licensing or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.Helmets are not required and there is no age minimum for electric bicycle use. Electric bicycles are allowed on sidewalks and bike paths.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.Class 1, 2 and 3 electric bicycles may be ridden wherever bicycles are allowed, including bicycle lanes and multi-use paths. This rule does not apply to non-motorized, natural surface trails.You must be 12 years or older to ride a Class 3 electric bicycle, unless the electric bicycle is designed to accommodate passengers. All operators and passengers of Class 3 electric bicycle are required to wear a helmet.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.A Class 3 electric bicycle may not be operated on a bike path unless it is within a highway or roadway, or Class 3 operation is allowed by the local authority.Helmets are required for riders or passengers under 16 years of age. A person under 16 years of age may not operate a Class 2 or Class 3 electric bicycle unless it is designed to accommodate passengers.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.Class 3 electric bicycles are not allowed on a bicycle path unless it is adjacent to a highway or right-of-way, or they are specifically allowed by the local authority or state agency with jurisdiction. Electric bicycles are not permitted on sidewalks unless expressly allowed.You must be 16 or older to operate a class 3 electric bicycle, although a person under 16 may ride a class 3 electric bicycle as a passenger.

Electric bicycle riders must carry an operator’s license and are subject to registration requirements. Electric bicycles are not subject to insurance requirements. Helmets are required, and there is a 16 year age minimum for electric bicycle use. Electric bicycles are not allowed on sidewalks or bike paths.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Class 1 electric bicycles are allowed on bike paths and linear trails; while Class 2 or 3 electric bicycles are not, unless the local agency authorizes them. When in doubt, check with your town, city, or county for local rules and regulations.Helmets are required for riders of Class 3 electric bicycles under 18 years of age. Persons under 14 years of age may not ride a Class 3 electric bicycle, unless they are riding as a passenger.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. All classes of electric bicycles may ride on a bicycle path or shared use path where bicycles are permitted.» No person under fifteen years of age shall operate an electric bicycle.Local governments have the authority to restrict the use electric bicycles on a bicycle path, bicycle trail or shared use path.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Persons under 16 years of age may not operate a Class 3 electric bicycle but they may ride as a passenger. Electric bicycles are allowed on bicycle or multi-use paths.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. All classes of electric bicycles may be ride on bicycle or multi-use paths where bicycles are permitted. No person under sixteen years of age shall operate a class 3 electric bicycle but they may ride as a passenger. Local governments have the authority to restrict the use of electric bicycles on a bicycle path or multi-use path.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Helmets are not required and there is no age minimum for electric bicycle use. Electric bicycles are allowed on sidewalks and bike paths. 

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Electric bicycles are allowed on sidewalks and bike paths. There is no age minimum for electric bicycle riders. Electric bicycle riders are not required to wear a helmet.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. All classes of electric bicycles may be ridden in places where bicycles are allowed, including streets, highways, roads, roadways, bicycle lanes, bicycle paths and shared-use paths. Local governments have the authority to restrict the use of electric bicycles on a bicycle path or shared- use path.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. A Class 1 or Class 2 electric bicycle may be ridden on bicycle or multi-use paths where bicycles are permitted. Class 3 electric bicycles are only allowed on the roadway, unless otherwise allowed by the local authority. You must be 16 years or older to ride a Class 3 electric bicycle, unless the electric bicycle is designed to accommodate passengers. Helmets are required for riders or passengers of Class 3 electric bicycles under the age of 18.

New Jersey designates two classes of low-speed electric bicycles:

Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the electric bicycles reaches 20 mph. 

Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the electric bicycle reaches 20 mph.

Class 1 and 2 electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Class 1 and 2 electric bicycles may ride on bicycle paths. Bicycles cannot be operated on a sidewalk intended for pedestrian use, except if expressly allowed.

Electric bicycles are defined as a “mopeds". As mopeds, electric bicycles are not subject to all of the same rules of the road as bicycles. As mopeds, electric bicycles are subject to the licensing and insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. The minimum user age is 15 years of age. Electric bicycles are not allowed on sidewalk.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to. Are not subject to the registration, licensing or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Have access on roads with speed limits of 30 mph or have access on some bike paths that are connected, may carry passengers and must ride single file.

 

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Helmets are not required but the age minimum for electric bicycle use is 16. Electric bicycles are allowed on sidewalks if bicycles are allowed. State law does specifically address whether electric bicycles are allowed on bike paths. 

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Riders and passengers of Class 3 electric bicycles are required to wear helmets. Electric bicycles are allowed on bike paths. 

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. You must be 16 years or older to operate a Class 3 electric bicycle. A person under 16 may ride as a passenger on a Class 3 electric bicycle.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Electric bicycles are allowed on bike paths but are not allowed on sidewalks. The age minimum for electric bicycle riders is 16 years.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Helmets are not required. No person under 16 years of age may operate an electric bicycle. Electric bicycles are allowed wherever bicycles or “pedalcycles” are allowed. Electric bicycles are allowed on sidewalks but restrictions may apply.

Electric bicycles are not required to be registered. Electric bicycles are subject to the rules of the road that apply to “vehicles.” State law does not specifically address whether electric bicycles are allowed on bike paths. Consult your local authority or agency for information about whether electric bicycles are permitted on bike paths.

Electric bicycles lack a specific classificat ion under current South Carolina trac laws. However, “electric bicycles” are “vehicles” and are therefore subject to the requirements for “vehicles.” Electric bicycles are subject to the rules of the road that apply to vehicles. 

 

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Unless otherwise prohibited by a governmental entity having jurisdiction, a person may operate a Class 1 or Class 2 electric bicycle on any bicycle path or multi-use path in this state. Persons under 16 years of age may not ride a Class 3 electric bicycle, unless as a passenger.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Persons under 14 years of age may not ride a Class 3 electric bicycle. Riders and passengers of Class 3 electric bicycles are required to wear helmets. Electric bicycles are not allowed on sidewalks. Class 1 and Class 2 electric bicycles are allowed on bike paths. Class 3 electric bicycles have limited use of bicycle paths and are generally not permitted.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. You must be 15 or older to operate a Class 3 electric bicycle, although a person under 15 may ride a Class 3 electric bicycle as a passenger, if the e-bike is designed to carry more than one person.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Electric bicycles are allowed on bike paths but not on sidewalks.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Persons under 16 years of age may not operate a Class 3 electric bicycle but they may ride as a passenger. Electric bicycles are allowed on bicycle or multi-use paths.

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Electric bicycles may be ridden on bicycle lanes and multi-use paths where bicycles are permitted. You must be 14 years or older to operate a Class 3 electric bicycle. All operators and passengers of Class 3 electric bicycles must wear a helmet. A city, town or state agency that has jurisdiction can restrict where electric bicycles are allowed.

Class 1 and 2 electric bicycles are allowed on bike paths and improved trails; while Class 3 electric bicycles are not, unless the local agency authorizes them. Persons under 16 years of age may not ride a Class 3 electric bicycle, unless they are riding as a passenger. The use of electric bicycles on singletrack mountain bike trails is determined by the agency or local authority which jurisdiction over that land. Check with your local land manager for information about access.

In D.C., an e-bike is defined as a“motorized bicycle” so long as the electric bicycle has operable pedals, can be operated under combined human and motor power and has a maximum speed of 20 mph. The same rules of the road apply to both electric bicycles and human-powered bicycles. Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. You must be 16 years or older to operate an c.

 

 Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Unfortunately, at this time, West Virginia does not recognize Class 2 electric bicycles as bicycles. Class 1 electric bicycles are allowed on bike paths, multi-use trails and single-use trails. You must be 16 years or older to operate a Class 3 electric bicycle. Passengers on Class 3 electric bicycles under the age of 15 must be on an electric bicycle driven by someone 18 years. All operators and passengers under 15 years old must wear a helmet. 

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Persons under 16 years of age may not operate a Class 3 electric bicycles. 

Electric bicycles are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 electric bicycles are allowed on bike paths. However, local governments have the authority to restrict the use of electric bicycles on bike paths.

E-Bike Licensing and Operation

Overall, at least six states—Alabama, Alaska, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico and North Dakota—require a license to operate an e-bike, typically because they still fall under the designation of another motorized vehicle classification with licensure and registration requirements and have not had a distinct e-bike law created. Utah and Vermont are examples of states that have recently eliminated e-bike licensure and registration requirements. Some states, including Alabama and Alaska, that define e-bikes in some manner still nonetheless require an operator’s license to ride an e-bike.

For further information on e-bike laws, research, news and industry updates visit People for Bikes


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