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Are Electric Bikes Street Legal


Man changing electric bike battery

If you plan on investing in an electric bike, it’s important to understand emerging legislation in this relatively new form of travel in the U.S. Federal law defines an electric bicycle as having two or three wheels, functional pedals, a motor with 750 watts and a top speed of 20 mph. 


Over 39 states have adopted e-bike laws, including the three-class system proposed by the National Park Service, which categorizes e-bikes as Class 1, 2 or 3: 


- Class 1: E-bikes with motors with a pedal assist and stops at 20 mph

- Class 2: E-bikes with motors with the use of propelling, stopping at 20 mph

- Class 3: E-bikes with motors assisting only while pedaling and ceasing at 28 mph. 


State-level laws regarding e-bikes, such as folding electric bikes and their usage on trails, paths and roadways vary from state to state. Familiarizing yourself with existing state laws ensures you operate your e-bike safely in your location. 


However, these laws are subject to change at any time, so you should check for updates to e-bike laws in your locality and state before buying and operating one.


Alabama

In Alabama, electric bicycles are bikes with functional pedals, a rider seat or saddle and an electric motor of 750 watts or lower. They must adhere to one of Alabama’s three e-bike classifications


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

E-bikes in Alabama are not subject to vehicle registration, licensing or insurance like a car or an electric motorcycle. 


Age Restrictions

Class 3 e-bikes require riders to be over the age of 16. If a Class 3 e-bike is designed to accommodate passengers, anyone under 16 can ride as a passenger


Helmet Regulations

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for riding Class 3 e-bikes. 


Where to Ride an E-Bike

There are no restrictions on e-bikes on streets, roads, bicycle lanes or multi-use paths. However, state agencies, counties and towns can pass local ordinances to restrict e-bikes on bicycle lanes and multi-use paths for safety reasons. 




Alaska

Electric bicycles fall under the motor-driven cycles category and are not subject to the same laws as traditional bicycles in Alaska.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Riding an electric bicycle requires having a license. You don’t need to have insurance or registration documents. 


Age Restrictions

You must be 14 years of age or older to ride an e-bike. 


Helmet Regulations

Helmets are not required for electric bicycles. 


Where to Ride an E-Bike

You cannot ride your e-bike on sidewalks and bicycle paths.


Arizona

Electric bikes are subject to the same regulations as bicycles, meaning the same traffic laws apply to e-bikes and traditional bicycles. Arizona also adopted the three-tier e-bike classification system


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Arizona does not require licensing, registration or insurance to buy and operate an e-bike. 


Age Restrictions

Using an e-bike in Arizona is not subject to age restrictions.


Helmet Regulations

E-bike riders and passengers do not have to wear helmets.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Classes 1 and 2 e-bikes may go on bicycle and multi-use paths. Riding a Class 3 e-bike on a bicycle or multi-use path is only allowed if it is next to a highway or roadway. Local and state authorities can restrict Class 1 and 2 bikes on paths or permit Class 3 e-bikes.


Arkansas

Electric bicycles are subject to the same traffic regulations as traditional bicycles in Arkansas. The state follows the three-tier e-bike tier system. You must ensure their e-bikes function under these classifications: 


- The electric motors in Class 2 e-bikes must stop when applying the brakes. 

- Riders must ensure electric motors in Classes 1 and 3 e-bikes disengage upon stopping. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

E-bikes in Arkansas do not require licensing, registration or insurance. 


Age Restrictions

Riders under 16 in Arizona cannot drive Class 3 e-bikes. Passengers under 16 can ride on Class 3 electric bicycles designed to carry passengers.


Helmet Regulations

Wearing a helmet is required for Class 3 e-bike riders and passengers under 21.  


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Classes 1 and 2 e-bikes can go on bicycle and multi-purpose paths. Riding on Class 3 e-bikes is prohibited on the paths unless they are next to a highway. Local and state authorities can permit or prohibit e-bikes on the paths.


California

The regulation of e-bikes is similar to that of bicycles under California law. California follows a three-tier e-bike system, with Class 3 e-bikes requiring speedometers. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

E-bikes do not require driver’s licenses, registration, or license plates. 


Age Restrictions

To ride a Class 3 e-bike, you must be 16 years old or over and cannot transport passengers. 


Helmet Regulations

Since e-bikes fall under the category of bicycles, all riders and passengers under 18 must wear helmets. However, wearing a helmet is mandatory for all Class 3 e-bike riders and passengers


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Local and state agencies may restrict electric bicycles under motor power on bicycle paths, equestrian, recreational and hiking trails. 


Colorado

Electric bicycles in Colorado must comply with one of the state’s three-tier e-bike requirements. Bicycle traffic rules also apply to e-bikes. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Motor vehicle registration and licenses don’t apply to electric bicycles. 


Age Restrictions

Riders under 16 may only ride a Class 3 electric bicycle if they are passengers.


Helmet Regulations

A helmet is mandatory for anyone under 18 riding a Class 3 electric bicycle. 


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Class 1 and 2 e-bikes may use the same bicycle and pedestrian paths as bicycles. Class 3 e-bikes are only allowed on roadways and in bike lanes. Local jurisdictions can prohibit electric bicycles on bicycle paths or pedestrian paths.


Connecticut

In Connecticut, an electric bike is a bicycle with foot pedals and an electric motor of fewer than 750 watts that fall under the federal Class 1, 2 or 3 e-bike categories. The e-bike designation doesn’t apply to all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes.   


Connecticut e-bike riders share the same rights and duties as bicycle riders. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Motor vehicle registration, licensing and insurance don’t apply to e-bikes.


Age Restrictions

People under 16 can’t use a Class 3 e-bike but can ride as a passenger.


Helmet Regulations

All e-bike riders and passengers must wear helmets.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Electric bicycles can travel in the same places as traditional bikes. However, riders can’t use Class 3 electric bicycles on multi-use trails or paths. Class 1 and 2 electric bicycles are prohibited on bicycle and multipurpose trails with a natural surface tread built by cleared and graded soil. Local ordinances can prohibit e-bikes on these trails.


Delaware

Delaware considers electric bicycles as bicycles with 2 or 3 wheels meeting one of the three-tier e-bike systems. The e-bikes must also have pedals, a saddle or seat and an electric motor with less than or equal to 750 watts. Electric bicycles follow the same traffic rules as human-powered traditional bicycles. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements


Age Restrictions

Minors under 16 may not operate Class 3 e-bikes. Passengers under 16 may ride a Class 3 e-bike designed to accommodate passengers.


Helmet Regulations

Helmets are a requirement for all operators and passengers of Class 3 e-bikes.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Anyone can ride an electric bicycle on any bicycle lane, path, street, highway, shoulder, or multi-use path unless prohibited by local law. E-bikes are not allowed on sidewalks.


Florida

Florida treats electric bicycles similarly to traditional bicycles. The state requires e-bikes to fall into one of three categories


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Florida does not require that e-bike operators carry a driver’s license or be registered.


Age Restrictions

There is a 16-year minimum age requirement for riding an electric bike in Florida.


Helmet Regulations

All operators and passengers under 16 must wear helmets while riding electric bicycles.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Electric bicycle operators can ride on any sidewalk, highway, roadway, shoulder, bike lane or multi-use path where bicycles are allowed. However, cities, towns or state agencies can restrict electric bicycle use on these paths.


Georgia

An electric-assisted bicycle operator has all the rights and responsibilities of a bicycle operator. Georgia follows the three-tier classification system for e-bikes. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Electric bikes do not require licensing or registration under Georgia law.


Age Restrictions

Anyone under 15 can’t operate Class 3 e-bikes but may ride as a passenger.


Helmet Regulations

Operating Class 3 e-bikes requires wearing helmets.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

State and local agencies with jurisdiction can restrict electric bicycle use on bicycle and shared-use paths. The use of Class 3 electric bicycles on bicycle and shared-use paths is prohibited unless the paths are on or next to a highway or speedway.


Hawaii

Hawaii defines an electric bicycle as a low-speed electric bicycle based on federal law. A low-speed electric bicycle must not exceed 20 mph on a paved level surface when powered only by its motor.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Hawaii requires registering low-speed electric bicycles. You must pay the Director of Finance a $30 permanent registration fee


Age Restrictions

No person under the age of 15 can operate a low-speed e-bike. 


Helmet Regulations

All low-speed bicycle riders and passengers under 16 must wear helmets.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Electric bicycle operators can ride on all bike paths and roads where bikes are allowed and follow all traffic laws.


Idaho

According to Idaho law, electric bikes have pedals with electric motors reaching maximum power of 750 Watts. They must also meet one of the three categories for e-bikes. The same traffic laws apply to e-bike operators as to conventional bicycle riders.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

E-bikes don’t require registration, licensing, or insurance.


Age Restrictions

There are no age restrictions to operate an e-bike.


Helmet Regulations

Idaho has no bicycle helmet laws. 


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Electric bikes can go anywhere where bikes are allowed, including multi-use paths, unless local laws or public agency signs exclude them.


Illinois

Electric bicycles follow the same laws as bicycles under Illinois regulations. They also must meet Illinois’ three-class system for e-bikes. Illinois clarifies that electric bicycles are not mopeds and motor-driven cycles.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Licensing and registration are not required for e-bikes. The state removed the requirement for a license to operate an e-bike in 2009. 


Age Restrictions

The minimum age for operating a Class 3 low-speed electric bicycle is 16 or older. Those under 16 may ride as passengers.


Helmet Regulations

There are no bicycle helmet laws in Illinois. However, some towns like Barrington require those under 16 to wear helmets while riding bikes.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

People may ride low-speed electric bicycles on paved highways, streets and bike lanes unless local laws prohibit them. Electric bicycles are not permitted on sidewalks.


Indiana

Indiana law defines an electric bicycle as having fully functional pedals and an electric motor producing no more than 750 watts. The electric bike must also meet the requirements of one of the three classes. Electric bicycle operators have all the same duties and rights as bicycle operators in Indiana.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Electric bikes don’t require licensing and proof of financial responsibility.


Age Restrictions

The minimum age to operate a Class 3 electric bicycle is 15 years old. Those under 15 can ride Class 3 electric bicycles as passengers


Helmet Regulations

If a Class 3 e-bike rider or passenger is under 18, they must wear a helmet.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Local laws determine where anyone can ride Classes 1 and 2 e-bikes on a bicycle or multipurpose path where bicycles are allowed. Class 3 electric bicycles can’t be on any trail, bicycle path or multipurpose path unless it is on or next to a highway, roadway or a local government or state agency permits them. 


Iowa

Electric bicycles are low-speed bicycles that meet one of the three classes and have electric motors of 750 watts and operational pedals.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

There are no registration, licensing or insurance requirements for electric bicycles in Iowa


Age Restrictions

Anyone under age 16 can be a passenger on a Class 3 e-bike but may not operate one.


Helmet Regulations

Iowa doesn’t have laws regarding helmet use for e-bikes.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

You can ride a low-speed electric bicycle in areas where regular bicycles are permitted, such as streets, highways, bike lanes and multi-use paths. You can’t ride a Class 3 low-speed electric bicycle above 20 mph on a multi-use path or bicycle lane if there’s no posted or applicable speed limit.


Kansas

Kansas recognizes electric bicycles with motors less than 750 watts, two or three wheels and a saddle. They also meet the requirements of one of the three e-bike categories under state law.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Electric bicycles don’t require insurance, registration and licensing. Kansas clarifies that e-bikes aren’t motor vehicles.


Age Restrictions

People under 16 are not allowed to operate a Class 3 e-bike, but they can ride as passengers on one designed for passengers.


Helmet Regulations

There are no bicycle helmet laws in Kansas.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Bicycle lanes, multi-use paths, trails and trail networks are all places to ride electric bicycles. However, local rules and regulations may limit electric bicycle use on paths.


Kentucky

In Kentucky, electric bicycles equipped with pedals and powered by a combination of human and motor power are classified as bicycles. Check your local laws regarding electric bikes before riding one since some counties like Louisiville-Jefferson specifically regulate them.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Kentucky does not require licensing or registration for e-bikes.


Age Restrictions

Pedaling an electric bicycle has no statewide restrictions.


Helmet Regulations

There are no statewide helmet requirements for bicycles. However, Louisville requires bicycle riders under 18 years to wear helmets while riding in a park.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

You may ride a bicycle on sidewalks and crosswalks except when prohibited by local law. The county of Louisville-Jefferson prohibits bicycles or electric bicycles from being operated by anyone 11 years or older on sidewalks.


Louisiana

Louisiana defines electric bicycles as bikes having the following:

 

- A saddle or seat for each operator and passenger

- 2 wheels either of 16 inches or more in diameter or three wheels of 20 inches or more

- Functional pedals

- Electric motor of fewer than 750 watts


E-bikes must also belong to one of three e-bike classifications and follow the same traffic regulations as bicycles.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Electric bikes aren’t considered motor vehicles in Louisiana and are not subject to motor vehicle license, registration and insurance requirements.


Age Restrictions

People under the age of 12 are prohibited from operating a Class 3 electric bicycle. They may ride on one designed to accommodate them.


Helmet Regulations

All operators and passengers must wear helmets when riding a Class 3 e-bike.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Electric bicycles may go on bicycle lanes and multi-use paths as long as bicycles are allowed, but this rule does not apply to non-motorized, natural surface trails. Local and state authorities can regulate where e-bikes are allowed on trails and bicycle lanes.


Maine

In Maine, an electric bicycle is classified as a two-wheel or three-wheel bicycle with operable pedals and an electric motor of fewer than 750 watts. It must fall under one of the categories of Classes 1, 2 or 3 electric bicycles.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

E-bikes don’t require licensing, registration or insurance.


Age Restrictions

Children under 16 cannot operate Class 2 or Class 3 electric bicycles but can ride as passengers if the bike is designed to accommodate passengers.


Helmet Regulations

An electric bicycle operator or passenger under 16 must wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

You can ride a Class 1 or 2 electric bicycle wherever bicycles are allowed, such as bicycle paths. However, riding a Class 3 electric bicycle on a bike path is prohibited unless the path falls within a highway or roadway. 


You cannot ride an electric bicycle on a bicycle path reserved for non-motorized traffic if large sections of the path consist of natural surfaces, such as stones, gravel, or wooden bridging. Local and state agencies may limit where e-bikes can ride on the bike paths. 


Maryland

In Maryland, an electric bicycle is a vehicle with functional pedals and an electric motor rating of 750 watts or less that assists the rider. Electric bikes fall under the same category as bicycles and must follow all Maryland traffic safety laws.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

There are no licensing, registration or insurance requirements for e-bikes.


Age Restrictions

If you’re under 16 years, you can’t ride a Class 3 e-bike on a public highway. However, you may ride as a passenger on a Class 3 e-bike designed for passengers.


Helmet Regulations

All bicycle riders under 16 must wear a bicycle helmet when riding on public property.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

You can ride an electric bicycle where regular bicycles are allowed, such as in bike lanes. Local and state agencies may ban classes 1 or 2 electric bikes on certain paths. Class 3 e-bikes are not permitted on bike paths unless they’re in or next to a highway right-of-way or with the permission of local and state agencies. 


Massachusetts

Massachusetts defines an electric bicycle as one with pedals and an electric motor of 750 watts or less. E-bike riders have all the same duties and responsibilities as bicycle riders.  An e-bike should meet the requirements of one of the following two e-bike classes:


- Class 1: The e-bike has a motor that only assists the rider when they pedal and stops assisting when the bike reaches 20 mph. 


- Class 2: The e-bike comes with a motor to propel the rider and stops when the e-bike reaches a speed of 20 mph. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

E-bikes don’t fall under the classification of motorized bicycles in Massachusetts, so they do not require licensing, registration or insurance. 


Age Restrictions

Massachusetts does not have any age restrictions on riding e-bikes.


Helmet Regulations

Helmets are mandatory for all bicycle riders 16 or under.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

E-bikes aren’t allowed on sidewalks and trails with natural surfaces designed for non-motorized traffic. State and local agencies may restrict e-bikes on bike paths and trails and impose speed limits. 


Michigan

According to Michigan law, an e-bike is a regular bike with a small motor of 750 watts to help you pedal or take over pedaling completely. It must fall under one of Michigan’s three classes for electric bicycles.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

You don't need to register, get a license or have insurance for your electric bike. However, you may need a permit for certain locations. For example, you must obtain a Mackinac Island State Park Commission permit to ride your e-bike within the park.  


Age Restrictions

If you’re under 14, you can't operate a Class 3 e-bike. You can ride as a passenger on a Class 3 e-bike built for passengers. 


Helmet Regulations

Operators and passengers under 18 must wear helmets when riding a Class 3 e-bike.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

E-bikes are allowed on all bike paths and roads but not on natural surface trails. You can ride a Class 1 e-bike on linear trails. However, Classes 2 and 3 e-bikes are prohibited on linear and rail trails. All restrictions exist unless local and state authorities permit e-bikes on these trails. 


Minnesota

Electric bicycles in Minnesota must fall under the federal requirements for the manufacturing and production of e-bikes and qualify as Class 1, 2, or 3 electric bicycles. E-bikes fall under the category of bicycles and e-bike riders must follow the same traffic regulations as bicycle riders.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Registration, licensing and insurance requirements don’t apply to electric bicycles in Minnesota.


Age Restrictions

Children under 15 can’t operate electric-assisted bicycles.


Helmet Regulations

Minnesota doesn’t have any helmet regulations. 


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Bicycle lanes and shared-use paths are available for all classes of e-bikes unless local and state laws prohibit them. Local and state authorities can also regulate operating e-bikes on non-motorized trails with natural surfaces.


Mississippi

An electric bicycle in Mississippi is defined as a bicycle or tricycle with pedals, a saddle or seat and an electric motor under 750 watts that meets the requirements for one of its three categories. E-bike riders have the same rights and responsibilities as regular bike riders since e-bikes are the same as bicycles under Mississippi law. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Electric bicycles aren’t motor vehicles, so they don’t require licenses, insurance or registration in Mississippi.


Age Restrictions

If you’re under 16, you can’t operate a class 3 electric bicycle. However, you can ride a class 3 electric bicycle as a passenger.


Helmet Regulations

Mississippi has no laws requiring cyclists to wear helmets. In some cities like Jackson, helmets are mandatory. Check bicycle helmet laws with your town, city, or county.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

E-bikes are allowed on bicycle and multi-use paths unless local or state agencies limit them.


Missouri

Missouri considers an electric bicycle a bike with pedals, a seat and a 750-watt electric motor that fits into one of its three e-bike categories. Electric bicycle riders have all the rights and responsibilities of bicycle operators.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

You do not need a driver’s license, or registration, to own or operate an e-bike in Missouri. 


Age Restrictions

Anyone 16 years or younger cannot ride a class 3 e-bike. They can ride as a passenger on a class 3 e-bike designed for passengers.


Helmet Regulations

There is no helmet law in Missouri. However, some jurisdictions like St. Louis and Overland require all bicycle riders and passengers under 17 to wear helmets. Other places, such as Pagedale and Berkeley, make helmets mandatory for all riders and passengers, regardless of age. 


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Bicycle or multi-use paths are available to electric bicycle riders. Local governments or state agencies may prohibit electric bicycle riders from riding on the paths. 


Montana

Montana considers an electric bicycle with two wheels and an electric motor capable of propelling a rider weighing 170 pounds no faster than 20 mph. Electric bikes and human-powered bicycles are subject to the same road rules.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

There is no license or registration requirement for e-bikes in Montana.


Age Restrictions

Montana currently doesn’t have any age limitations for e-bikes. 


Helmet Regulations

The state doesn’t have a law requiring bike helmets for all cyclists. Cities like Billings make helmets mandatory for riders 16 or under, so you must check your local ordinances for bicycle helmet use. 


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Riding e-bikes is legal on both roadways and bicycle paths.


Nebraska

An electric bicycle in Nebraska is a bicycle as long as it has pedals and a motor not exceeding 750 watts. It can propel a rider at a maximum speed of 20 mph.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Nebraska doesn’t require licensing and registration for e-bikes. 


Age Restrictions

E-bikes don’t have a minimum operating age. 


Helmet Regulations

 Nebraska has no local and state bike helmet laws, though they are recommended. 


Where to Ride an E-Bike

There are no restrictions on electric bicycles on bike paths or sidewalks.


Nevada

An electric bicycle in Nevada has a seat or saddle, two or three wheels and a motor of 750 watts or less. Nevada also requires the e-bike to meet one of its three classes. Electric bikes in Nevada do not include electric scooters or mopeds.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Nevada doesn't require licenses or registrations for electric bikes.


Age Restrictions

Age restrictions do not apply to e-bikes in Nevada.


Helmet Regulations

Bicyclists in Nevada are not required to wear helmets while riding.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

You should ride your e-bike as close to the right side as possible on a roadway, except when traveling at the same speed as nearby traffic, preparing to make a left turn, or riding close to the right side is unsafe. You must also exercise caution when passing a standing vehicle or one moving in the same direction.


New Hampshire

New Hampshire defines electric bicycles as pedaled vehicles with electric motors of less than 759 watts. They must also fall under one of the three e-bike classes. The laws applicable to bicycles also apply to e-bikes


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

As electric bicycles aren’t motor vehicles, they need no registration, licensing, or proof of financial responsibility.


Age Restrictions

A person under 16 can’t operate a Class 3 e-bike. They may ride as a passenger on a Class 3 e-bike designed for passengers. 


Helmet Regulations

All Class 3 e-bike operators and passengers under 18 must wear helmets.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

You may operate an electric bicycle wherever bicycles are permitted, including bicycle and multi-use paths. State and local laws may determine where electric bikes are allowed.


New Jersey

New Jersey has only two classes for electric bicycles, the first two classes of the standard 3-class system. The third class is considered a motorized bicycle by New Jersey standards because they exceed the 25 mph limit.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Classes 1 and 2 have no licensing or registration requirements. However, since Class 3 e-bikes are considered motorized bicycles, they require a license, registration, and insurance.


Age Restrictions

To operate a class 3 motorized bicycle, you must be at least 15 years old.


Helmet Regulations

Helmets are required for all riders of electric bicycles.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

E-bikes are prohibited on highways with a speed limit of 50 mph or over. They are also not allowed on sidewalks meant for pedestrians. Check local laws for all other scenarios.


New Mexico

New Mexico adopts the 3-class system and adds that all motors must be 750 watts or less to be considered an electric bicycle. The state distinctly clarifies that an electric bicycle is not a moped.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Electric bicycles are not subject to licensing and registration requirements in New Mexico.


Age Restrictions

You must be 16 or older to operate a Class 3 electric bicycle, but anyone may be a passenger. 


Helmet Regulations

You must wear a helmet if you are under 18 and operating a Class 3 electric bicycle.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Electric bicycles may be ridden wherever bicycles are allowed, provided local governments have not made any restrictions against them.


New York

New York State regulations define electric bicycles as bikes no more than 36 inches wide, have 750 or fewer watts electric motors and functional pedals. Electric bicycles fall into the three federal e-bike categories:


- Class 1 e-bikes have a pedal-assist-only motor that stops when the bike reaches 20 mph.

- Class 2 e-bikes have a motor that propels the bike and stops at 20 mph.

- Class 3 e-bikes have operable pedals and can’t exceed 28 mph in cities with over one million people.


Other e-bikes that would be Class 3 in different states are not defined in New York and, therefore, not permitted.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

No e-bikes are required to have licensing or registration. However, per New York’s bicycle laws, an e-bike must be equipped with a horn or bell that can be heard from 100 feet. 


Age Restrictions

You must be 16 or older to operate an e-bike in New York.


Helmet Regulations

For Classes 1 and 2, helmets are recommended but only required for persons under 18. Class 3 e-bikes require helmets for all operators and passengers.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

E-bikes may be ridden on bike lanes and streets with a speed limit of 30 mph or less. If you are unsure if you can ride your e-bike in a specific area, check the local laws.


North Carolina

North Carolina defines an electric bike as having a motor under 750w that cannot exceed 20 mph with operable pedals. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

North Carolina has no licensing or registration requirements.


Age Restrictions

The minimum age to operate an e-bike in North Carolina is 16.


Helmet Regulations

There are no helmet regulations in North Carolina for e-bikes.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

You may ride an e-bike on most designated bike trails; however, check your local government for laws in your city. 


North Dakota

North Dakota follows the federal 3-class e-bike definition with a few additional restrictions. All electric bicycles must have operable pedals, a saddle or seat and a motor of 750 watts or less. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

E-bikes in North Dakota are not subject to licensing and registration requirements.


Age Restrictions

There are no age restrictions in North Dakota for e-bikes.


Helmet Regulations

Anyone operating a class 3 E-bike under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

You may operate an electric bicycle on bicycle paths and multi-use paths unless prohibited by a local governing authority.


Ohio

A bike that meets one of the three federal classifications in Ohio is an electric bike.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Ohio does not require licensing or registration for e-bikes.


Age Restrictions

To operate a class 3 e-bike, a person must be 16 or older, but anyone can ride as a passenger. 


Helmet Regulations

Everyone on a class 3 e-bike must wear a helmet, both operators and passengers.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Class 1 and class 2 e-bikes can be ridden by anyone a regular bike can. Class 3 e-bikes are forbidden from using bike or shared-use paths unless they are adjacent to a highway or the local municipality has authorized it. 


Oklahoma

Oklahoma requires e-bikes to meet one of the three federal classes. It also defines e-bikes as having two or three wheels and motors with a power output of 750 watts. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

There are no licensing or registration requirements for e-bikes in Oklahoma.


Age Restrictions

To operate an e-bike, you must be 16 or older. However, people under 16 may ride as passengers on Class 3 e-bikes designed for passengers. 


Helmet Regulations

There are no laws regarding helmets for e-bikes in Oklahoma. 


Where to Ride an E-Bike

There is no restriction on riding an e-bike on a multi-use path open to bicycles unless the local government prohibits it. 


Oregon

Oregon defines an e-bike as a vehicle with a motor below 1,000 watts, operable pedals and does not exceed 20 mph. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

E-bikes in Oregon are not subject to licensing and registration requirements.


Age Restrictions

The minimum age to operate an e-bike in Oregon is 16.


Helmet Regulations

There are currently no helmet restrictions in Oregon regarding e-bikes.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

E-bikes are not allowed on mountain trails. Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are allowed on 8 feet or wider paths, including trails with natural surfaces. Check with the BLM Oregon State Office for additional laws.


Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, electric bicycles are referred to as pedal cycles with electric assist. These e-bikes must have a motor under 750 watts, a max speed of 20 mph, operable pedals and weigh 100 lbs. or less. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Pennsylvania has no licensing or registration requirements. 


Age Restrictions

To operate an e-bike in Pennsylvania, you must be 16 or older.


Helmet Regulations

Helmets are not required to ride an e-bike in Pennsylvania.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

You can ride an e-bike anywhere you can ride a pedal cycle


Rhode Island

Rhode Island recently changed its regulations to adopt the federal 3 Class system.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

E-bikes are not subject to licensing and registration requirements in Rhode Island.


Age Restrictions

You must be 16 or older to operate a Class 3 e-bike, but you may ride as a passenger if younger.


Helmet Regulations

Regardless of the Class, anyone under 15 must wear a helmet. A Class 3 e-bike requires a helmet, no matter the rider’s age. 


Where to Ride an E-Bike

E-bikes are allowed on pedestrian and bike paths in Rhode Island as long as they adhere to posted speed limits. If no limit is posted, the assumption is 20 mph. To promote uniformity, Rhode Island does not allow local governments to determine where e-bikes can ride, only the speed limits.


South Carolina

South Carolina defines e-bikes as electric-assist bicycles, stating that they must have fully operable pedals, a motor of 750w or less and a maximum speed of 20 mph.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

E-bikes are not subject to licensing or registration requirements in South Carolina.


Age Restrictions

South Carolina does not impose age restrictions on electric bicycles.


Helmet Regulations

South Carolina does not have any helmet regulations for electric bicycles.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

South Carolina does not have state-level laws regulating where you can ride an electric bicycle. Check with your local city government or park services to determine where you can legally ride your e-bike.


South Dakota

South Dakota considers electric bicycles to be bicycles or tricycles with a seat or saddle, functional pedals and electric motors of 750 watts or less. They also meet one of the three federal e-bike classes.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

South Dakota does not require licensing, registration or insurance for electric bikes.


Age Restrictions

You must be 16 or older to operate a Class 3 e-bike in South Dakota. Anyone may be a passenger.


Helmet Regulations

If you are under 18, you must wear a helmet when operating a Class 3 e-bike. If you are a passenger on a Class 3 e-bike, you must wear a helmet regardless of age.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Class 1 and 2 e-bikes may be used on bike paths or multi-use paths, but Class 3 cannot unless they are adjacent to a highway or roadway.


Tennessee

In Tennessee, an electric bicycle is a device with two or three wheels, each with a diameter of 20 inches or greater. It must also have fully functioning pedals for human power and an electric motor with a power of fewer than 750 watts. The e-bike must meet one of Tennessee’s three classes of electric bicycles. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

In Tennessee, e-bikes are regulated as bicycles, so they are not subject to licensing, registration, or insurance.


Age Restrictions

You must be older than 14 to operate a Class-3 e-bike, but you can ride as a passenger.


Helmet Regulations

Anyone operating or riding a Class 3 e-bike must wear a helmet.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Class 1 and Class 2 electric bicycles may be operated on any part of a street or highway where bicycles are allowed, including bicycle lanes. However, e-bikes are not allowed on sidewalks in Tennessee. Class 3 e-bikes are also prohibited on bike paths unless local laws permit them. 


Texas

Texas considers an electric bicycle as a bicycle with functioning pedals and an electric motor with a capacity of fewer than 750 watts. Class 1 and 2 e-bikes have a top assisted speed of 20 miles per hour, while a Class 3 e-bike has a top assisted speed of no more than 28 miles per hour or less. Electric bicycles must fall under one of Texas’ three classes.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Since e-bikes are regulated as bicycles, there are no licensing, registration, or insurance requirements. 


Age Restrictions

To operate a Class 3 e-bike, you must be 15 or older, but anyone can be a passenger.


Helmet Regulations

There are currently no helmet regulations for e-bikes in Texas.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

E-bikes are not currently allowed on non-motorized trails; however, you may ride an e-bike on designated bicycle paths. Local and state agencies may enact additional provisions, so check for updates in your area. 


Utah

An electric bicycle in Utah is a bicycle with an electric motor of no more than 750 watts and has operational pedals or affixed cranks. It is fully operational as a bicycle without the motor and meets at least one of the three classes of electric bicycles.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Since they are regulated as bicycles, they do not require licensing, registration, or insurance.


Age Restrictions

Riders under 16 years of age are prohibited from operating a Class 3 e-bike. Those under 14 can’t ride an electric assisted bicycle with the electric motor engaged on public property without parental or guardian supervision. Children under 8 can’t operate an e- bike on public property while the electric motor is on. 


Helmet Regulations

Helmets are mandatory for Class 3 e-bike riders and passengers.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

People may operate electric bicycles on paths or trails designated for bicycle use. Local authorities may restrict e-bikes on sidewalks, paths and trails.


Vermont

According to Vermont law, an electric bicycle is a bicycle with pedals, a seat or saddle and an electric motor of less than 750 watts, meeting one of three class requirements.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

E-bikes are regulated as bicycles, so they are not subject to licensing, registration, or insurance.


Age Restrictions

You must be age 16 or older to operate a Class 3 e-bike, but anyone can be a passenger. 


Helmet Regulations

There are currently no helmet laws regarding e-bikes in Vermont.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Electric bicycles are allowed in places where bicycles can go, such as highways, bicycle lanes and multi-use paths. Local and state authorities can regulate the use of e-bikes on non-motorized trails with natural surfaces.


Virginia

Virginia uses the federal 3 Class system to define e-bikes and regulates them as bicycles as long as they fall into one of the three categories. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Since they are regulated as bicycles, they do not require licensing, registration, or insurance.


Age Restrictions

Riders under 14 can’t ride Class 3 electric power-assisted bicycles without supervision from an adult who is 18 or older. 


Helmet Regulations

Classes 1 and 2 do not require helmets. When operating or riding in a Class 3 e-bike you must wear a helmet, regardless of age. 


Where to Ride an E-Bike

E-bikes are authorized in areas such as bike lanes and multi-purpose lanes where bicycles are permitted but may be subject to local laws. There are no e-bikes allowed on any component of Virginia’s interstate highways.


Washington

The state of Washington defines e-bikes as having two or three wheels, pedals, a saddle and electric motors not exceeding a power output of 750 watts. They must meet one of three e-bike classification requirements.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Since Washington regulates e-bikes like bicycles, no licensing, registration, or insurance is required. 


Age Restrictions

For a Class 3 e-bike, you must be 16 or older to operate it, but there is no age restriction for passengers.


Helmet Regulations

There are currently no helmet laws regarding e-bikes in Washington. However, some cities and counties require cyclists to wear helmets. For example, helmets are mandatory for people under 18 in Poulsbo. E-bike rental businesses in Spokane County must offer helmets to riders and passengers unless they have their own helmets. 


Where to Ride an E-Bike

Washington allows Classes 1 and 2 e-bikes on bike paths and bike trails. Class 3 e-bikes are allowed on highways or facilities adjacent to them. However, they are not allowed on shared-use paths except where local jurisdictions may allow them.


Washington, DC

Washington, D.C. defines electric bicycles as motorized bicycles with fully functional pedals, two or three wheels, a post-mounted seat and a motor that cannot exceed 20 mph.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Because e-bikes are under the category of motorized bicycles, they are not subject to licensing, registration, or insurance. However, if an e-bike exceeds 20 mph, you must obtain a driver’s license. 


Age Restrictions

You must be 16 years or older to operate an electric bike.


Helmet Regulations

District of Columbia law requires riders under 16 to wear helmets while cycling.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

E-bikes may ride on the same roadways as regular bicycles.


West Virginia

West Virginia, like many other states, recognizes e-bikes as bicycles as long as they fit into one of the federal classifications. Unlike other states, West Virginia only recognizes Class 1 e-bikes and Class 3 e-bikes. Because Class 2 e-bikes do not require pedaling, West Virginia does not recognize them as bicycles and they are not subject to the same laws.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

Since e-bikes are considered bicycles, they are not required to have licensing, registration, or insurance. To operate a Class 3 e-bike you must be age 16 or older. Anyone riding a Class 3 e-bike under age 15 must have an operator age 18 or older.


Age Restrictions

To operate a Class 3 e-bike you must be age 16 or older. Anyone riding a Class 3 e-bike under age 15 must have an operator age 18 or older.


Helmet Regulations

Anyone under 15 must wear a helmet while operating an e-bike.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

In West Virginia, a Class 1 e-bike can be ridden on bike paths, multi-use trails and single-use trails. A Class 3 e-bike can only be ridden in these areas if they are within a roadway or highway and are subject to local law.


Wisconsin

Wisconsin considers an electric bicycle as a bike with pedals, an electric motor of 750 watts or less and meets one of the three e-bike classifications. 


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

E-bikes are regulated the same as regular bicycles and are not subject to registration, licensing, or insurance. 


Age Restrictions

To operate a Class 3 e-bike, you must 16 or older. Anyone 16 or younger may ride as a passenger on Class 3 bikes designed for passengers.


Helmet Regulations

There are currently no helmet regulations regarding e-bikes in Wisconsin.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

E-bikes are allowed on bike paths. However, local governments and the Department of Natural Resources may enact special restrictions as necessary. 


Wyoming

In Wyoming, an electric bicycle must have pedals, a seat, a motor with less than 750 watts and meet one of three federal classifications. E-bike operators have the same duties and responsibilities as bicycle riders.


E-Bike Licensing and Registration Requirements

E-bikes are considered regular bicycles and aren’t subject to registration, licensing, or insurance.


Age Restrictions

Wyoming has no age restrictions on e-bike riding.


Helmet Regulations

There are currently no helmet regulations regarding e-bikes in Wyoming.


Where to Ride an E-Bike

There are no state-level laws regarding where to ride an e-bike; however, the state and local authorities receive the right to regulate electric bicycle use on non-motorized trails as needed. 


Ride in Style With an Electric Bike


The adoption of e-bike laws in more states makes using electric bikes for transportation and recreation easier and safer.


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