Electric Bike Laws


ELECTRIC BIKE LAWS BY STATE

2021 table of ebike laws and regulations by U.S. state.

State

License

Register

Insurance

Definition

Helmet

Age

Sidewalks

Trails

Parks

AKyesnonomotorized vehicleno14nonovaries
ALyesyesnomotorized vehicleyes14nono
ARnononoClass 1, 2, 321
(Class 3)
16
(Class 3)
yesyes
AZnononoClass 1, 2, 3nonoyesyes
CAnononoClass 1, 2, 3Class 316
(Class 3)
yesyesClass 1, 2
COnononoClass 1, 2, 321
(Class 3)
16
(Class 3)
yesyesyes
CTnononoClass 1, 2, 3yes16
(Class 3)
Class 1, 2Class 1, 2
DCnononoClass 1, 2, 3no16
DEnonono750W/
20mph max
18yesyesClass 1, 2
FLnonono20mph maxno16nonoClass 1, 3
GAnononoClass 1, 2, 3Class 315
(Class 3)
nono
HInonono20mph max1615yesyesno
IAnonono750W/
20mph max
nonoyesyes
IDnononoClass 1, 2, 3yes
ILnononoClass 1, 2, 316 (Class 3)nono
INnononoClass 1, 2, 318
(Class 3)
15
(Class 3)
nono
KSnonono1000W/
20mph max
nonoyesyes
KYnononononoyesyes
LAyesyesno20mph maxyes15nonoClass 1
MAyesyesno20mph maxyes16nono
MDnononoClass 1, 2, 316 (Class 3)nono
MEnononoClass 1, 2, 31616
(Class 2,3)
nono
MInononoClass 1, 2, 318
(Class 3)
14
(Class 3)
Class 1Class 1
MNnonono1000W/
20mph max
no15yesyesClass 1, 2
MOnonono20mph maxno16nonoyes
MSnononononoyesyes
MTnonono20mph maxnonoyesyes
NCnonono750W/
20mph max
no16yesyes
NDyesyesyesmotorized vehicle14no
NEnonono750W/
20mph max
nonoyesyes
NHnononoClass 1, 2, 3no16
(Class 3)
Class 1, 2yes
NJClass 3Class 3Class 3Class 1, 2, 315 (Class 3)noClass 1, 2
NMyesyesyesmotorized vehicle15nono
NVnonono750W/
20mph max
nononoyesClass 1, 2
NYyesyesyesmotorized vehiclenoClass 1, 2
OHnononoClass 1, 2, 3Class 3yes
OKnononoClass 1, 2, 316 (Class 3)nono
ORnonono1000W/
20mph max
no16noyes
PAnonono750W/
20mph max
no16yesyesyes
RInonono1491W/
25mph max
SCnonono750W maxnonono
SDnononoClass 1, 2, 316 (Class 3)yes
TNnononoClass 1, 2, 3Class 314
(Class 3)
noClass 1, 2
TXnononoClass 1, 2, 315 (Class 3)yes
UTnononoClass 1, 2, 3noyesyes
VAnonono1000W/
20mph max
no14yesyes
VTnonono1000W/
20mph max
WAnononoClass 1, 2, 316 (Class 3)Class 1, 2
WIyesnono750W/
20mph max
no16variesno
WVyesyesyesmotorized vehicleyes15nono
WYnononoClass 1, 2, 3yesClass 1


Table Legend

License - Whether a license is required to operate the bicycle
Register - Whether the bicycle needs to be registered
Insurance - Whether insurance is required to operate the bicycle
Definition - How the e-bike is defined: as a Class of ebike, as a motorized vehicle (like a moped or motorcycle), etc.
Helmet - Whether a helmet is required for the ebike and for which Class if applicable
Age - If there is a mininum age required to operate the ebike and for which Class if applicable
Sidewalks - If ebikes are allowed on sidewalks and any Class restrictions
Bike Paths - If ebikes are allowed on big paths and multi-use trails and any Class restrictions
Parks - If ebikes are allowed in State parks and any Class restrictions

For blank data, this means the state does not give specific guidance.


eBike Classes

The following class system is used in the U.S. For Classes 1-3, the motor's electrical output is generally limited to 750W (1 HP) but a few states allow 1000W motor. An important consideration for Class 1-3 electric bikes is that they are generally on parity with bicycles in terms of being allowed in bike lanes, sidewalks, bike paths and national parks. Generally speaking, anywhere a bicycle can go, an electric bike can go (with restrictions in some states for Class 3). Class 4 are only allowed on streets with cars, or off-road on private property.

Class 1 - Pedelec (pedal assist)
eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and have a maximum motor-assisted speed of 20 mph (32kph). The motor kicks in only when you pedal, and stops assisting you when you reach 20 mph..

Class 2 - Throttle on demand
eBikes that are both pedal-assist and throttle-assist, and also have a maximum motor-assisted speed of 20 mph (32kph). The motor kicks in when you pedal or use the throttle, and stops assisting you when you reach 20 mph..

Class 3 - Speed pedelec (speed pedal-assist)
eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and a maximum motor-assisted speed of 28 mph (45kph). The motor kicks in only when you pedal, and stops assisting you when you reach 28 mph..

Class 4 - Mopeds & high-power off-road ebikes
Electric mopeds are legally considered to be a "motorized vehicle" rather than a bicycle. The motor kicks in when you pedal or use the throttle. The top speed is above 28 mph (45 kph) and the motor output is greater than 750W and can be 5000W. Not to be confused with electric scooters, which are throttle only, without pedals. An easy way to remember the difference is that "moped" is a contraction for "motor+pedal".

Electric dirt bikes and other high-power off-road ebikes are also considered to be motorized vehicles as they are throttle only, above 28mph and have >750W motors. Beyond that of course are electric motorcyles.


In addition there are electric kick scooters, electric mobility scooters, and electric wheelchairs that are generally only allowed on sidewalks are other places where pedestrians walk.