State Electric Bike Bicycle Laws - State by State

Whether you're a seasoned eBiker or a newbie, every rider should be aware of the local and U.S electric bike regulations in their state.

If you're new to eBiking, you're not alone; eBikes have become increasingly popular across the U.S. in the last decade. E-Bike popularity has outpaced U.S electric bike regulations and left many states playing catch-up.

Electric bicycle (e-bike) laws are different in every state, and can be confusing for riders, retailers, and suppliers. Find your state's specific rules below.





















































E-bikes are most frequently “pedal-assist” or “muscle-assist,” meaning the rider must be pedaling for the electric motor to engage. E-bikes may also come equipped with a throttle that allows the bike to be propelled without pedaling.

The bicycle’s low-speed electric motor provides a boost of power to climb hills, extend the range of trips where a bicycle can be used, allow current bicycle users to bike more often and farther, provide a new recreation option for people who want to bike and in general, extend the range of any ride.

Low-speed e-bikes are as safe and sturdy as traditional bicycles and move at speeds similar to conventional bikes. E-bikes are emissions-free, low impact and operate silently. E-bikes vary widely in terms of shape and size, but the different types closely align with those of regular bicycles. E-bikes resemble traditional bicycles in both appearance and operation and do not function similarly to mopeds, scooters and other motorized vehicles.

According to a 2018 bicycle industry analysis, e-bikes sales increased 83 percent between May of 2017 and May of 2018, and e-bikes made up 10 percent of overall bikes sales in the U.S. for that time period. While the Asian and European e-bike markets are more robust, industry advocates hope to continue to expand U.S. e-bike sales.. Most major U.S. bicycle brands sell e-bikes, and bicycle manufacturers have moved or are positioning themselves to move to the U.S. to capitalize on the growing market.

Electric bicycles cost on average $2,000 - $3,000, versus a $1,000 average investment for a mid-range traditional commuter bicycle. An investment in an electric bicycle is appealing to those who are looking to replace short trips typically made by car, therefore the investment can be justified if the buyer factors in the reduced cost of car maintenance and fuel.

Reasons for purchasing an e-bike vary, with some looking for a cheap commuting mode and others looking for a less physically demanding bicycle option or help bicycling through hilly areas. E-bikes may also provide a more attractive and feasible choice to take short trips. According to U.S. Department of Transportation survey data, half of all trips in the U.S. are three miles or less in length, a distance widely regarded as bikeable for most adults and even more feasible for electric bicycle riders. Seventy-two percent of those trips are currently made by cars and fewer than 2 percent by bicycle. E-bikes also provide a new transportation and recreation option for people with disabilities and those with physical limitations.


Helmet Requirements

At least 25 states and D.C. have some sort of helmet requirement for e-bike riders and passengers. These often apply to riders under a certain age.

  • . Connecticut has the strictest requirement, requiring operators and passengers for all classes of e-bikes to wear protective headgear.
  • . Florida, Maine and Maryland require any e-bike operator or passenger under 16 years of age to wear a helmet, while New Jersey requires any e-bike operator or passenger under 17 to wear a helmet and New York requires any e-bike operator or passenger under 14 to wear a helmet. Moreover, Delaware requires any e-bike operator or passenger under 18 to wear a helmet.
  • . California, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia require the operator and all passengers of class three electric bicycles, regardless of age, to wear protective headgear.
  • . Arkansas requires operators and passengers of a class three e-bike under age 21 to wear protective headgear.
  • . Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Utah require helmets for those under age 18 operating or riding on a class three e-bike. Additionally, in South Dakota, any passenger on a class three e-bike, regardless of age, must wear a helmet.

However, 25 states do not have helmet requirements for any class of e-bike. Of which, at least eight, including Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming, have enacted specific e-bike laws without such requirements.

Twenty-two states and D.C. have helmet laws that apply to all bicyclists, including e-bike riders, under a certain age, ranging from under 12 to 18 years of age.

  • . Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee and D.C. require riders under age 16 to wear a helmet.
  • . In California, Delaware and New Mexico, riders under 18 must wear a helmet.
  • . In New Jersey, riders under 17 must wear a helmet. In West Virginia, riders under 15 must wear a helmet and, in New York, riders under 14 must wear a helmet. In Louisiana and Pennsylvania, riders under 12 must wear a helmet.

Registration, Licensure, and Insurance Requirements

States with a three-tiered classification system typically exempt an e-bike from registration, licensure and insurance requirements to differentiate between e-bikes and other motorized vehicles such as mopeds and scooters.

  • . For example, Idaho’s law specifically states mopeds and motorcycles are not e-bikes and explicitly exempts e-bike operators from licensure, registration and titling requirements.
    . New Jersey’s two-tiered classification system exempts “low-speed e-bikes,” which have a maximum operating speed of 20 MPH, from registration, licensure and insurance requirements. However, the law also defines “motorized bicycle” as a pedal bicycle having an electric motor that propels the bicycle in excess of 20 MPH with a maximum motor-powered speed of 28 MPH. These devices must still register with the state Motor Vehicle Commission and riders must also be at least 15, have a valid license, insurance and wear a helmet. Illinois’ law allows local authorities to regulate the operation of bicycles, low-speed electric bicycles, low-speed gas bicycles and also require registration and licensing of the same, as well as requiring a registration fee.
    . Wyoming also empowers localities to enact a registration fee as part of any local ordinances governing the operation, registration and licensure of non-electric bicycles and e-bikes.
    . Hawaii requires e-bikes to be registered and to pay a one-time fee of $30. Owners of non-electric bicycles in Hawaii must register their bikes as well, but the fee is $15.
    All 26 states with a three-tiered classification system require an e-bike to be affixed with a label that states the classification number, top-assisted speed and motor wattage.


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.


E-bike Operation on Multi-Use Paths

Woman riding an e-bike.Of the 43 states and D.C. that define e-bikes, some state laws, such as in Arizona, Minnesota, Utah and Washington, specifically allow e-bike operation on facilities such as bicycle paths or greenways, with the caveat that many carve out exceptions for localities to enact stricter operation regulations on such bike and pedestrian facilities. In Delaware, Iowa and Nebraska, electric bicycles are defined within the existing definition of a bicycle, therefore there is not a distinction when it comes to operation on trails. Vermont specifies that motor-assisted bicycles are governed as bicycles and have the same rights and duties applicable to bicyclists. Hawaii’s law does not include restrictions on where e-bikes may operate.


Check Out

The e-bike from Haoqi is completely under U.S regulations and laws which allow you to ride it without specific license and insurance.

Anyone who is considering purchasing an electric bicycle should understand their legal riding limits. Even veteran eBikers may benefit from a refresher on eBike regulations, as several states have changed their classifications as recently as 2021.

E-Bikes have grown in popularity as a fun way to explore outside and an eco-friendly alternative to car-based trips. Electric bikes are popular for recreation, fitness, and commuting. Bikes like those from Haoqi can even go off-road as high-performance electric mountain bikes. E-Bikes are increasingly replacing ATVs as the vehicle of choice for hunting, angling, or Overlanding.

People across the country continue to discover the benefits of electric bikes to enhance their everyday activities or as an opportunity to explore new terrain. Public Lands organizations also acknowledge the benefits of eBikes and are expanding access to riders across national parks, forests and wilderness areas.

Several U.S. states are still adapting to this rapid growth in popularity and are navigating the implementation of eBike regulations and classifications. Some states have strict laws for electric bikes, while in other states, eBikes lack a specific vehicle classification, and it's not clear how they are regulated.

Before you hop on your Haoqi eBike, be sure you understand the current regulations in your state and for anywhere else you plan to ride. Haoqi Electric Bikes are great for all-terrain riding, and in most states, they can go almost anywhere off-road vehicles can go. However, if you want to commute on your eBike or ride in the city, you may face a different set of regulations.