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The way people move to different places has significantly involved over the last decade. It has become much easier to go from one place to another without taking up to much time. One of the previous developments in transportations is the popular E-Bike. Before buying one of the E-bikes, it can be helpful to know the rules and regulations.
Do you need a license to drive an electric bike? Each state follows its own rules and regulations. This means that it depends on the state that you are in if you need a license when riding an E-bike. Every state may also look at the rider’s age and the type of E-bike that the rider is riding.
E-bikes are a great way of transportation, and more and more people across America are using them. However, to keep the cyclist safe, each state has its own safety rules. An example could be if a helmet is mandatory or not and the maximum speed that E-bikes can go according to the law.
License Requirements When Riding an E-Bike
E-bikes come in many shapes and sizes. Depending on what you want with your E-bike, you can set it up to fulfill your needs. Riding an E-bike has become much more popular over the years. People use it for transportation. For example, riding an E-bike to and from work has made multiple people purchase one of these bikes.
What is an E-bike?
An Electrical bike or E-bike looks a lot like an ordinary bicycle. The main difference is that an e-bike has an integrated motor. The motor helps propulsion and assists the cyclist while pedaling. Depending on the E-bike, it will assist the driver, making it much easier to reach higher speeds or ride on rugged terrain. In addition, some E-bikes are equipped with a speedometer. Once a certain speed is reached, the speedometer will notice this, stopping the assistance making it harder for the cyclist to go beyond a certain speed. The E-bikes are developed to make riding a bike easier (For example, when going uphill or riding against the wind), travel further distances, and replace the amount of cars on the road.
E-bikes are categorized into 3 classes.
Different types of E-bikes
A class 1 E-bike will assist a biker only when he is peddling. When the driver reaches 20 miles per hour, it will stop helping the driver making it harder for the cyclist to go faster.
A class 2 E-bike contains a motor. The motor assists the driver by helping to propel the pedals. Once the speed of 20 miles per hour is reached, the assistance will automatically stop. Therefore a class 2 E-bike will not exceed the speed of 20 miles per hour.
A class 1 E-bike will assist a biker only when he is peddling. When the rider reaches 28 miles per hour, it will stop helping the rider. Therefore a class 3 E-bike will not exceed the speed of 28 miles per hour.
If an E-bike exceeds these speeds, it will no longer be considered a low-speed electrical bicycle, which means that it is not seen as an E-bike. This will change the rules and regulations. Most states don’t allow E-bikes to ride above these speeds.
License requirements per state
As mentioned above, it depends on the state if you are required to have a license when riding an E-bike. Also, it may depend on the age of the driver and the type of E-bike. When riding a class 1, 2, or 3 E-bike, the rules and regulations may differ again.
Below will give you an idea of states that require a license when riding an E-bike in America.
The states that require an license for E-bike’s are:
- District of Columbia
In total, there are thirteen states of the fifty states in America that require a license. There are more states that don’t require the license. Therefore when buying an E-bike, it is always recommended to look at the requirements per state.
It isn’t just the license that states require when riding an E-bike. Each state also looks at Insurance, Definition (type 1,2 or 3), helmet, age and riding on sidewalks, trails, and parks.
Are Helmet Requirements When Riding an E-Bike?
Again, just like the license requirements, some states also require helmets when riding an E-bike. There are about 25 states that require a helmet. Often having to wear a helmet goes along with the age of the rider. Some states require a helmet when the age of the rider is 18 years and younger. Some states want all riders age 17 and younger to wear a helmet, and some states require helmets at age 16 or 14 years and younger.
It can get confusing because each state has there own rules. Arkansas, for example, only requires a helmet when riding a class 3 E-bike and when the rider is 21 years old or younger. However, other states don’t look at the age and want all riders riding a class 3 E-bike to wear a helmet.
We recommend that everyone who wants to buy an E-bike should closely look at the requirements per state to know what is necessary and what is not. Safety-wise wearing a helmet would be advised no matter what type of E-bike you are riding or the speed you want to be cycling.
At What Age Are You Allowed to Ride an E-Bike?
More than half of the states in America have an age limit when wanting to ride an E-bike. In total, thirty-two states have an age limit. Six states have an age limit where you can ride an E-bike at the age of fourteen and younger. Nine states have an age limit where you can ride an E-bike at the age of fifteen and younger—leaving 17 states that require riders wearing a helmet at the age of sixteen and younger.
Some states only have an age limit when riding a class 3 E-bike, which could mean that the helmet is not required when teenagers have a class 1 or 2 bikes. So again, it depends on the state you are in.
Where Are You Allowed to Ride on an E- Bike?
Riding an E-bike is fun, easy, and quick. Getting by on an E-bike will get you where you need to go a lot faster than when you would be riding an ordinary bike. In addition, being in the fresh air makes it healthier than taking a car. Finally, because riding an E-bike is more effortless and rides at higher speeds, it will be easier to travel further.
Some states don’t let you ride everywhere and anywhere you want. This often has to do with the speed that E-bikes go. To keep everyone safe, including all the other people taking part in traffic, some rules must be set and followed.
Terrains you can’t ride on when riding an E-bike:
Some states don’t allow E-bikes to be riding on the sidewalk. Many pedestrians and ordinary bikes use the sidewalks. Having a motorized vehicle can make it dangerous. This is because it is more difficult to estimate the speed that the bikes are going. Twenty-four states don’t allow E-bikes to ride on sidewalks.
Twenty-nine states don’t allow E-bikes on trails. Trails are often through nature and exist of small paths that quickly get crowded. People usually take their time to enjoy nature, bike with little kids, take photos and walk along the side. Riding an E-bike at a different speed than most people are riding can cause dangerous situations. Therefore some states don’t allow E-bikes on the trails.
Sixteen of the fifty states don’t allow E-bikes in state parks. Governments don’t want E-bikes in state parks for the same reasons they don’t allow them on sidewalks or trails. It mainly has to do with safety measures. They are riding at a different speed than others what can cause dangerous situations. The reaction of another cyclist can be too slow because they weren’t expecting someone riding at a higher speed.
In some states, a license is required when riding an E-bike. Apart from a license requirement, there are other rules and regulations that E-bike riders need to follow. Each state has there own requirements, rules, and regulations when riding an E-bike. There are three main types of E-bikes, all with their benefits, disadvantages, and speed. After reading this article, I hope you have more insight into what rules and regulations are when riding an E-bike. In the end, if you want to know what the rules are, it is essential to look at the state you want to be cycling in.