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Well, to bluntly answer your question, NO, you don’t require a license for an electric scooter if you live in the U.S.A. except for California.
However, it still depends on your country’s rules and legislation.
Also, it is beneficial to understand the laws around electric scooters in your respective country.
So, without any further ado, let’s learn more about the legalities.
License Requirement as per the U.S. Laws
As per the current laws in the United States of America, all riders require a license to drive any type of vehicle. However, there is a difference between laws for other vehicles and electric scooters.
Specifically, the state of California has proposed these laws for electric scooter riders with highly detailed legislation.
Also, the laws differ from state to state and have not been proposed in many countries for the license compulsion to ride e-scooters.
So it is safe to confirm the answer that there is no compulsion to have a rider’s license to ride an electric scooter in the U.S.A.
The reason behind not needing a license for electric scooters is that they are considered in the category of e-bicycles.
Although electric scooter-sharing companies require their users to be licensed and be at least 18 years old for safety reasons, these rules are limited to their services, not by the state’s law.
Moreover, by electric scooters, many states mean moped scooters, which do require a license to be ridden.
As for the state of New York, they allow electric scooters to be ridden on roads up to the speed limit of 20 mph.
In New York, electric scooters and electric bicycles are considered to be Class C vehicles for which you don’t require a license.
It is a convenient option for people who dislike driving into heavy traffic in their cars.
Hence, California is the only state in the U.S.A. that requires a license to ride an electric scooter.
Electric scooter laws: Internationally
Here is the table that provides a quick and clear overview of the scooter laws in some countries:
|Country||Age Requirement||Helmet Use||Maximum Speed Limit||Sidewalk Rules|
|United States||16 and above||Under 18||Varies by state||Typically treated like bicycles|
|Canada||Varies by province||Under 18||Varies by province||In some provinces, not allowed on sidewalks|
|Europe||14 and above||Under 18||25 km/h (15 mph)||Generally not allowed on sidewalks|
|India||16 and above||Mandatory||25 km/h (15 mph)||Not allowed on the sidewalk|
If you see Internationally, the laws regarding electric scooters differ from country to country.
Electric scooter testing on city streets has only recently started in the UK. Shared scooters are available for rent.
However, private scooters cannot yet be used on public highways. Since electric scooters are considered motor vehicles, anyone riding one must have a driver’s license in good standing and be at least 16 years old.
Every region, state, and city in Canada has a different scooter law. While most states have minimum age limits, riding an electric scooter is legal without a license.
Australia has also proposed the same laws as many countries. While all other countries allow riding electric scooters without a license, Queensland and Victoria require a valid license compulsory.
Countries like Japan, India, Nepal, etc., compulsorily require a valid driver’s license everywhere in the country, along with legal papers like registration and insurance papers.
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Conclusion: Do You Need A License For An Electric Scooter? (2023)
The rules regarding using electric scooters are often changing. Moreover, the answer to your question, “Do you need a license for an electric scooter?” is precisely NO in the United States (except California).
Though the scenario changes from country to country as the laws depend on the country’s legislation.
Hence, you can be relieved in the U.S.A. if you don’t live in California. However, we recommend checking your country’s laws and rules before using your electric scooters on the roads.
FAQs: License for an electric scooter
You can legally drive an electric scooter in California with a valid license and up to the speed limit of 15 mph.
The law of California state does not allow the use of any motorized vehicle on sidewalks. Hence, riding an e-scooter on the sidewalk in California is not allowed.
It is necessary to wear safety gear while using any type of vehicle. Hence, just like any other motorized vehicle, it is necessary to wear a helmet on an electric scooter.
Unfortunately, two people cannot ride on a single electric scooter as the deck’s space is smaller in size.