Ride An Electric Scooter On The Road: Laws By State 2024

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Despite being a popular and adaptable vehicle, electric scooters are treated differently by each state of the U.S.  Therefore, it’s necessary to know if you can ride an electric scooter on the road in your state.

There are present laws governing electric scooters that are designed to keep people safe. Each state has its own laws, some of which are tougher than others. 

Therefore, in order to ensure you are abiding by the laws, here is a detailed breakdown of the same.

Safety Guidelines And Regulations Of The Roads

  • Respect all road laws and put on the appropriate safety gear.
  • Give other scooter riders, cyclists, pedestrians, and cars clear indications of your arrival.
  • For better visibility in the dark, headlights, taillights, brake lights, horns, or bells for visibility are necessary to be equipped on an electric scooter.
  • Hand signals and cautious riding are advised, as lights aren’t always clearly visible to drivers.
  • For a safe ride, speak to other drivers, keep your eyes on the road, and maintain visibility.
  • Give them plenty of space and stay away from fast-moving, congested locations since a car will always win in any competition between a scooter and a car.
  • When riding a bike, be cautious and stay in specified lanes.
  • If there isn’t an established bike lane, ride on roads with a speed restriction of 25 mph or less and keep near the right-hand side in some places, like California.
  • Prefer residential neighborhoods and slower-moving streets.
  • Steer clear of busy intersections and highway speeds to lessen the chance and impact of crashes.

Legal Documentation Requirement 

The regulations for riding an electric scooter can differ from state to state and city to city, just like the traffic laws. 

Most of the time, scooter riders won’t require a driver’s license, registration, or insurance to use one on public roads. 

Still, as usual, you should check with your local motor vehicle department to confirm the regulations in your area. 

On a global scale, these needs will also be very variable and may shift from one country’s state to another.

Ultimately, despite your location, riding with electric scooters on the road is potentially risky. Hence, having all the required documents registered under your name is a crucial precaution.

What Is The Speed Limit For Riding An Electric Scooter On The Road?

Speed Limit For Riding An Electric Scooter On The Road

The maximum speed limit to ride electric scooters in most states in the USA is about 20 mph. However, many share electric scooter companies do not allow it to cross the speed limit of 10-15 mph.

Furthermore, some states are exceptions to this rule, including Washington DC and New Jersey. 

In Washington, DC, the maximum speed limit of an electric scooter is 10 mph, whereas it is 19 mph in New Jersey. 

Further, states like Michigan and Oregon are allowing riders to speed limits of up to 25 mph.

Where Are Electric Scooters Allowed On Streets In The U.S.A.?

Electric Scooters Allowed On Streets In The U.S.A.

In total 38 states in the USA, electric scooters are allowed on public streets, while they are prohibited in 10 additional states. 

While most jurisdictions allow the use of electric scooters on public roads, certain states have regulated and implemented differing regulations about where and how scooters may be used.

Laws and Regulations Number of States
Street Legal 32
Sidewalks Not Legal 7
Sidewalks Legal 5
No Law 3
Streets Not Legal 3

Furthermore, because of the fact that most scooters cannot reach safe enough speeds to manage the traffic, states like Massachusetts, Colorado, California, and New York, do not allow e-scooters on expressways, limited-access roads, or highways.

Scooters are now required to ride on the right side of the road while they are street-legal in Connecticut, Maine, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Indiana.

E-scooter laws In States Where It Can Be Legally Ridden On Roads

Here’s the breakdown of e-scooters by each state where e-scooters can be legally ridden:

Alabama

To ride an e-scooter in Alabama, you need a special license called a Class M or B restricted motorcycle license. You have to be at least 14 years old to get this license.

If you’re under 16, you must wear a bike helmet when riding an e-scooter. This is because e-scooters are considered like electric bikes under the law.

When you ride your e-scooter on the road, make sure to stay on the right side. It’s the law!

Arizona

In 2019, a law was passed allowing the use of e-scooters in public areas across the state. 

Statewide, helmets are not mandatory, except in Tucson, Sierra Vista, Yuma, and Pima counties. Plus, riders under 18 years old must wear a helmet in these areas.

Alaska

You must be at least 14 years old and have an M2 class motorcycle license to ride an e-scooter in Alaska. If you’re 16 or older, you’ll need an M1 or M3 license.

Also, if you’re under 18, always wear a helmet while riding.

For electric scooters with a seat or standing, the motor should not be more than 750W. Follow the regular rules for motor vehicles when riding, and it’s okay to use the streets.

Arkansas

To operate e-scooters in Arkansas, you need to be at least 16 years old. Even though it can go up to 20 mph, you can only ride it at 15 mph. Most importantly, the rules about where you can ride it, like on streets or sidewalks, depend on what your local area says.

There’s some confusion about needing a license or registration; some laws say yes, and others say no.

Colorado (Except For Interstate Or Limited-access Roads)

You can ride these scooters on streets where the speed limit is 30 mph or less; the same rules apply to bikes.

Sidewalks are okay, too, but not faster than six mph. If you want to ride, you must be at least 16, and if you’re under 18, wear a helmet.

California (Not Allowed On Expressways)

In California, you can only ride electric scooters on bike lanes and public roads if you don’t go faster than 15 mph. If you’re under 18, make sure to wear a helmet. 

Plus, you must have a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit. Remember, always wear a helmet if you’re scooting on the streets.

Connecticut (Riders Should Stay To The Right)

In 2019, Connecticut made some laws for e-scooters. They’re a lot like bike rules, so it’s pretty easy to use your e-scooter.

You must be at least 15 years old to ride; if you’re under 16, wear a helmet. Riding on the sidewalk is not allowed, and the fastest you can go is 20 mph.

Hawaii

In July 2021, new rules were added, which stated that you had to be at least 15 years old to ride in public places. If you’re under 16, wear a helmet with a chin strap.

Use safety goggles or put on a face shield while riding your scooter. Remember, it’s not okay to ride on sidewalks. Each county has its own rules about where and how you can ride.

Georgia

Georgia wants the electric scooter industry to grow, so they’re not making too many strict rules. Each city can decide on its own laws about e-scooters.

You’re allowed to ride on bike paths, bike lanes, and roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. But, no riding on sidewalks or crosswalks.

The e-scooters can go up to 20 mph and weigh up to 100 lbs. There’s no age limit, but if you’re under 16, wear a helmet.

Don’t text while riding, and follow the traffic rules. Some sources say you need a license and registration, but others say you don’t.

Illinois

In Illinois, If an electric scooter doesn’t meet rules like  20 mph speed limit, max power of 1.5 kW (2 hp), pedaled by foot, and no shifting gears. Additionally, e-scooters are called motorcycles and need to be registered. 

Ensure your scooter has a headlight that can be seen from 500 feet and a taillight visible from 100-600 feet.

You’re allowed to ride on public roads unless local laws say otherwise, and helmets are not necessary.

A new bill is being discussed, but it’s not a rule yet. If it becomes a rule, e-scooter riders will need to follow the same road rules as bicycles.

Iowa

In 2019, the Iowa state senate introduced a bill (though it hasn’t been acted upon yet) that says e-scooters are considered vehicles if they’re lighter than 100 lbs, have 2-3 wheels, have handlebars, floorboard, are powered by an electric motor and go less than 20 mph.

If this bill becomes a law, e-scooters will have to follow the same rules as bicycles, meaning they can go on roads, bike lanes, and sidewalks.

Indiana (Riders Should Stay To The Right)

In Indiana, scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles are all in one group called motor-driven cycles. There are different classes, and each has its own rules.

For Classes A and B, you must register and have a license. Plus, if you’re under 18, you must wear a helmet.

Kansas

In Kansas, electric scooters are allowed everywhere in the state. You don’t need to wear a helmet, but you can’t ride on sidewalks or highways.

However, some cities and counties need licenses, and some don’t.

Maine (Riders Should Stay To The Right)

In Maine, electric scooters are allowed, but the laws are similar to mopeds.

As per the laws in Maine, a motor scooter is something with two or three wheels smaller than 10 inches and either a gas-powered motor under 25CC or an electric motor with a max of 750W.

You need some kind of driver’s license, permit, or approval, but you don’t have to register it. Helmets aren’t necessary.

For nighttime riding, the scooter must have a white front light, a red rear light, and reflectors. The top speed allowed is 20 mph.

Louisiana

In 2019, Louisiana became a state that allowed electric scooters. According to the law, it can ride on roadways with restricted speeds of less than 25 mph and can also ride on bicycle routes and sidewalks.

The scooter can only be used by one person at a time, and anyone under the age of 17 must wear a helmet.

Additionally, the state reports show that the maximum speed permitted is 40 mph and that a license is required.

Massachusetts (Except For Limited-access Roads; Riders Should Stay To The Right)

In Massachusetts, e-scooters are treated like motorized scooters or mopeds. 

So, if you ride one, you must wear a helmet, have a driver’s license, and not go faster than 20 mph. You also need to follow all the moped laws.

But there’s different information that says if it’s a lightweight motorized scooter, it’s called a personal micro-mobility vehicle. In this case, the fastest you can go is 15 mph, and you don’t have to wear a helmet.

Maryland

In Maryland, A law was made in 2019 that mentioned stand-up e-scooters are their own type of vehicle. According to this law in Maryland, these scooters are like bicycles and can only go up to 20 mph.

You should use bike paths when you can, but riding on roads and sidewalks is okay. Follow all the usual road rules like stopping at signs, staying on the right side, and signaling when turning. Moreover, if you’re under 16, wearing a helmet is necessary.

Minnesota

In Minnesota, electric scooters are considered ‘motorized foot scooters’ where riders stand with handlebars. These scooters don’t have wheels with a diameter of 12 inches and are powered by an electric motor or engine with a maximum speed of 15 mph. 

Any riders under 18 years are required to wear a helmet, and a rider should be 12 years old or above to ride an e-scooter. 

Electric scooters are treated the same as bicycles and are applied the same rights and responsibilities. 

Furthermore, you cannot ride on sidewalks, but you can ride on highways and streets without any license or registration. Plus, headlights and taillights are mandatory in the dark. 

Missouri

Electric scooters are treated like e-bikes in Missouri. They are allowed on streets and bike lanes. 

You need a driver’s license, must be at least 16, and wear a helmet. If it goes over 30 mph, it’s considered a motorcycle.

Further information says you must be 18 and have a valid driver’s license.

Mississippi

In Mississippi, electric scooters, also called “Electric Stand-Up Scooters,” are things that weigh less than 100 lbs, have 2 or 3 wheels, have a handlebar and a floorboard to stand on, run on an electric motor, and can go up to 20 mph.

E-scooter riders have to follow the same rules as a bicyclist. It’s okay to use bike paths, sidewalks, and streets where bikes are allowed. Plus, the top speed should be 15 mph, and you must be an adult to ride the scooter.

Wearing helmets and having a driver’s license aren’t required by state law at the moment.

Montana

In Montana, the law treats electric scooters like “motorized bicycles,’ and you can’t ride on sidewalks. 

People walking always have the right to get a free and safe way. Therefore, when. If you’re on an e-scooter, you must alert them by saying something to passersby people and follow all the other traffic rules.

Nevada

In Nevada, it’s okay to use electric scooters, but they can’t be heavier than 100 lbs, shouldn’t go faster than 20 mph, and the rider must be at least 16.

You can ride them in bike lanes and paths, but not faster than 15 mph. However, statewide, you don’t need to wear a helmet.

Nebraska

There aren’t many laws in Nebraska about e-scooters. The Nebraska DMV says they don’t have to be registered.

You can’t ride on sidewalks, and you must follow all the usual laws. As of right now, there’s no rule about wearing helmets or a specific age requirement in the state.

New Mexico

When riding an electric scooter in Mexico, you have to check the local rules and regulations because there aren’t any formal legislative policies at the state level for electric scooters. 

In January 2019, a regulatory framework bill was introduced to the state. However, no action was taken on this matter later on. 

North Carolina

In North Carolina, electric scooters are seen as motor vehicles and must be registered with the DMV. To ride one, you must have a valid North Carolina driver’s license or ID card. They’re considered like mopeds, which are heavier and can go up to 30 mph.

Furthermore, you can only use e-scooters on streets with a speed limit of 25 mph or less, are at least 16 years old, and wear a helmet that meets the FMVSS 218 motorcycle standard.

New York (Except For Limited-access Roads)

New York is a unique place, and electric scooters can be really helpful here. About half of the car trips in the U.S. are short, especially in New York, where quick rides can be frustrating due to heavy traffic.

In August 2020, New York made e-scooters legal, making it easier for people to move around the city. Before this, there were no rules for personal e-scooters, and shared scooters were also not allowed.

Now, there are some rules in place. Statewide, riders must be at least 16 years old and wear a helmet if they’re under 18 years old. You can’t ride on sidewalks, and streets with a speed limit of over 30 mph are off-limits.

In November 2020, New York City passed a law for the five boroughs, allowing five companies to share scooters starting in March 2021. The fastest you can go is 20 mph.

North Dakota

Some of the rules and regulations in North Dakota are similar to those in North Carolina, as electric scooters are considered in the same group as Mopeds.

The maximum speed at which you ride your e-scooter is 30 Mph, and all riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet. The e-scooter should be equipped with head and tail lights and brakes.

Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, the laws surrounding e-scooters are regulated by cities individually, as no statewide policies and rules have been introduced. 

Therefore, for instance, in the local laws of Oklahoma City, riders under the age of 18 must wear and have a helmet to ride an e-scooter. Plus, the minimum age to be able to ride an e-scooter should be 16 years.

Furthermore, riders don’t need any insurance or driver’s license to ride an e-scooter in Oklahoma City. 

However, riders must stay in the bike lane to ride on roads while not exceeding the top speed limit of 35 Mph and should follow the other standard traffic rules.

Ohio

Ohio made new laws in January 2021 to control and allow electric scooters. These scooters can’t weigh more than 100 lbs and can’t go faster than 20 mph.

You don’t need a license, insurance, or registration. You can ride them on public roads, but be careful around pedestrians, and they need front and rear lights at night. Additionally,  wearing a helmet is not necessary.

You have to be at least 16 years old to ride one. Follow all the regular rules, and when you park, make sure it doesn’t block traffic.

Pennsylvania

Only electric scooters that meet the criteria of being as similar to motor vehicles can be registered and used in Pennsylvania. 

Scooters that do not meet the criteria are considered illegal. However, if the guideline bill from 2019 becomes effective, there are chances for the rules to change in Pennsylvania.

South Dakota

As of now, no special laws have been introduced for electric scooters. However, electric scooters still come under moped laws. Therefore, electric scooters require mirrors like moped bikes. 

Additionally, riders will need a valid driver’s license and eye protection, and everyone under 18 must wear a helmet. Every other traffic rule is applied as well.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island doesn’t have state laws for electric scooters, so you have to look at the city’s rules where you’re riding.

For example, in Providence, you need a valid driver’s license or municipal ID. It’s necessary to wear a helmet and go at a slow speed. You can ride on sidewalks and streets as long as you follow all the traffic rules.

Tennessee

In 2019, Tennessee made laws for electric scooters, treating them like e-bikes. An e-scooter is a vehicle that can’t be heavier than 100 lbs, goes faster than 20 mph, and has a handlebar and an electric motor. 

They need front and rear lights and brakes, too.

Utah

In Utah, they treat e-scooters like bicycles, so you don’t need a license or registration. You can ride scooters wherever bikes are allowed, as long as the speed limit is 25 mph. But the e-scooter can’t go faster than 15 mph.

If you’re under 15, you need a parent or guardian with you while riding.

Texas

There aren’t any specific rules or policies regarding electric scooters in Texas. However, a few guidelines exist for scooters that run on motors and are targeted at mopeds rather than electric scooters.

Virginia (Riders Should Stay To The Right)

In Virginia, they made laws in July 2020. It says an e-scooter can’t weigh more than 100 lbs, go faster than 20 mph, and you must be at least 14 to ride.

Moreover, riders are not allowed to ride on highways, and cities and counties can make their own rules about these small vehicles using local laws.

Vermont

There aren’t any statewide rules and regulations introduced in Vermont. However, the local rules are followed as per the regulations of each city.

West Virginia

In 2020, a law was made for e-bikes, but there are no laws made for e-scooters yet. The State of West Virginia suggests that e-scooters would be treated the same as e-bikes.

Is it possible to use an electric scooter on the Sidewalks?

Electric scooters are banned from use on sidewalks in 17 states in the US.

Only five states allow the use of electric scooters on sidewalks:

  • Arizona
  • Iowa
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island
  • Wisconsin

While the majority of states specifically ban scooter use on sidewalks, 19 states’ regulations make no mention of sidewalk use at all. For pathways where people who walk, motorcycle riders, or even scooter users themselves could be hurt in an accident, many states deem electric scooter speeds to be too risky.

What Does Each State Require To Ride An Electric Scooter?

As said earlier, Federal law defines an electric bike as a bicycle that has a motor with a power output of no more than 750 watts and is limited to a top speed of 20 mph on level ground.

But still, States have the authority to regulate electric bikes, and laws vary from state to state.

Some states require a license to operate an electric bike, while others do not. Other than that, there are states where you will require registration of electric bikes.

Helmets are also considered an important part in various states when operating an electric bike. 

Below is data on state-wise requirements you must fulfill while riding an electric scooter.

(Source: Unagi Scooters)

DMV Registration Diver’s License Helmet Required <18Minimum Age 
North CarolinaAlabamaConnecticut Arkansas 
Alaska California DC 
California Delaware <16 Florida 
Illinois <17Louisiana <17 Michigan 12+
Kansas Massachusetts Minnesota 12+ 
Maine Michigan <19Nevada 
Massachusetts Minnesota Ohio 
Missouri North Dakota Utah 
North Carolina Oklahoma Virginia 14+ 
South Dakota 

Related read;

Conclusion: Ride An Electric Scooter On The Road!

You can ride an electric scooter on the road by following the rules and regulations your state or city has ruled out.

Some states treat e-scooters like bicycles, and some count them under the motorized vehicles group. Therefore, make sure to check all the details of your electric scooter to see what category it falls under.

Disclaimer: We would appreciate you sending us a message if you see anything off. There will be modifications to the laws, which are always being revised. In order to assist as many people as possible in receiving accurate information, we will evaluate and update as needed.

The accuracy of the legislation pertaining to electric scooters in the US and other countries is not guaranteed by Electron Wheel, despite our best efforts and current knowledge. Anyone riding or utilizing an electric scooter should contact their local government or authorities for the most recent information regarding the legality of doing so in that area.

FAQs

what age is it allowed to ride an electric scooter?

For safety reasons, it is recommended that kids of 8 years and over be allowed to ride an electric scooter.

Is riding an electric scooter at the speed of 25 mph considered fast?

Unfortunately, 25 mph speed can be considered fast by the law as compared to the average speed of an electric scooter.

Are electric scooters legal to ride in New York State?

Luckily, electric scooters are absolutely allowed legally in New York State.

Which electric scooters are allowed to ride in New York without a license?

Mopeds and Scooters with a top speed between 20 to 30 mph don’t require a license in New York.

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