U.S. electric bike legislation

U.S. electric bike legislation

With the prevalence of electric bikes in the United States, it is also important for us to know about the regulations for electric bikes in each state. Definitions and classifications of electric bikes are becoming more common in the United States. Thirty-six states currently define e-bikes into three standard classes, but other states use a non-tiered classification of e-bikes. State legislation typically focuses on whether e-bikes are classified as scooters, mopeds or conventional bikes, but the definitions vary from state to state. If you're looking to purchase an e-bike, it's important to know your state's e-bike laws. Let's learn more about state e-bike laws and how to ride safely and securely. 


Most states in the U.S. use three class system for electric bikes. Class 1 is defined as when an e-bike has a maximum speed of 20 mph and the electric motor works only when pedaling (pedal assist). If an e-bike is equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, it belongs to Class 2. This motor must stop assisting when the e-bike reaches 20 miles per hour. A Class 3 e-bike is a bike with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and should stop assisting when the e-bike reaches 28 miles per hour. Class 3 e-bikes are also known as electric bicycles. The most restrictive classification is Class 3, and a few states impose additional safety restrictions on people riding Class 3 bicycles. Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are more suitable for riders who enjoy recreational activities such as exploring the outdoors, hunting or mountain biking. Class 3 e-bikes are ideal for urban road use, and can generally replace motorcycles or mopeds.


The following States are places which use 3-class system for e-bikes:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.



Speed limit

Many states have set 20 miles per hour as the legal speed limit for Class 1 and Class 2 bicycles. Class 3 bikes have a speed limit of 28 miles per hour. The federal law recognizes and allows electric bikes to drive faster when the rider uses a combination of both pedals and motor power. Local speed limits may also apply various to specific areas. Some states have specific speed limits for electric bicycles, riders are expected to follow the local speed limits while on the road. Although many bikes can reach 30 miles per hour, local limits will be lower if in areas such as school zones.



Age limit

Many states do not have a formal age requirement for riding, but the majority of them do require riders under the age of 16 or 18 to wear a helmet. Eight states - Alabama, Alaska, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Virginia - require riders to be 14 or older to ride unaccompanied in all classes of vehicles. In addition, in some states, riders under this age may still ride an e-bike under the supervision of an adult 18 years of age or older.



Helmet requirements

Currently, about half of the states in the United States require children and teens to wear helmets when riding bikes. We recommend that all children wear helmets. Mandatory helmet requirements most often apply to riders under the age of 21. Delaware, Florida, Maine, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Maryland, and Montana require any e-bike rider under the age of 16 to wear a helmet. Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky and New Mexico mandate that any person under the age of 18 wear a helmet while riding an electric bicycle. Our advice is to always wear a good helmet for riding safety.



Insurance requirements

Most states do not require insurance for e-bikes. Several states such as West Virginia, North Dakota and New Mexico require e-bike insurance. Alabama, Alaska, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, Wisconsin and North Dakota currently require e-bikes to have a license to run.

While driver's insurance is rarely required, you might want to add your e-bike to the insurance to protect it from theft or damage. 


Every state has regulations regarding e-bikes, and we need to know them before we hit the trails or roads. FUNBIKE bikes are all-terrain electric bikes. Our bikes are definitely street-ready, and they're also great for riding on off-road adventures. FUNBIKIE's fat tire bikes offer maximum flexibility for our riders, so start getting ready to ride now!