E-bikes or electric bicycles are becoming a popular mode of transportation. E-bikes provide electric motor assistance while pedaling. Licensing requirements vary depending on the power of the e-bike motor and local regulations.
Federal law does not require a license to operate an electric bike as long as the motor is less than 750 watts and stops propelling at 28 mph. Operators must be at least 16 years old. State and local authorities can implement further e-bike regulations.
State and Local Laws
Some states require a driver's license for certain driving high-powered e-bikes. Many states and cities follow most federal guidelines for e-bikes. However, some prohibit the operation of any motorized bicycle on public roads or streets. Riders should check local laws.
Although a license may not be required, riding an e-bike safely requires learning to operate procedures, traffic laws, and handling techniques. Formal instruction may supplement a license. Riders should use appropriate protective equipment, such as helmets.
In most cases, a driver's license is not required to operate an e-bike with low-power electric assist features. However, riders need to verify the specific regulations of their state and city. Even if a license is not mandatory, safety training is recommended.