Convenient and accessible, ebikes are brilliant alternatives to motorcycles and traditional bikes. Mountain ebikes and city ebikes provide you with transportation for a range of activities. But do you need a license for an electric bike? The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, which we go through here.
Are Ebikes Motorized Vehicles?
Ebikes are typically categorized as motorized vehicles or low-speed electric bicycles, depending on the state you are in. However, it is important to note that should you purchase insurance for your ebike, traditional auto insurance does not provide full coverage. You would be better off looking for an insurance policy drafted specifically for ebikes instead.
Do You Need a License for an Ebike?
Different classifications of ebikes under state and federal law may cause some confusion when it comes to this question. Each state has its own rules when it comes to necessitating a license for ebikes. However, as a rule of thumb, you do not usually need a license unless your ebike exceeds the speed of 28MPH. However, there are other factors that you should consider, which we discuss below.
Check Your State Statutes
Before you bring out your ebike to ride on public roads, check your state's motor vehicle statutes. You should also keep in mind that ebikes need to follow traffic rules, which regular bicycle users are also subject to. Your state should have drafted a set of rules and policies for your ebike. Depending on those, you may or may not need to apply for a driver’s license before you begin riding your ebike on public roads.
Check the Labels
It is mandatory for manufacturers to label their ebikes. These labels include the bike’s classification, motor wattage and maximum speed. You can use this label to determine the classification of your ebike to know if you need to register for a license. If you cannot find this label, or if no classification is present, look online for the specs of your ebike model, or give your manufacturer a call to confirm.
Check the Operator Handbook
You should have received one with your ebike purchase. You can take a look to determine the license requirements (if any) that your ebike needs.
Make a Visit to the DMV
You can also visit your local DMV office to inquire about the necessary documentation needed for your ebike model. You will want to ensure that you know the specs of your ebike beforehand so that the DMV office can determine if you need to obtain a license. This information should be available in your operator handbook or online.
Riding on public roads requires that you follow the rules and regulations that all vehicles are subject to. Whether or not you need a license for your ebike depends on the requirements of your state. Before you begin riding, it is best to check so that you save yourself from potential troubles in the future. Practice safe riding etiquette to ensure both the safety of yourself and others on the road.