Ebike Regulations in the United States: The Essentials You Need to Know

Ebike Regulations in the United States: The Essentials You Need to Know

With the continuous advancement of technology, electric bikes are becoming an increasingly popular choice for eco-friendly commuting in the United States. However, behind the joy of riding lies a complex web of regulations that varies from state to state. This article delves deep into the regulations governing electric bikes across the United States, shedding light on the evolving landscape that riders and manufacturers must navigate. From speed limits to age requirements, we will uncover the intricacies of electric bike regulations, providing you with a comprehensive legal map to ensure a worry-free ride in the future of electric commuting.

What is an Electric Bike

An electric bike is defined as a bike equipped with an electric assist system that can be operated through pedals or handles, assisting the rider during cycling, rather than a purely electrically propelled electric vehicle. This electric assist system typically does not exceed a specified power limit, with federal regulations stipulating a maximum motor power of no more than 750 watts.

The Three Classes of Electric Bike Regulations

To ensure the safe operation of electric bikes on the road and compliance with regulations, a common and beneficial classification system divides electric bikes into three categories: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. The establishment of this classification system is not merely aimed at categorizing types of electric bikes; rather, it serves to create a unified set of standards among electric bikes with different designs and performances. This system contributes to ensuring their safe and controlled use on public roads. These three classifications are based on pedal assistance, handlebar throttles, and maximum assisted speed, providing a clear foundation for the formulation of relevant regulations and riding standards.

Class 1: This type of electric bike is equipped with a pedal-assist system, supporting the rider during cycling through pedal operation. Its maximum assisted speed is typically restricted to 20 miles per hour.

Class 2: These electric bikes are equipped with a pedal assist and throttle, allowing direct electric propulsion using a handle, rather than through pedal operation. Similarly, the maximum assisted speed is limited to 20 miles per hour.

Class 3: Electric bikes of this type have a pedal-assist system, but their maximum assisted speed can reach 28 miles per hour.

As of July 2023, legislation creating the class system has been passed in forty one states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Click here to explore the differences in electric bicycle regulations across states. ( Note: This table has been compiled by PeopleForBikes.)

  Class 1 Class 2 Class 3
Max Speed 20MPH 20MPH 28MPH
Power Delivery Only Pedal Assist Both Pedal Assist & Throttle Only Pedal Assist

Note: The three class system also creates rules governing the use of electric bicycles, with safety asthe top priority. Class 1 and 2 electric bicycles would be permitted to travel anywhere traditional bikes are permitted, as the maximum assisted speed of these devices is closely aligned with speeds traveled by traditional bicycles. Class 3 electric bicycles could be ridden on streets and roadways where traditional bicycles are permitted, including bicycle lanes, but would be restricted from slower speed areas such as multi-use paths. Class 3 electric bicycles would also be subject to additional requirements, such as a minimum user age and helmet mandate. Electric bicycles would not be subject to any licensing, registration, or insurance requirements.

The Regulations for Ebike in Other States

Due to variations in laws and regulations across each state, we will now conduct in-depth research on an additional 9 states to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the diversity in electric bicycle regulations. This will include a detailed analysis of the definitions, registration requirements, riding restrictions, and other regulations that may impact electric bicycle users and the industry. The aim is to provide readers with specific and targeted information, helping them better adhere to local legal requirements when using electric bicycles.


In Alaska, electric bikes, referred to as "motor-driven cycles," have distinct regulations from traditional bicycles. E-bike riders must possess an operator's license, and although they are not required to adhere to the same rules of the road as traditional bicycles, they are not subject to registration or insurance requirements. Helmets are not mandatory, but there is a minimum age requirement of 14 years for e-bike use. Additionally, e-bikes are prohibited from using sidewalks and bike paths in Alaska. These specific regulations aim to define and manage the use of electric bikes within the state, ensuring a clear framework for riders and promoting safety on the road.


In Hawaii, an e-bike is officially categorized as a "low-speed electric bicycle," defined by its maximum assisted speed of less than 20 mph on a paved level surface when powered solely by its motor. E-bike owners in Hawaii are obligated to register their vehicles, and this process involves paying a $30 fee at designated locations such as any city hall satellite location or the state business registration unit in Honolulu. However, registration is only open to individuals who are at least 18 years old. Those aged 15 and older are allowed to operate a registered e-bike if it is registered to a household member. Notably, helmets are compulsory for riders under the age of 16, reinforcing safety measures for e-bike users in the state.


In Kentucky, electric bikes are officially classified as "mopeds." Whether or not they have pedals, these bikes must not exceed 50 cc, do not require clutching by the operator, and are restricted to a maximum speed of 30 mph. For e-bike riders under the age of 16, an instruction permit is mandatory. Additionally, any individual under the age of 21 must wear a helmet while operating an electric bike. These regulations underscore safety measures for younger riders. Moreover, electric bikes in Kentucky must be operated on roadways where the posted speed limit is less than the maximum output of the motorized device, ensuring a controlled and safe riding environment.


In Montana, electric bicycles are defined as bicycles equipped with two operational pedals and an attached motor. The power source of the motor should not propel the device, unassisted, at a speed exceeding 20 mph on a level surface, and the motor must not require clutching or shifting. Essentially treated as bicycles for regulation and enforcement purposes, e-bikes in Montana do not require a license or registration. They are permitted to be ridden on roadways and bicycle paths without age restrictions specified by state law.

Montana law mandates that the operator of a motorcycle or quadricycle under the age of 18 wear a helmet, but e-bikes are not classified as motorcycles or quadricycles. Therefore, there is no age restriction for the operation of electric bicycles in Montana. Additionally, electric bicycles are allowed on roadways and bicycle paths, including state park paths, providing riders with the flexibility to navigate various routes for their convenience.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, electric bikes, defined as "electric assisted bicycles," must have a motor under 750w, a maximum speed of 20mph, and operable pedals. Both e-bikes and human-powered bicycles follow the same rules of the road. E-bikes are exempt from registration, licensing, or insurance requirements applicable to motor vehicles. While helmets are not obligatory, the minimum age for e-bike use is 16 years. E-bikes are permitted on sidewalks if bicycles are allowed, but state law does not explicitly address their allowance on bike paths. Individuals should consult their local authority or agency for information regarding whether e-bikes are allowed on bike paths.


In Oregon, electric bikes, categorized as "electric assisted bicycles," are regulated like bicycles as long as the motor's maximum power output is 1,000w, the bike has pedals propelled by human power, and the speed does not exceed 20mph. E-bikes are exempt from registration, licensing, or insurance requirements applicable to motor vehicles. They are permitted on bike paths but not allowed on sidewalks. The minimum age for e-bike riders is 16 years, and helmet usage is not mandatory for e-bike riders.


In Pennsylvania, electric bikes, defined as "pedalcycles with electric assist," are regulated as long as the motor is under 750w, has a maximum speed of 20mph when powered by the motor source only on a level surface, weighs no more than 100 lbs, and has operable pedals. Both e-bikes and human-powered bicycles adhere to the same rules of the road. E-bikes are exempt from registration, licensing, or insurance requirements applicable to motor vehicles. Helmets are not obligatory, but individuals under 16 years of age are prohibited from operating an e-bike. E-bikes are permitted wherever bicycles or "pedalcycles" are allowed, including sidewalks, although local rules and regulations may impose restrictions.

Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, electric bikes, termed "electric motorized bicycles," are vehicles defined by a power output no greater than 1,491w, a maximum speed of 25mph, and fully operable pedals. E-bikes are exempt from the laws applying to "motor vehicles" and are not required to be registered. They adhere to the rules of the road that apply to "vehicles." The state law does not specifically address whether e-bikes are permitted on bike paths, and individuals are advised to consult local authorities or agencies for information regarding the permissibility of e-bikes on bike paths.

South Carolina

In South Carolina, e-bikes do not have a specific classification under current traffic laws but are considered "vehicles" and are subject to the requirements applicable to vehicles. E-bikes equipped with motors producing less than 750 watts are specifically exempt from the definition of "moped," meaning they are not subject to requirements such as licensing and registration imposed on mopeds. E-bikes adhere to the rules of the road that apply to vehicles. Individuals are encouraged to consult local authorities or agencies for more information about e-bike regulation in their jurisdiction, including whether they are permitted on bicycle paths.

Are Kingbull Electric Bike Legal

We proudly announce that Kingbull electric bikes comply with the regulations governing electric bikes in the United States. According to U.S. electric bike regulations, the motor power of electric bicycles must not exceed 750 watts, and our motor precisely meets this standard. Additionally, we have a thorough understanding that different states in the U.S. may have varying regulations for electric bikes, such as adjustments to the maximum riding speed. Therefore, the maximum riding speed of our electric bicycles is set at 28 mph.

By ensuring that our electric bicycles meet regulatory requirements, we are committed to providing customers with a safe, legal, and compliant means of transportation. Our products not only meet regulatory standards but also prioritize user experience, ensuring that users can enjoy convenient and legal commuting within the specified limits when using our electric bikes.


The above is a summary of electric bike laws and regulations in various states across the United States. Please note that the information provided here is general, and for accurate and up-to-date details, refer to local regulations and ordinances. If there are any errors or updates, feel free to leave a comment to help us improve this information. Ride safely, adhere to local regulations, and enjoy the convenience of electric bike commuting.