What Are My Local E-Bike Regulations?

Ultra-local regulations (county, city, neighborhood) can be found on your local district websites or by contacting your local government. There would be too many to name here!

Where Are E-Bikes Typically Allowed To Ride?

The coalition Trails Are Common Ground produced a great reference sheet that covers common permissions for e-bikes and other motorized vehicles:

Source: Trails are Common Ground Organization

However, state, regional, and local regulations can override these general guidelines. It’s important to know what the rules are near you, so read on to learn more.

Federal Regulations for E-Bikes

When it comes to federal regulations, e-bikes are considered motorized vehicles on federal land (national parks) and are permitted only on motorized trails.

But in all cases, other town, city, and county regulations may apply.

Beyond that, here are each state’s classifications and regulations on e-bikes (if any) as of December 2022, according to PeopleforBikes.

Alabama 

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: No state policy; regulated locally by towns, cities, and counties
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy

Alaska 

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: No
  • Operator’s License Required: Yes
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: No
  • Age Restriction: Under 14 cannot operate e-bikes
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: No 
  • Allowed in State Parks: All bicycles (e-bike and traditional) are considered vehicles in state and national parks; check signs for accessible motorized trails
  • Other: In AK, e-bikes are defined as “motor-driven cycles,” setting them apart from traditional bicycles

Arizona

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No 
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: No
  • Age Restriction: No
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: No 
  • Allowed in State Parks: Only on roadways and motorized trails

Arkansas

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only, under 21 years of age
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Class 1 e-bikes are allowed wherever traditional bikes are. Apart from that, regulated locally by towns, cities, and counties
  • Allowed in State Parks: Class 1 on state park bike paths 
  • Other: Other access restrictions apply for Class 3 e-bikes; consult local government

California

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: No state policy; regulated locally by towns, cities, and counties
  • Allowed in State Parks: Class 1 in certain state parks 
  • Other: Other access restrictions apply for Class 3 e-bikes; consult local government

Colorado

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only, under 21 years of age
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Regulated locally by towns, cities, and counties
  • Allowed in State Parks: Class 1 and 2 where bicycles are permitted 
  • Other: Other access restrictions apply for Class 3 e-bikes; consult local government

Connecticut

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Yes
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Class 3 prohibited from bicycle and multi-use trails and paths
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy

Delaware

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: No

Florida

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Under 16 years of age only, including passengers
  • Age Restriction: No
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Regulated locally by towns, cities, and counties
  • Allowed in State Parks: Class 1 e-bikes are allowed in certain state parks

Georgia

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only, including passengers
  • Age Restriction: Under 15 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Class 3 prohibited unless the path is part of, or adjacent to, a highway or roadway
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy

Hawaii

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: No
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: Yes
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Under 16 only
  • Age Restriction: Under 18 cannot obtain registration; ages 15-17 may operate e-bike if it’s registered to a household member; under 15 cannot operate e-bikes
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: E-bikes prohibited on natural surface trails

Idaho

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bikes
  • Age Restriction: No
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: Except Class 3

Illinois

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bikes
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes, but not sidewalks or state park trails 
  • Allowed in State Parks: Only motorized trails

Indiana

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only, under 18 years of age
  • Age Restriction: Under 15 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Class 3 prohibited unless the path is part of, or adjacent to, a highway or roadway
  • Allowed in State Parks: No

Iowa

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bikes
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes, but Class 3 must not exceed 20 mph or posted speed limit, if applicable
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy; allowed only on motorized Forest Service trails, yet only on non-motorized trails on Department of Interior lands where signage indicates e-bikes are allowed

Kansas

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bikes
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: Class 1 and 2 where bicycles are permitted 

Kentucky

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: No
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: No
  • Age Restriction: No
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy
  • Other: E-bikes are defined as “bicycles” if they have working pedals and operate with human and motor power combined

Louisiana

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only, including passengers
  • Age Restriction: Under 12 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes, except non-motorized natural surface trails
  • Allowed in State Parks: Class 1 where bicycles are permitted 

Maine

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No, but state park trail use requires registration as an ATV
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Under 16 only, including passengers
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 2 or Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Class 3 prohibited unless the path is part of, or adjacent to, a highway or roadway
  • Allowed in State Parks: E-bikes are considered ATVs on state park trails and must be registered as such

Maryland

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bikes
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Not allowed on sidewalks; Class 3 prohibited on paths unless adjacent to a highway or right-of-way
  • Allowed in State Parks: Only motorized trails, with a few exceptions

Massachusetts

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: No, except for Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation as it applies to state parks
  • Operator’s License Required: Yes
  • Registration Required: Yes
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Yes
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate e-bikes
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: No
  • Allowed in State Parks: Only Class 1 on improved DCR trails at least 8’ in width, on motorized trails without bicycle restrictions, and in bike lanes

Michigan

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only, under 18 years of age
  • Age Restriction: Under 14 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Only Class 1
  • Allowed in State Parks: Only on improved surface linear trails and rail-trails, with permit required for Mackinac Island State Park

Minnesota

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bikes
  • Age Restriction: Under 15 cannot operate e-bikes
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: Class 1 and 2 where bicycles are permitted 

Mississippi

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bikes
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy

Missouri

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bikes
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: For riders who need accessibility assistance, Class 1 and 2 permitted — otherwise prohibited

Montana

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: No
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: No
  • Age Restriction: No
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy
  • Other: E-bikes are defined as “electrically assisted bicycles” up to max speed 20mph, with same rules of the road applying to those e-bikes as to traditional bikes 

Nebraska

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: No
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: No
  • Age Restriction: No
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy  
  • Other: E-bikes are defined as “electric assisted bicycles” if they have operable pedals, max speed 20mph, and max motor size 750w, with same rules of the road applying to those e-bikes as to traditional bikes

Nevada

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bikes
  • Age Restriction: No
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy  

New Hampshire

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only, under 18 years of age
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Class 1 and 2 permitted where traditional bicycles are allowed; Class 3 only on roadways
  • Allowed in State Parks: Class 1 where bicycles are permitted 

New Jersey

  • Recognizes 3-Class System:Yes, but varies from other states:
    • Class 1: PAS only (no throttle) with max speed 20mph, treated as bicycles
    • Class 2: Throttle with max speed 20mph, treated as bicycles
    • Class 3: Any with speeds higher than 20mph, treated as “motorized bicycles”
  • Operator’s License Required: Class 3 only
  • Registration Required: Class 3 only
  • Insurance Required: Class 3 only
  • Helmets Required: Where required for bicycles (Class 1 and 2) and motorized bicycles (Class 3)
  • Age Restriction: Under 15 cannot operate Class 3
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Class 1 and 2 permitted where traditional bicycles are allowed; Class 3 only on roadways
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy

New Mexico

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: No; all e-bikes are classified as “mopeds” in New Mexico
  • Operator’s License Required: Yes
  • Registration Required: Yes
  • Insurance Required: Yes
  • Helmets Required: Where required for mopeds
  • Age Restriction: Under 15 cannot operate e-bikes/mopeds
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: No, except where permitted regionally
  • Allowed in State Parks: Only motorized trails

New York

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes, but with Class 3 capped at 25mph instead of industry-standard 28 mph — industry-defined Class 3 e-bikes are not permitted in New York
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bikes
  • Age Restriction: No
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Only if paths connect with or run adjacent to roadways
  • Allowed in State Parks: Only on public roads (no trails)
  • Other: E-bikes must ride single-file in the state of New York and are not permitted on roadways with speed limits over 30mph

North Carolina

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: No
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: No
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate e-bikes
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Where permitted regionally; allowed on sidewalks where bicycles are also permitted on sidewalks
  • Allowed in State Parks: Where traditional bicycles are permitted
  • Other: North Carolina considers all e-bikes “electric assisted bicycles” if motor is under 750W, max speed 20mph, and has operable pedals

North Dakota

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only, under 18 years of age
  • Age Restriction: Under 18 must wear helmets when operating Class 3 e-bikes
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy

Ohio

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only
  • Age Restriction: No
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: Not permitted on division trails

Oklahoma

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bicycles
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Class 1 and 2 permitted where traditional bicycles are allowed; Class 3 only on paths adjacent to roadways or highways
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy

Oregon

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: No, except as it applies to state park rules
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: No
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate e-bikes
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: Only Class 1 and 2 allowed, on trails at least 8’ in width
  • Other: Electric bicycles must not exceed 1000W motors and max speed 20mph in Oregon

Pennsylvania

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: No, except as it applies to state park rules
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: No
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate e-bikes
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes, wherever traditional bicycles are allowed
  • Allowed in State Parks: Class 1 allowed on trails where traditional bicycles are permitted; all other e-bikes are restricted to motorized trails
  • Other:E-bikes are defined as “pedalcycles with electric assist” in Pennsylvania, with the following restrictions:
    • Max motor size 750W
    • Max throttle speed 20mph on level surface 
    • Max e-bike weight 100 lbs
    • Must have operable pedals

Rhode Island

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: No
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: No
  • Age Restriction: No
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Regulated locally
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy
  • Other:E-bikes are defined as “electric motorized bicycles” in Rhode Island, with the following restrictions:
    • Max motor size 1491W
    • Max speed 25mph
    • Must have operable pedals

South Carolina

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: No
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: No
  • Age Restriction: Same restrictions as “vehicles”
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: No
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy
  • Other: E-bikes are defined as “vehicles” in South Carolina, and may also be “mopeds” if their motor output is above 750W. E-bikes are subject to the same rules of the road as all vehicles in South Carolina.

South Dakota

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bicycles
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Except Class 3
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy

Tennessee

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only
  • Age Restriction: Under 14 cannot operate Class 3
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Class 3 prohibited in most cases
  • Allowed in State Parks: Not permitted on trails

Texas

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bicycles
  • Age Restriction: Under 15 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Where traditional bicycles are permitted
  • Allowed in State Parks: Only motorized trails

Utah

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bicycles
  • Age Restriction: No
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes, but not sidewalks
  • Allowed in State Parks: Where traditional bicycles are permitted

Vermont

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bicycles
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy

Virginia

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Class 3 only
  • Age Restriction: Under 14 cannot operate Class 3
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: Class 1 and 2 where traditional bicycles are permitted

Washington

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bicycles
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Class 3 prohibited in most cases
  • Allowed in State Parks: Class 1 and Class 3 permitted on single-track non-motorized natural surface trails and long-distance trails where traditional bicycles are allowed
  • Other: In Washington, the use of e-bikes on singletrack mountain bike trails is determined by the authorities with jurisdiction over that land 

Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia) 

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: No
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bicycles
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate e-bikes
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Where traditional bicycles are permitted
  • Allowed in State Parks: Class 1 and 3 permitted where traditional bicycles are allowed at Rock Creek Park and the National Mall
  • Other:In D.C., e-bikes are defined as “motorized bicycles” with the following restrictions:
    • Features operable pedals
    • Operable with combined human and motor power
    • Max speed 20mph

West Virginia

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes, but e-bikes with throttles (Class 2) are not recognized as bicycles in West Virginia
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Under 15 only
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3 but can be a passenger; under 15 permitted as passenger if driver is at least 18
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Class 1 only
  • Allowed in State Parks: No state policy

Wisconsin

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bicycles
  • Age Restriction: Under 16 cannot operate Class 3
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: When motor is turned off, permitted anywhere traditional bicycles are allowed — when motor turned on, e-bikes permitted on touring trails but not mountain bike trails

Wyoming

  • Recognizes 3-Class System: Yes
  • Operator’s License Required: No
  • Registration Required: No
  • Insurance Required: No
  • Helmets Required: Where required for traditional bicycles
  • Age Restriction: No
  • Allowed on Bike/Multi-Use Paths: Yes
  • Allowed in State Parks: Class 1 where traditional bicycles are allowed