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Are Electric Scooters for Adults Street Legal?

Did you know millions of Millennials are rejecting cars in favor of alternative transport?

For a ton of reasons — from saving the environment to saving hard-earned money— people are turning to e-bikes e scooters, to electric bikes, electric scooters,, and even hoverboards. Yes, your kid’s favorite toy electric scooter riding around is now a legit form of transportation!

But is an electric scooter for adults street legal? Do you need a license? Can you even the electric scooter laws? users can you ride it on the sidewalk and do you need to wear a helmet?

Read on for the 411.

electric scooters, parking, hire

What is an Electric Scooter?

An electric scooter, as the name implies, is a scooter powered by an electric motor. Unlike traditional scooters that require manual push-offs and kicks to move forward, an electric scooter uses the energy stored in a rechargeable battery to propel itself. Typically, electric scooters are designed with two or three wheels, a flat deck for the rider to stand on, and handlebars for direction control.

A key component of an electric scooter is its electric motor. The motor powers the wheels, enabling the electric scooter speeds be to move. This motor is connected to a rechargeable battery, usually lithium-ion based, which supplies the required energy. The speed and acceleration are regulated by a controller, which the rider operates through a throttle usually located on the handlebars. The scooter is also equipped with brakes to ensure the rider’s safety.

Modern electric scooters often come with additional features like LED lights for visibility, LCD screens displaying speed and battery status, and even GPS systems. Some models are foldable for easy storage and portability, while others are robust and sturdy, designed for longer rides and greater speeds.

In essence, an electric scooter is a convenient, eco-friendly alternative to traditional transportation methods, offering a unique blend of innovation and practicality. The appeal lies not only in its simplicity and ease of use but also in its potential to make commuting more enjoyable and less polluting.

So, is an electric scooter for adults street legal? Unfortunately, there is no yes/no answer. Because while electric scooters themselves are street legal and it’s a relatively new form of transportation, current laws and legislation may or may not apply to electric scooter riders. This is because most laws that operate electric and scooters are street legal but were originally made for traditional, non-powered bicycles.

Whether you can legally ride an e scooter laws electric moped or electric motorized scooter speeds much depends on your state’s local laws. But the confusing part is that your state may allow an electric moped for adults street legal for e scooters only, but your city might not. And your city may encourage the use of e-scooters, but your college campus may not!

Mind-boggling, right?

But what does Federal Law say about e bikes? The US 2002 Federal Law states that an electric bike is street legal if:

  • it has a top speed of 20 mph or less
  • it has a motor power below 750W

If your own electric scooter sharing moped fits into that category, you will not need a license or registration to ride e scooters in most states. But this rule and others vary. Keep reading to find out more.

woman, electric scooter, street

Scooter Laws in the US

In most areas around the US, e-scooters follow the same rules as electric bicycles. This means in most places you can ride your e scooter on trails, public roads, and bike paths with lanes. Riding the very fast electric scooters are street legal but on side-walks is off-limits for anyone over the minimum age of of 12.

However, small toy-like e-scooters are not allowed on public roads. To get low speed electric scooters that qualify as road-worthy, they must be sturdily equipped with good tires, a suspension system, and steering. Some states also operate electric scooters and require they have rear-view mirrors, a horn, lights, and turn signals.

They are the basic rules to follow. But, in certain states and cities, the rules are slightly varied. Here are a few examples.

e-scooter, scooter, electric scooter


In the land of surfing and electric skateboards where, of course, electric scooters are, electric scooters are legal street legal and all the rage! The trendy transportation sparked a surge in e scooter users popularity. This led to clarifications in their electric scooter laws.

Current California state law says:

  • You must have a valid drivers license (or a learning permit) to ride
  • You can’t ride your scooter over 15 mph
  • You cannot ride on a street with a speed limit of over 25 mph (unless a bike lane is available)
  • If you ride on the road, you must stay close to the right curb
  • You must wear a helmet

These extra rules are super handy when deciding whether to invest in an electric scooter in California.

scooter, e-scooter, electric scooter


In Georgia, the rules are slightly different. These rules apply for the state of Georgia, but you should check your own local authority or municipality to find out the rules in your neighborhood.

If a scooter has an engine of over 50cc, it has driver’s license and subject to the same rules as motorcycles. This means you will need a motorcycle license, registration, and insurance. You also have to be the minimum age of of 17 or over.

However, for a low-powered, electric, motorized scooters e bikes or scooter, you don’t need a license, registration or insurance. You can ride on bike paths, designated bike lanes, and on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

Children who are under 16 need to wear a helmet. And nobody can use them on sidewalks, even kids.

woman, riding, electric scooter

New York

If you dream of scooting around the city of dreams, you’re out of luck. The state of New York doesn’t allow e-scooters on any street, sidewalk, parking lot, bike lane or highway.

Until the rules change, stay out of the big apple!

Ride with Common Sense as Your Guide

When you’re riding around on your motorized scooter, you may feel like you’re above the law. But, even the most of motorized scooter or electric scooter laws still, users the rules of the road still apply to you. Here are a few examples:

  • Look out for pedestrians
  • Stay out of the way of faster traffic
  • Obey traffic laws (such as stoplights and one-way streets)
  • Ride slow to prevent accidents
  • Be sure your scooter is road-worthy before riding (for example, the brakes are working properly)
  • Use bike lanes when you have the option
  • No passengers allowed
  • You must have at least one hand on your handlebars at all times
  • Don’t hitch the scooter onto another vehicle
  • When driving in the dark, you need to use a white headlight and a red reflector

While these rules aren’t on paper, most are basic common sense!

scooter, girl, street

Before You Ride, Let’s Wrap Up

An electric moped or scooter is a lot of fun. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it’s friendly on your wallet too. It’s easy to see why so many are turning to this alternative form of transportation.

But are they legal? Let’s wrap up.

Until any laws that address street legal of electric scooters are legal legal and are officially made, remember these points:

  • In most cases, you CAN ride your e-scooter any place you can ride a traditional bicycle.
  • In most states, e-scooters are legal, but in some cities, they’re not.
  • In other areas, riding scooters may be legal, but a few extra rules may apply, such as wearing a helmet.

So make sure to check local laws and legislation to be on the safe side!

And whatever you do or wherever you ride, use common sense to make your experience safe and secure. Both for yourself and others around you.

avenue, trees, road

Keep Calm and Scoot On!

So, is an electric scooter for adults street legal? As it all depends on your state, the best thing to do when riding an e scooter is to keep calm, check local traffic laws, and scoot on!

But remember, as electric scooters are still pretty new, you may face issues. If a local authority or policeman fines you for riding street legal electric scooters street legal electric scooter laws but without a license, what can you do? Contact us for a free case evaluation and we’ll get you on the right track!


A1: The legality of adult electric scooters varies based on local laws and regulations. While there’s no universal yes/no answer for most electric scooters legal here, generally, if the scooter meets certain conditions like a top speed limit or maximum speed limit of 20 mph or less and a motor power below 750W, it is likely to be street legal in many states according to the US 2002 Federal Law. However, city and campus rules banned electric scooters may differ, so it’s important to check local regulations.

Q2: Do I need a license to ride an electric scooter?

A2: In many cases, if your electric scooter has a maximum speed limit on top of speed limit of 20 mph or less and a motor power below 750W, you will not need a license or registration to ride privately owned scooters in most states. However, specific speed limits and requirements can vary by state and city. For first scooter riders for instance, California requires a valid driver’s license or learning permit to ride an electric scooter.

Q3: Can electric scooters be ridden on sidewalks?

A3: Generally, riding electric bicycles or scooters on sidewalks is not permitted for anyone over the age of 12. The rules may vary by state, city, and even college campuses, so you should check local regulations.

Q4: What are the basic requirements for an electric scooter to be considered road-worthy?

A4: For an electric motor vehicle or a riding an a motor vehicles or e scooter, to be considered road-worthy, it should be equipped with good tires, a suspension system, and steering. Some states also require rear-view mirrors, a horn, lights, and turn signals. However, small toy-like e-scooters are not allowed on public roads.

Q5: Do I need to wear a helmet while riding an electric scooter?

A5: Helmet requirements vary by state and local jurisdiction. For example, in California, riders must wear a helmet. It’s important to check the specific rules in your area.

scooter, city, man

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