Electric scooters are not classified as full motor vehicles and therefore it is unusual that you would have to have any form of registration or license in order to legally ride them on streets.
This is generally based on the motor power the electric scooter is equipped with and its top speed. The Federal Law of 2002 in the US states that if an electric bike has a top speed of no more than 20 mph and a motor power of less than 750W, it will be classified as street legal.
If your electric scooter falls into this range then it will also be street legal and will not require license or registration in most states.
Top Electric Scooters For Adults That Are Street Legal
Best RideSegway Ninebot ES4 Electric Kick Scooter with External...Segway Ninebot MAX Electric Kick Scooter (G30P), Up to 40.4...Hiboy MAX Electric Scooter - 350W Motor 8.5" Solid Tires...Hiboy S2 Pro Electric Scooter - 10" Solid Tires - 25 Miles... Preview Top Speed19 MPH18.6 MPH18.6 MPH19 MPH Best RideSegway Ninebot ES4 Electric Kick Scooter with External... Preview Top Speed19 MPH Best RideSegway Ninebot MAX Electric Kick Scooter (G30P), Up to 40.4... Preview Top Speed18.6 MPH Best RideHiboy MAX Electric Scooter - 350W Motor 8.5" Solid Tires... Preview Top Speed18.6 MPH
Electric Scooters Laws requirements in Various States
LAW IN CA
In California, the term is “motorized scooter”. This is classified as any vehicle that has a deck, handlebars, an electric motor and is designed to be stood up when ridden. These are not classed as motor vehicles and therefore do not need license and registration.
Electric scooters can only be operated on a trail, bicycle path, or bikeway. You are not allowed to operate an electric scooter on the sidewalk. They can be used on roads that do not have bicycle lanes as long as the speed limit for that road is no more than 25 mph.
The person driving must be at least 16 years old and must wear properly fitted bicycle helmet meeting regulated safety standards. In New York, electric bikes and scooters are completely illegal for use in public. Wherever you live, we highly recommend checking your state’s law to find the exact rules and regulation you have to abide by.
LAW IN FL, IL, VA, OH,OR
Ride only with a permit, a driver’s license or State identification card. The rider must not be younger than 16 and he/she will have to ride on bicycle lanes and bicycle paths. That means you can ride where bicycles go. The electric street scooter you buy must have a lamps and reflectors for night ride.
LAW IN GA, TX, WA
When it comes to Texas, they welcomed electric scooter as a new mode of transportation. You can ride electric scooters everywhere where you can ride bicycles, and you can also ride them on sidewalks and on streets with max speed of 35mph.
Law in GA, and WA: Ride only with a permit, a driver’s license or State identification card. The rider must not be younger than 16 and he/she will have to ride on bicycle lanes and bicycle paths. That means you can ride where bicycles go. The electric street scooter you buy must have a lamps and reflectors for night ride.
LAW IN MI
Michigan has a similar situation to California. You can ride a scooter, but only on streets with speed limits below 25mph. If you ride it during the night, you must have a front light visible as far as 500 ft. Reflector on the back must be visible as far as 600 ft and a red light must be visible next to the reflector.
Also, only one rider is allowed on a single scooter and riders under 12 years of age can't ride electric scooters on the road.
Electric Scooters Laws requirements Internationally
In Canada, motorized bicycles and scooters are classified under federal law and each province can make minor changes such as age requirements and each municipality can make changes as to where they are permitted to be used.
Electric bikes and scooters are generally legal in Canada. These vehicles are also known as power-assisted bicycles, electric scooters, e-bikes, and e-scooters, and the laws for them are very similar to traditional bicycles. They require no license, plates or insurance to own or operate.
You can use electric scooters on private land but when it comes to using them in public things gets a little stricter. As they have no pedals they aren’t able to be used on the pavement and as the low powered they can’t be used on the road.
The laws in the UK are technically a little stricter. No electric scooter is legal in UK. You can use electric scooters on private land but when it comes to using them in public, things get a little stricter. As they have no pedals they aren’t able to be used on the pavement and as the low powered they can’t be used on the road.
AUSTRALIA AND NZ
When it comes to Queensland and NZ, they are legal there, but only kids above 12 can ride it with their parents supervising and teens above 16 can ride it alone. The good thing is that you don't need a license for it if you are over 16 years old. The top speed of a street legal scooter is 25mph and you have to have a electric scooter helmet and lights for the night rides. But you aren't allowed to ride it on the road or bike lanes, only on the paths.
When it comes to New South Wales, for now, there are electric scooters illegal on the street but you can use it on private land. This can change in the future. That is the only electric road scooters part in Australia where they are illegal.
Victoria has a similar story as Queensland so you can see electric road scooters in Melbourne traffic. The only difference is that every electric scooter with a top speed above 10mph needs to be registered if you want to ride it on the street.
Double Check the Law in Your State!
Laws are constantly changing. We're not lawyers and you need to double check the laws in your state or country.
With that said,
Here is a list of the best electric scooters that are street legal.
Best Street Legal Electric Scooters: other recommendations
3-wheel Electric Scooter Street Legal - Swagtron Cali Drift Electric Scooter
The only 3-wheel model on this list is a Cali Drift model made by Swagtron. It is an electric scooter street or sidewalk, depending on where you are. The top speed of this scooter is 15.5 mph and it can ride you for around 9 miles before the battery is dead.
When you reach the destination you can simply fold the scooter and store it in a safe place. You can carry it because it weighs only 22 lbs, but it can carry around 265lbs of the load.
See Swagtron Cali Drift in Action
The design of this electric scooter for road use is pretty cool. It comes with a yellow/black handle and a colorful foot deck which is wide enough for both of your feet This is the best electric street scooter if you are looking for something simple, yet attractive.
The best part about this electric street scooter is the fact that you can easily adjust the height of the handle so you can adjust the height of the scooter to every family member.
- Enhanced Stability. Enjoy the enhanced stability...
- Breezy maneuverability. Adjust the height of the...
- Drift for miles. Featuring a 250W motor, This...
- Quick access Controls. Enjoy total control with...
- Fold and go. The Cali drift 3-wheeled e-scooter...
Small Electric Scooter Street Legal - EcoReco M5
The M5 is an electric kick scooter from EcoReco, a company that launched their first product on Kickstarter in late 2013. This is one of the convenient ways to solve the “last mile” challenge that many commuters face. It’s smooth, relatively quiet and super durable with solid rubber tires that can’t get flats. The unit weighs 35.5 pounds and folds quickly and easily but still feels solid during operation.
The power for the EcoReco M5 street legal electric scooter comes from a 250-watt direct drive hub motor built right into the rear wheel. That may not sound like a lot but the maximum output is 750 watts and given the 36-volt battery the motor feels quite capable. Maximum rider weight is listed at 250 pounds and depending on your weight; the unit may operate under the 20 mph listed top speed.
Operating the EcoReco M5 is about as easy as it gets. Once the battery has been charged up, you press the on/off button on the display pad for two seconds and the LCD lights up showing your speed, battery level, trip distance, odometer, numerical speedometer and charge cycle counter. The display is a bit angled down. This seems to be the best layout for folding the bars but is not optimal for operation. Since the throttle is physically mounted to the display pad and LCD screen, the view angle is impacted as you tilt it forward or back.
The battery level is easy to read once you stop the unit completely to make sure you’ve got enough juice to get home. The brake lever is fairly standard and does include a motor inhibitor which means it will cut power to the motor when activated for safety. There is only one brake which is a mechanical located in the rear wheel. It works fine in my experience but wasn’t skidding the tire or anything. Note that both tires are replaceable and you can even choose from red or black plates and springs to fully customize the ride.
- The EcoReco S5 is the newer version of this item
- Agile & comfortable: Top speed 20 MPH*
- Rangy & efficient: up to 20 miles per charge*
- Long battery cycle life: 2000+ charge cycles
- Energy efficiency: 2,000 MPGe*/ 500 miles on $1
Fastest Street Legal Electric Scooter - Ninebot by Segway KickScooter ES2
This is a great scooter that has 15 miles per hours top speed so I would recommend it for an older teenager or an adult. The motor is estimated at 300 watts.
You can limit the speed by holding the on/off button to set it in economy mode, normal or sports mode, or if you want you can set an exact speed-limit within the mobile application, for your child to be safe. This Segway street legal electric scooter can be folded in just a second and stored almost anywhere. It weighs 28 lbs.
It has two sets of lights, the ambient and front and tail LED lights which are fun but also safe for night rides. The rider is visible at low light, too. The lights can be customized through the app. The Bluetooth connection through your phone allows firmware upgrades and much more, too. You can add a second external battery that attaches to the stalk to increase total range from 15.5 miles to 28 miles which are faster than most of the scooters on the market and you can get to your destination faster.
Make sure if you are using this scooter as a street legal option, not to cross speed limits. The battery needs 3.5 hours to recharge. This scooter has rear shock absorbers for a smooth ride. A great thing, many scooters don't feature, is the locking via an app.
When you download the app and connect it to the scooter, one of the locking options will appear on the screen. Simply press it and the scooter will be locked. The wheels will be heavier to drag. The tail light will start blinking. Your phone will vibrate the moment the wheels start moving.
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