There are so many questions about the legality of using e-bikes in public places. Most people want to know if their children and/ teens are allowed to ride electric bikes in their respective countries.
Well, the good news is that there are many regions around the globe that allow kids as young as 10 years old to ride an electric bicycle. However, the minimum age requirement varies from state to state.
In this article, we will discuss some of the different e-bike laws from several countries and how they affect the legal “e-biking” age in their respective regions.
What age can you ride an electric bike
The legal age for riding electric bikes differs from region to region. In some countries, people of all ages are allowed to ride electric bicycles as long as the bikes adhere to certain standards set by the country’s governing bodies.
In the sections that follow this paragraph, we will dive deep into various countries’ minimum age requirements for riding motor-powered bicycles in public spaces.
At the federal level, there is no minimum age requirement for riding an electric bike in the US. However, several states in the USA regulate the use of e-bikes in public areas by laying down extra rules, which may or may not include age restrictions.
Places like Arkansas, Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut (requires a helmet for all riders irrespective of age), Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Washington, etc. don’t exactly specify how old an individual must be to ride an electric bike but they do restrict the use of Class 3 e-bikes to riders 16 and up.
States like Georgia and Indiana incorporate the same rule, but their minimum age requirement is 15 years.
The rules are a bit tricky in Hawaii. On the island, all electric bikes are required to be registered. Now, this is where it gets tricky; in order to register an e-bike in Hawaii you must be at least 18 years old, however the minimum age requirement for riding e-bikes is 15 years.
So, essentially, a 15-year-old can only ride an e-bike in public if someone in his/her household already registered the bicycle.
In Arizona, Delaware (requires that riders and passengers under 18 years old wear helmets), Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska, and a few other states, riders of all ages are allowed to partake in e-bike riding
Persons under 14 years old are not permitted to operate electric bikes in states like Alaska and Tennessee.
In North Carolina and Pennsylvania, riders must be at least 16 years old to operate electric bikes in public.
If you live in America, you might want to go through PeopleForBikes’ resource on the topic: Electric Bike Laws – State by State. They list every state with the specific requirements compulsory for riding electric bikes in public spaces.
You also want to keep in touch with local authorities in your area as they will have up-to-date news on e-bike restrictions in your area.
In Australia, the minimum age requirement for riding an electric bicycle in public is 16 years. Riders who fall within this age range are only allowed to use pedal-propelled electric bikes (pedelecs) with max power ratings between 200W and 250W.
Electric bikes with higher-powered motors can only be ridden by individuals who are 18 years & older and require a license, registration, and insurance.
Riding an electric bike in Canada isn’t as straightforward as cycling through the streets in Australia. This is because most of the provinces in Canada have different age restrictions for riding electric bikes on public infrastructure.
In Alberta, riders must be at least 12 years old before they are allowed to ride electric bikes in public spaces. In Quebec, the minimum age requirement for operating an electric bicycle is 14 years. Even after reaching the legal age, you’d still have to acquire a license to ride your e-bike (you won’t need the license after you clock 18)
British Columbia and Ontario require that e-bike operators be at least 16 years old before riding their bicycles in public places. Also, any electric bike whose motor can put out more than 500W of power and exceed speeds of 20mph will not be considered a bicycle.
Anyone aged 16 and up can ride an electric bike in China, according to traffic regulations. The operator must just make sure that their e-bike doesn’t exceed the maximum allowed power output of 400W and that their electric bike is registered under the Traffic Management Bureau (this is required in some Chinese provinces).
General e-bike rules in the EU don’t exactly specify a minimum age requirement for operating motor-powered bicycles in public areas. However, there are some member states that define certain age ranges that riders must fall under in order for them to be considered legal operators.
As stated earlier, riders in Belgium must be at least 12 years old to ride 250W/15.5mph limited e-bikes. Riders who want extra power — say between 250W and 1000W — must meet the minimum age requirement for “motorized bikes” which is 16 years old.
In the UK, the minimum age requirement for riding an electric bike with a power rating of 250W or lower is 14 years.
The minimum age requirement for riding an electric bike in India is 18 years. E-bikes with power ratings higher than 250 Watts and max speeds exceeding 15.5mph will need to be registered and licensed before they can be ridden on public infrastructure.
Can a 10 year old ride an electric bike
In most countries, 10-year-old kids are restricted from riding electric bikes in public spaces. Persons who fall within this age range are advised to stick to riding on private property where they can be supervised.
There are some states in the US where 10-year-olds can legally ride their e-bikes in public. For example, in Delaware, riders under 18 years of age are allowed to operate electric bikes, but must do so with a helmet on. However, in Arizona where there is no minimum age requirement for riding an e-bike, riders can choose whether or not to use a helmet on rides.
Can a 12 year old ride an electric bike
There are a few regions around the world that permit the operation of electric bikes by 12-year-olds. Except for nations and states where there is no legal age limit for riding an e-bike, Belgium and Alberta (in Canada) allow 12-year-olds to operate electric bikes in public.
Can a 13 year old ride an electric bike
As a rule of thumb, you want to check with local authorities in your area before purchasing an electric bike. The reason why I keep hammering on about this is that some regions around the world allow people of all ages to ride e-bikes in public while others have strict restrictions on the use of electric bikes in public spaces.