Are Electric Bicycles (aka e-Bikes) Legal in New York City?

Electric bicycles and scooters have become increasingly popular in New York City as convenient and eco-friendly modes of transportation. However, concerns over the safety of their lithium-ion batteries, which power these devices, have led to the city becoming the first in the United States to regulate their safety.

Classification of E-Bikes:

  • The city currently allows three classes of e-bikes, all of which must have operable pedals and a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour.
  • It’s important to note that e-bikes that have been modified to exceed this speed limit are considered illegal.


  • Stand-on or seated e-scooters are permitted in the city if they weigh less than 100 pounds and have a top speed of 15 miles per hour.
  • Electric mopeds, such as those rented through Revel, are also legal but require registration with the state and a driver’s license to operate.

Regulation and Safety Concerns:

  • While most e-bikes and e-scooters became legal on New York streets in 2020, they were already in use prior to official regulations being implemented.
  • Other types of e-mobility devices, such as skateboards, unicycles, hoverboards, and Segways, remain illegal on city streets.
  • E-bikes and e-scooters are permitted in bike lanes and on streets where the speed limit is no greater than 30 mph. However, mopeds, whether electric or gas-powered, are not allowed in bike lanes.

Traffic Laws for E-Bike Operators:

  • Operators of e-bikes must follow the same traffic laws as bicycles, including obeying traffic signals and signs, yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, and riding in the same direction as traffic.
  • It is illegal to ride e-bikes on sidewalks in New York City.
  • E-bike riders should use hand signals to indicate turns and should be aware of their surroundings at all times.

Avoiding Traffic Tickets:

  • To avoid receiving a traffic ticket, e-bike operators should ensure their bike complies with the city’s regulations, including the maximum speed limit and the presence of operable pedals.
  • Riders should also follow all traffic laws and regulations, including using lights and reflectors when riding at night, and yielding to pedestrians and other vehicles when required.
  • For your safety, it is highly advisable to wear a helmet while riding an e-bike (riders under the age of 14 are required to wear helmets).

In conclusion, while e-bikes and e-scooters offer a convenient and eco-friendly way to get around the city, it is important for operators to be aware of and adhere to the relevant traffic laws and regulations to ensure their safety and avoid receiving a traffic ticket.

Previous Post
Why Should You Fight A New York Speeding Ticket in 2024
Next Post
Should I Complete a Statement in Place of Personal Appearance Form (SIPOPA)?

Related Posts

2 Comments. Leave new

  • William J. Hershkowitz
    May 3, 2024 6:40 pm

    This article about e-bikes make sense, but NO ONE follows the rules! And the police and Ticket Agents do nothing about it!

    • Matthew Weiss
      May 3, 2024 8:45 pm

      William J. Hershkowitz,

      Thanks for your kind remarks.

      You’d be surprised how many e-bicyclists are ticketed.

      Matthew Weiss


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.