Are Personal Electric Vehicles Street Legal?

Are Personal Electric Vehicles Street Legal?

Are Personal Electric Vehicles Street Legal?

The rise of Personal Electric Vehicles (PEVs) such as Onewheels, E-Skates, Ebikes, Escooters, and Electric Unicycles (EUCs) has revolutionized urban commuting in the United States. These devices offer a convenient, eco-friendly, and often fun alternative to traditional transportation. However, their legal status can vary significantly from one place to another. Understanding the regulations governing the use of PEVs is crucial for riders who wish to navigate the streets safely and legally.


Onewheel™, a self-balancing electric board with a single large wheel, presents a unique case in the realm of PEVs:

General Regulations: Onewheels are often categorized similarly to electric skateboards. Riders are typically allowed to use them in bike lanes and on roads with speed limits under 25 mph. However, laws can vary widely by state and city.

California: In California, Onewheels can be used on public roads provided the speed limit is below 35 mph, and riders are required to wear helmets if they are under 18 years old.

Other States: States like New York and Texas have more ambiguous regulations, often falling under broader vehicle categories or being subject to local city ordinances. It’s advisable to check local regulations before riding.

Electric Skateboards (E-Skate):

Electric skateboards (E-Skates) offer a similar legal landscape to Onewheels:

General Regulations: E-Skates are generally allowed on roads and bike paths, but speed limits and helmet requirements can vary.

California: California allows E-Skates on roads with speed limits under 35 mph and bike paths. Riders must wear helmets and cannot exceed a speed of 20 mph.

New York: New York City legalized E-Skates in 2020, allowing them on streets with a speed limit of 30 mph or less, bike lanes, and some parks.

Electric Bikes (E-Bike):

Electric bikes (E-Bikes) are among the most widely accepted PEVs due to their resemblance to traditional bicycles:

Federal Regulations: E-Bikes are categorized into three classes:

  • Class 1: Pedal-assist only, with a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph.
  • Class 2: Throttle-assisted, with a maximum speed of 20 mph.
  • Class 3: Pedal-assist only, with a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph.

California: E-Bikes are allowed on bike lanes and multi-use paths, but Class 3 E-Bikes are not allowed on bike paths unless specifically permitted by local ordinance. Helmets are required for Class 3 riders.

New York: New York State has similar classifications and generally permits E-Bikes on roads and bike lanes. New York City has specific rules allowing E-Bikes on streets with speed limits under 30 mph and bike lanes.

Electric Scooters (E-Scooters):

Electric scooters (E-Scooters) have seen rapid adoption and subsequent regulation:

General Regulations: E-Scooters are generally allowed on bike lanes and roads with lower speed limits, but specific regulations can vary.

California: In California, E-Scooters are allowed on bike paths, lanes, and trails. They cannot exceed 15 mph, and riders under 18 must wear helmets.

New York: New York City permits E-Scooters with a top speed of 20 mph on streets with speed limits of 30 mph or less, bike lanes, and some parks.

    Electric Unicycles (EUCs): 

    Electric Unicycles (EUCs) are less common but still subject to regulations:

    General Regulations: EUCs often fall into a gray area of the law and are sometimes regulated under the same rules as other PEVs like E-Skateboards and Onewheels.

    California: EUCs are generally permitted in bike lanes and on roads with speed limits under 25 mph, though riders should verify specific local ordinances.

    New York: The legal status of EUCs in New York is less clear, with regulations often being interpreted on a case-by-case basis. Riders should exercise caution and verify local rules before riding.

      The legal landscape for PEVs in the United States is evolving rapidly. While federal guidelines provide a broad framework, state and local regulations can vary significantly. It's essential for riders to familiarize themselves with the specific laws in their area to ensure safe and legal operation of their Onewheel, E-Skate, Ebike, Escooter, or EUC. As PEVs become more prevalent, we can expect further refinement and standardization of these regulations to better accommodate the needs of urban commuters and recreational riders alike


      Follow up with us  on socials to see events, content, promotions, and much more! Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube, and TikTokContact us online, start a live chat, call +1 (908) 333-2820, or email Stay Riding!

      You may also like

      View all