The 2022 Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

9/30/2022

The 2022 Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

Introduction

“Is my scooter legal?” is a question many are increasingly asking. The micromobility industry is one of the fastest-growing and most exciting in the world—with promises for a cleaner planet, satisfaction in our commutes, and increased upward social mobility, in addition to an abundance of the basics of time and money savings. And with this pace of innovation comes a struggle for regulation to keep up.

Unagi released the first edition of the Scooter Laws Comprehensive in October 2019, and it became the #1 Google search result for many laws-related searches, hopefully giving people clarity in the ways that it intended.

However, since then Unagi saw a great number of ways to improve upon the guide, releasing a major update in 2021 that took into account all developments and resources that have been created since the first guide, and that made a number of fundamental improvements.

These included better distinguishing between city and state regulations, between true electric scooter regulations and that of other form factors (i.e. mopeds) applied to scooters in absence of specific regulation, and between shared scooter laws and those that apply to all scooters ridden in the state. Finally, we also included a summary of national scooter laws for each category (sidewalks/helmets/etc).

Unagi also overhauled graphics via countless iterations to promote better usability and shareability. The color-scale was redefined, and we also analyzed all 50 states in the US (plus Washington DC). This project has not been easy. Laws can be complex, early or late, or not even enforced (or even known for that matter).

This latest 2022 edition represents a collaboration between Unagi and Electric Scooter Guide to update graphics, state and local laws, and bring even more rigor to the research process. ESG researchers scoured through all available, current documentation to provide a definitive guide on electric scooter legality. Although both Unagi and ESG are based in the United States, they are rapidly growing and plan to publish research for other countries soon. We also plan to update this resource on an (at least) annual basis as well as take deeper dives into smaller subsections of regions (i.e. a post just for London, NYC, or the state of Tennessee).

This project is a living, breathing, evolving piece of work, and, as the legal landscape for electric scooter riding evolves and changes, this piece will change with it. We will also include links to new resources within this document as they are published.

Background

Lawmakers and law enforcement across the world have been wrestling with electric scooters since Bird brought shared scooters to the scene in 2017. While the shared scooter phenomenon created a low-carbon, cheap, and efficient means of transportation for millions of commuters and joy seekers worldwide, it also spurred a deluge of complaints from metropolitan pedestrians. Although scooter sharing certainly has its benefits, it also brings about a number of obvious costs: sidewalk congestion, traffic obstruction, and accidents, as well as the danger, de-beautification, and health concerns that a poorly kept or vandalized fleet presents.

The backlash stemming from these costs has caused worldwide governments on the city, state, regional, provincial, and in some cases, federal level to evaluate the social implications of electric scooters in light of not only shared scooters specifically, but also the (often quite nasty) legal wars with Uber and Lyft that preceded electric micromobility.

These conditions have heavily informed the legal status of electric scooters, but the bright side is that as the dust has settled, impact is becoming more universally positive and understood. Laws are changing to reflect the acceptance of electric scooters around the country.

Electric Scooter Laws by Category

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Sidewalks

You may think that sidewalks are always off-limits for scooters, and for shared scooters in urban centers, they essentially are. At the state level, however, and for all scooters, sidewalks are banned in 17 states. However, in a world presently built for the efficient movement of cars, not humans, there is much more to this tricky infrastructure discussion. Here, we expound on sidewalks and scooters.

Streets

You will find that in almost all cases, scooters are not allowed on high-speed streets (those with a speed limit above 35 mph for example), however, few scooter riders will want to do this anyway. Only Pennsylvania and Delaware actually ban scooters on streets. You might be surprised to hear about the cool niche communities that exist for very fast scooters (Electric Scooter Guide can tell you more), but the majority of people will feel safe while getting there quickly and having fun at 15 mph or 20 mph.

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Speed Limits

Maximum speed is one of the most commonly enforced rules for electric scooters. The most common speed limit is 20 mph, which many may not expect, coming from the shared scooter model where scooters are almost universally maxed at top speeds of 10-15 miles per hour.

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Licenses and Registration

The great news for electric scooters is that they only require DMV registration in North Carolina, Hawaii, and Louisiana. You will not be so fortunate if you are driving a motorcycle or moped. This is because scooters are one of the most accessible types of vehicles there are. While studies have shown shared scooters to commonly lead to injuries (mostly on the first ride), personally-owned scooters allow people to try them out in a safe environment and get past the danger of a first or second ride.

Studies also demonstrate riders getting the hang of scooters very quickly, unlike cars where a young adult takes entire driver’s ed courses and then is still charged extreme premiums by insurance. In efforts to produce some order in the chaos, 9 states have required driver’s licenses in order to operate an electric scooter, but this method is unlikely to become the norm, given the special power of micromobility to give people who cannot afford a car access to opportunities.

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Minimum Age and Helmet Requirement

The most common minimum age in the nation for electric scooter riding is 16+, and helmets are usually required for those below the age of 18. In states where helmets are required for all ages, it is usually an extension of moped laws to electric scooters. No governing body recommends that a rider not wear a helmet, and quite notably (as is also the case with bicycles), riders are trusted to make responsible decisions for their health and wear a helmet.

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Summary

In general, electric scooter laws are rarely enforced or watched closely due to the developing nature of the landscape (even more so in the case of personally-owned lightweight electric vehicles). Micromobility has been popping up in droves all around the United States in recent years, even where it hasn’t technically been fully legalized yet, due to incredible demand
—see New York listed below for a great example. Of course, some regulations are taken more seriously than others (for example riding drunk on a scooter is just about as foolish as it is inside the 4,000lb cars we drive). In all cases, it is important that riders seek to consider those around them—pedestrians, other riders, and even cars that might be caught off guard by unpredictable riding styles—as well as become informed about the regulations and transportation cultures of their locality.

Electric Scooter Laws by US State

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Alabama

In July 2019, Alabama legalized electric scooters at the state level (Ala. Code § 32-1-1.1), but left further development of ordinances to cities/local municipalities. While some Alabama cities tend to struggle with the existence of electric scooters, others are embracing the freedoms and conveniences the concept provides. Birmingham currently allows two bike- and scooter-share companies, Veo and Gotcha, to operate within the city. Riders must be 19 years old and have a driver’s license, and scooters are limited to a maximum speed of 15 mph. The city seems to have no statutes regulating privately-owned electric scooters, however, so riders might contact local law enforcement before taking to the streets and risking a ticket or fine. In Auburn and Tuscaloosa, scooters currently aren't street legal.

Alaska

In Alaska, electric scooters are regulated as "motor driven cycles," which places them under the government division of motor vehicles. This requires them to have a power of less than 750W. If riders are 14 or 15, they will require an M2 permit, and those 16 or older will require either an M1 or M3 permit so long as they had a permit for 6 months prior to being licensed (similarly to getting licensed for cars).

Arizona

Arizona passed laws (SB 1398) for electric scooters in April 2019 at the state level. They are treated very similarly to bikes, and an “electric standup scooter" is defined as less than 75 lbs in weight and 20 mph in top speed.

This means they can be ridden wherever a bike can (including sidewalks and excluding high speed roads) and that they do not require registration or insurance.

Arkansas

Arkansas passed the Electric Motorized Scooter Act in July, 2019, thus legalizing and regulating electric scooters. This law states that the scooters themselves must weigh less than 100 pounds and have a top speed of 20 mph or less, but riders are not permitted to ride faster than 15 mph. Riders must be at least 16 years old.

Arkansas also grants cities/localities the ability to regulate sharing programs, mandating that private fleet operating companies carry liability insurance and give local governments access to their rider data.

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California

California legalized and regulated electric scooters through Vehicle Code § 21235 in Jan, 2019. Riders must have a valid driver's license, but do not need to register their scooter with the DMV. Electric scooters are not allowed to go over 15 MPH on any public road or bike lane, and they must stay on slower streets with speed limits of 25 MPH or lower. Scooters are not allowed on sidewalks. Helmets are required for riders under the age of 18.

California is both the birthplace of shared scooters (Bird in Santa Monica in Sept 2017) and the tension beginning in March 2018 with the San Francisco launches of Bird, Lime, and Spin without government permission—setting a trend for the shared scooter industry. The events of the following years ultimately gave scooters a bad reputation, while also familiarizing many hundreds of millions of people globally with the possibility and potential of lightweight electric vehicles.

Colorado

Colorado permits electric scooters on streets with speed limits of 30mph or less. If this isn't an option, electric scooters may operate on the sidewalk, traveling at a speed of 6mph or less. Scooter riders must obey the same rules of the road as a bicycle, including “no ride/no parking areas."

Connecticut

Connecticut passed electric scooter laws in 2019, and they are very similar to bike laws. Helmets are required for riders under the age of 16. Scooters are not allowed on sidewalks and must not surpass a speed of 20 mph.

Delaware

In Delaware, electric scooters are regulated in the same category as "motorized skateboards" and are not allowed on "highways, streets, or sidewalks," according to Delaware’s Title 21 Ch. 41 Sc 12 Provision 4198N. This generally means that the more high-traffic the road, the more likely you are to run into trouble. Not all laws are enforced, especially in emerging legal gray areas, so you will have to use your discretion as well as seek to understand your specific local situation. Helmets must be worn by riders under the age of 16.

District of Columbia / Washington D.C.

In October 2020, DC passed new legislation to regulate and define electric scooters. DC law 50–2201.02 defines scooters as a “personal mobility device” or “PMD”—"a motorized propulsion device designed to transport one person or a self-balancing, two non-tandem wheeled device [i.e. a Segway], designed to transport only one person…but does not include a battery-operated wheelchair.

50–2201.04a states that scooters are not considered motor vehicles (i.e. cars and motorcycles) under DC law, so a license, registration, and insurance are not required. There is, however, a minimum rider age of 16. Helmets are not required, and scooters cannot be ridden on sidewalks in the central business district. Although no US state has a speed limit lower than 15 mph, DC currently has a speed limit of 10 mph. This regulation was created with shared scooters in mind, but at the moment still affects privately-owned scooters. Another regulation unique to DC is that riders cannot wear headphones.

Regulations that only affect shared scooters include helmets for those under 18 and all vehicles being locked to racks or poles.

Florida

Florida governor Ron DeSantis legalized statewide electric scooter use in 2019. Riders must be 16 years old, but are not required to have a driver's license. Scooters are permitted to operate in bike lanes and must follow road rules pertaining to bikes as well. The bill allowed individual cities to regulate scooter programs, but personal scooter ownership cannot be bound by individual cities' decisions. Scooters must not exceed a maximum speed of 30 mph, although attorney Matt Dolman notes that, "Florida law basically gives scooters that cannot exceed 15 miles per hour [in particular] the same status as bicycles."

Georgia

The state of Georgia allows its residents to operate electric scooters on bike paths and bike lanes, and on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less if these are not available. Scooters cannot be ridden on the sidewalk. Scooters must weigh less than 100 pounds and have a maximum speed of 20 mph.

Beyond this, Georgia has stated that it will leave more specific electric scooter laws to cities/localities, saying “[we don't] want to overregulate the industry...we want to encourage more development of this kind of technology.”

Hawaii

In 2021, Hawaii passed House Bill 72, designating electric scooters as vehicles allowed on roadways, bike paths, and sidewalks. Riders must be over the age of 15 and wear a helmet under the age of 16. Scooters must be equipped with lights for use at night, weigh less than 75 pounds, and not exceed speeds of 15 mph.

Hawaii State Sen. Chris Lee, who chairs the state legislature’s Transportation Committee, forecasts new infrastructure in cities like Waikiki to make electric scooter riders safer on the roads. “We have hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for infrastructure upgrades,” he says. “So, we want to push the city, we want to push the state… to build these safer ways for people to get around without having to ride next to cars, without pedestrians having to dodge and focus on scooters.”

Idaho

Boise and the state of Idaho don't require helmets for electric scooters or bicyclists. In Boise, they are allowed on streets, sidewalks, and the Greenbelt. Despite the city of Boise's clearly outlined rules, the state of Idaho does not have legislation specifically concerning the use of electric scooters. State law classifies e-scooters along with various “motorized toys” and prohibits them from public sidewalks and roadways except where local law enforcement allows.

Illinois

Illinois introduced bill HB1590 in 2019, naming "low speed electric scooters" as its own class of vehicle which shall abide by the same rules of the road as bicycles. Riders under the age of 17 must have a valid driver's license to ride, and scooters must have front and rear lights to ride at night. The bill has yet to be signed into law, which means that scooters are technically unregulated at the state level at the present time.

Indiana

Indiana enacted new legislation that specifically addresses electric scooters in July 2019. The law outlines that scooters must weigh less than 100 pounds and have a maximum speed of 20 mph. E-scooters that meet these criteria have all the same rights and responsibilities as a bicycle. You can ride them in the street and on bike paths, and you don't need insurance or a license to ride one. They're also not legally considered motor vehicles (i.e. cars/motorcycles/etc).

Iowa

House Bill 500, put into law to update the 2019 Iowa Code section 321.1, amends the laws relating to e-scooters. The bill authorizes a person to operate an electric scooter on highways with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less, bikeways, and sidewalks. They can be parked anywhere that bikes are parked, as long as they are not impeding the pedestrian right of way. Since they share many regulations applied to bicycles, there is no requirement for license or insurance. E-scooters must have a white front light and a rear red light. Alternatively, a red rear reflector can be used in lieu of rear red light.

Kansas

Kansas has legalized electric scooters at the state level on roadways. Riders may not operate bikes or electric scooters on sidewalks or highways. Helmets are not required. Only riders with valid driver’s licenses may operate electric scooters, and scooters must be equipped with front and rear lights at night.

Kentucky

In March 2019, House Bill 258 was signed into Kentucky law. It sets operating standards for electric scooters and allows them to operate like bicycles on public streets. This means you are not required to register them with the state, purchase insurance, or hold a driver’s license. E-scooters may be operated by a person 16 years of age and older. By law, an e-scooter must be equipped with a front white light and a rear red light to maximize visibility.

Louisiana

Louisiana legalized electric scooters at the state-level in 2019. According to the DMV, Louisiana allows electric, low-speed scooters to operate on sidewalks, bicycle paths, and streets with posted speed limits of 25 mph or less. Only one person is allowed on the scooter at a time. Helmets must be worn by those under the age of 17.

Maine

Electric scooters are legal in Maine at the state level. However, the specific laws applied to electric scooters have been re-applied from other classifications, such as mopeds.

Electric scooters are not permitted to be operated faster than 20 mph. When riding at night, a scooter must be equipped with a front white light and a red or amber rear light, as well as reflectors. Wheels must not exceed 10" in diameter and maximum power is capped at 750 watts. A license is required, but every class will suffice.

Maryland

In 2019, Maryland’s state legislature legalized electric scooters and passed a bill (SB770), designating stand-up scooters as their own class of vehicle. The bill established that an electric low-speed scooter is considered to be a bicycle for the purposes of the Maryland Vehicle Law. Scooters must have a maximum speed of 20 mph.

Massachusetts

Electric scooters are legal in Massachusetts at the state level. In absence of fner regulation, they are grouped with motorized scooters (i.e. mopeds). This requires electric scooter riders to wear a helmet, yield to pedestrians, and provide an audible signal when passing. A driver's license is required, and they are allowed a max speed of 20 mph.

Michigan

Electric scooters were made legal in Michigan under Section 257.660 and classified in the same category as electric skateboards. They can only transport one person at a time, and they cannot have a motor greater than 2,500W (electric scooters are typically 250-500W) or max speed greater than 25 mph. Scooters are only allowed on streets with speed limits of less than 25 mph. Scooters may not pass other vehicles between lanes of traffic, and they require a white front light visible from 500 feet away and a rear reflector visible from 600 feet away.

Minnesota

Electric scooters are legal in Minnesota and are categorized as "motorized foot scooters," on which riders can stand or sit. Scooters should have handlebars, be powered by an electric motor or internal combustion engine, have wheels no larger than 12 inches in diameter, and have a max speed of no more than 15 mph. Riders must be at least 12 years old, and helmets are required for those under the age of 18.

Riding on sidewalks is not allowed. An electric scooter must be equipped with a headlight and tail light for visibility in low-light conditions. Scooters are allowed on bike paths and trails that are not reserved for the exclusive use of non-motorized traffic, but local authorities can enact specific regulations.

Mississippi

Mississippi has no statewide laws regarding electric scooters, so jurisdiction goes to the cities and local municipalities. A bill (HB1410) was introduced in 2020, but the bill failed to pass. Despite this, shared scooter company Blue Duck began a small pilot in Vicksburg in late 2020.

Missouri

Electric scooters are legal in Missouri and are regulated as "motorized bicycles," says the Missouri State Highway Patrol. They can be operated in the street or in bike lanes where available. A driver's license is required, and if a scooter is to go above 30 mph, it will be regulated as a motorcycle instead.

Montana

Electric scooters are legal in Montana and regulated as "motorized bicycles." Adult electric scooter riders are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Pedestrians always have the right away. Electric scooter riders must give a verbal warning if they are going to pass, and must always obey the traffic signals.

Nebraska

Nebraska has not enacted electric scooter regulation at the state-level, and the Nebraska DMV expressly states that scooters do not need to be registered. When operating electric scooters on streets, riders must abide by the rules of the road. Riding on the sidewalk is prohibited.

Nevada

Electric scooters are legal in Nevada by AB485. Scooters must not weigh more than 100 pounds without a rider and must not exceed a max speed of 20 miles per hour. Riders must be at least 16 years old.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire does not have state-wide laws for electric scooters. Some individual cities have passed their own regulation such as Portsmouth and Nashua, but these specifically concern the use and operation of shared fleet scooters like Bird or Spin.

New Jersey

In May 2019, New Jersey legalized electric scooters (N.J. Stat. § 39:4-14.16), categorizing them as “low speed electric scooters," specifically. They must not exceed a max speed of 19 miles per hour. Scooters are bound by the same rules of the road as bicycles. The decision of whether e-scooters can be driven on sidewalks and trails is left to the cities and municipalities. A driver’s license is not needed to ride a scooter, and neither is insurance nor vehicle registration.

New Mexico

New Mexico does not have any statewide laws regarding electric scooters and has largely left it to cities and local municipalities. In January 2019, the New Mexico Legislature introduced H.B. 292, which introduced the regulatory framework of “electric foot scooters” at the state level, but no further action has been taken. There was a shared scooter pilot program in Albuquerque that ran from May 2019 to May 2020 that was quite popular, but there have not been any developments since then.

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New York

The state of New York legalized scooters in August 2020, a monumental step for micromobility and the future of cities. Roughly 50% of car trips in the U.S. are under 3 miles, and in New York, trips are especially short and urban. Before this event, New York was one of the most famous global examples of both unregulated micromobility (in the case of personally-owned scooters) and banned micromobility (in the case of shared scooter companies).

At the state level, riders must be at least 16 years old, must wear helmets if under the age of 18, must stay off sidewalks, and must stay off streets of posted speed limits higher than 30 mph.

Cities and municipalities have the right to either override these laws (which is not expected) or extend them. The most notable by far—New York City—passed regulation in November 2020 to apply to the five boroughs and also finally opened its permit process for five private companies to operate shared scooters starting March 2021.

In NYC, scooters are not to exceed 20 miles per hour and must stay on streets with speed limits of 25 mph or less. Helmets are required for riders under 16. Despite being very late to legalize scooters, New York City was also well-known for not enforcing or penalizing those who regularly rode personal electric scooters.

North Carolina

Electric scooters are vehicles under North Carolina Law, meaning they must be registered with the DMV and riders must have a valid driver’s license. Scooters can only be ridden on streets that have a speed limit of 25 mph or less.

North Dakota

There are no laws in North Dakota specifically regulating electric scooters, but they are bound by the existing legislation for “motorized scooters” (i.e. mopeds). Electric scooter riders are required to stay off sidewalks and bike paths. Electric scooters must have brakes, a headlight, and taillight. Riders must wear a helmet if under the age of 18.

Ohio

Ohio passed H.B. 295 in January, 2021, which legalizes and regulates electric scooters as "low-speed micromobility devices." Scooters must not exceed 20 mph or 100 lbs in weight. They are exempt from licensing and registration requirements. They are permitted on public roads, but must yield to pedestrians and have front and rear lights at night. The minimum rider age is 16.

Oklahoma

There are no statewide laws in Oklahoma regarding electric scooters, so regulation has been left to individual cities. There are sharing programs in Norman, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Stillwater. Under Oklahoma City ordinance, for example, scooters are allowed in bike lanes and roads with a 35 mph speed limit. Another ordinance prohibits anyone under 18 from operating or riding a motor scooter without a helmet.

Oregon

Oregon has passed regulations specific to electric scooters and they are currently regulated as mopeds by Or. Rev. Stat. § 801.348. Portland, the largest city in Oregon, does not permit scooters on sidewalks and requires that riders be at least 16 years old and not exceed 15 miles per hour. Instead of passing statewide legislation for electric scooters. Statewide, scooters can have motors with no more than 1000 watts, must have lights at night for visibility, and can go no faster than 24 mph.

Pennsylvania

Electric scooters are currently unregulated at the state level in Pennsylvania, though the proposed Senate Bill 892 would regulate "Electric Low Speed Scooters." These are defined in the bill as "small electric- or human-powered vehicles [that] weigh less than 100 pounds and go no more than 15 miles per hour." The Bill would "allow certain municipalities to designate where low-speed scooters could be used, though they would be prohibited on any roadways with a posted speed limit of at least 35 miles per hour."

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-49), calls it an effort to prevent the state from "falling further behind other places that have already embraced low-speed scooters" as a viable transportation option that helps "relieve traffic congestion, pollution and stress by reducing car trips and increasing access to public transit.... Low-speed scooters are part of the next generation of transportation." The bill passed the Senate Transportation Committee by a vote of 12-2 but has seen no movement since.

In Pittsburgh, a two-year pilot program was launched in 2021 to regulate electric scooters under Department of Mobility and Infrastructure Order No. 21-0001. The program allows e-scooters on a "designated shared use pathway, or right-most general purpose travel lane of low-speed roadway." It does not allow scooters on sidewalks or on roads with posted speed limits above 25mph. Scooters are limited to maximum speeds of 15mph.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island does not have statewide legislation addressing electric scooters, and pilot programs for scooter sharing are being handled by cities. The city of Providence requires a valid driver's license or municipal ID. Scooters can be ridden on sidewalks or streets, and riders are encouraged to go slow and wear a helmet. On the street, riders are required to follow all rules of the road and obey traffic regulations.

South Carolina

South Carolina has no statewide laws pertaining to electric scooters, but it does allow cities to self-regulate scooter sharing programs. Both Charleston and Columbia banned electric scooters in 2018 and 2019 respectively, with no further developments since then. It is not clear where e-scooters fit into the state’s motor vehicle codes. For now, the laws surrounding gas powered mopeds are the closest thing we have to understanding what is and isn’t legal as far as scooters go.

South Dakota

Scooters are legal at the state level in South Dakota. A new legal definition and provisions for "motorized foot scooters" came about as a result of House Bill 1084 passing through South Dakota Legislature March 2022. An e-scooter is defined as having handlebars and either a platform to stand on or a seat. The maximum diameter for both wheels is twelve inches or smaller, scooters have a motor capable of a maximum speed of 15 mph. E-scooters are now distinct from electric bicycles. Electric scooters are permitted on sidewalks in South Dakota.

Tennessee

Tennessee passed legislation legalizing and regulating electric scooters in July 2019 (Tenn. Code § 55-8- 302). The law grouped defined e-scooters as “a device weighing less than 100 pounds, with handlebars and an electric motor ... whose maximum speed is 20 miles per hour.” Scooters must have brakes and front lights and rear lights or reflectors. Scooters cannot be ridden on sidewalks unless a city or local municipality allows it.

Texas

In Texas, there are no electric scooter specific laws, and thus they are bound by existing DMV rules for "motor-assisted scooters” (i.e. mopeds) by Texas Transp. Code § 551.351. This law does not permit scooters to be ridden on roads with a speed limit greater than 35 mph and limits power to 750W. Electric scooters are exempt from safety inspection, license, registration and insurance requirements. Texas is relatively unlikely to regulate scooters at the state level, leaving them largely unregulated and leaving cities and local municipalities to decide regulations for themselves. Many Texas cities and colleges have scooter sharing programs, so a large amount of Texans are familiar with electric scooters.

Utah

Utah enacted a law in May 2019 to legalize and regulate electric scooters, which are effectively treated as bikes. This exempts scooters from motor vehicle requirements like licensing and registration. Scooters must be equipped with a white front light and rear read light or reflector. They can be ridden anywhere that bikes can, which means only on roads with a speed limit of 25 mph or less. Riders must not exceed 15 mph. Anyone under 15 years old must be under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian.

Vermont

Vermont has no state-wide electric scooter laws, but has some regulation in place on the city level that is more focused on shared scooters (for example a 15 mph limit in Burlington). Scooters and electric bicycles are treated as vehicles and therefore must ride on roadways and not sidewalks.

Virginia

Virginia passed dedicated e-scooter legislation (§ 46.2-908) in July, 2020. It states that scooters must weigh less than 100 pounds, have a top speed of 20 mph, and it sets a minimum age of 14 and blocks use on highways, says Virginia source. The law also permits counties and cities to regulate or ban micromobility vehicles via local ordinances.

Washington

Washington passed scooter legislation in May, 2019 that legalized scooters, calling them "motorized foot scooters," specifically. Washington Rev. Code § 46.20.500 clearly outlines a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour in either streets or bike lanes. Reflectors are required at night. Those under 16 may not ride unless a local jurisdiction expressly allows it, and sidewalk-riding will also be determined on a city-by-city basis. The state code also alludes to slower speed standards potentially being set for sidewalk riding.

West Virginia

West Virginia does not have any laws regarding electric scooters, but they did pass a bill in 2020 to regulate e-bikes. It is safe to assume that these regulations may extend to scooters in the near future. This new law exempted e-bikes from license, registration, and insurance requirements. It also states that e-bikes must follow the same rules of the road as bicycles, and states that riders under 15 must wear helmets.

Wisconsin

In July 2019, the Wisconsin state assembly signed off on a bill to regulate electric scooters on roads and sidewalks. Scooters must not exceed a speed of 20 mph or weight of 100 lbs. Scooters are not allowed on sidewalks except in certain circumstances, and riders are bound to the same rules of the road as bikes. The bill also permits local governments to regulate shared scooter operators and set their own rules on scooters within their jurisdiction.

Wyoming

Wyoming has no specific electric scooter laws, but the state did pass a law in 2019 that grants e-bikes the same privileges as traditional bicycles and defines a few different types of lightweight personal vehicles. Wyoming NO. SF0081 has a section regarding scooters, but it can be easily inferred that it is referring to mopeds. The law states that e-bikes and electric skateboards are exempt from licensing and registration requirements. Electric scooters are regulated as electric skateboards under this law, and share the same privileges granted to e-bikes.

If you notice any information that is not correct, please submit this simple, quick form to let us know. We will review all submissions as we seek to make this resource useful for the industry, governing bodies from the small county municipality to international authority, and the everyday rider.

Disclaimer

*Disclaimer: Unagi, INC. has used best efforts, but does not in any manner guarantee the accuracy of the included findings regarding electric scooter laws in the United States or internationally. Electric scooter riders or those considering to purchase or begin riding electric scooters should refer to their local governments to obtain the most up-to-date information on the applicable, local legal standing of scooters.


Sydney Abrams

Sydney Abrams

Sydney here! I am the Social Media and Community Manager at Unagi Scooters. Hope you enjoy our editorial.

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6/10/2022

How To Maximize Your Electric Scooters Battery Life

Whether your battery is brand new or has already exceeded 500 cycles, taking proper care of it will help you get the most out of your e-scooter. So let's dive in.

The Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

3/30/2021

The Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

*Disclaimer: Unagi, INC. has used best efforts, but does not in any manner guarantee the accuracy of the below findings regarding electric scooter laws in the United States or internationally. Electric scooter riders or those considering to purchase or begin…

The True Environmental Impact of Electric Scooters

2/15/2021

The True Environmental Impact of Electric Scooters

It’s beyond question that we must drastically reduce carbon emissions in the coming years to head off the worst effects of climate change. How we do that has been a matter of considerably drawn-out debate. As individuals, it can be…

Do You Need Insurance for an Electric Scooter?

2/13/2021

Do You Need Insurance for an Electric Scooter?

The electric scooter boom has come with some highly publicized fears about scooter safety. Some of these concerns are justified. Nearly all studies have shown that scooters face the same dangers that bikes do, in addition to them being less…

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Road?

1/28/2021

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Road?

New modes of transportation have been popping up all over the place thanks to incredible developments in lithium-ion battery and electric motor technology. These include electric bikes, innovative modern electric scooters like Unagi, as well as the shared scooters clustered…

Do You Need a License to Ride an Electric Scooter?

1/13/2021

Do You Need a License to Ride an Electric Scooter?

You’ve seen them all over your city’s streets, and everyone who rides one looks absolutely thrilled. So, why haven’t you picked up your own folding electric scooter yet? Maybe you’re worried about whether e-scooters require a driver’s license, or a…

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Sidewalk?

12/21/2020

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Sidewalk?

It’s a reasonable question to ask. After all, it seems like the safer option. Can you, and should you, ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk? In many cases, the answer is no: you cannot. Story after story in electric…

Are Electric Scooters Legal in the UK?

9/28/2020

Are Electric Scooters Legal in the UK?

The electric scooter market, like virtually every other industry, has experienced some dramatic ups and downs in 2020. In March, for example, as the coronavirus spread uncontained, The Verge reported that in dozens of cities around the world, share companies…

Why Electric Scooters Are a Must Have for Commuters

9/19/2020

Why Electric Scooters Are a Must Have for Commuters

Micromobility is the “future of urban transportation,” analysts write in an extensive report from Deloitte, and electric scooters lead the way: “Adoption rates during their short time on the market have been impressive, surpassing that seen by popular ride-hailing applications…

Are Electric Scooters Legal in NYC?

9/9/2020

Are Electric Scooters Legal in NYC?

It finally happened, and not a moment too soon. New York has legalized e-bikes and e-scooters statewide in an agreement reached in April during the last legislative session. This is great news for commuters, students, delivery workers, and all New…

Public Transportation in a Post-COVID World

9/2/2020

Public Transportation in a Post-COVID World

In only a few short months, the current pandemic has changed the way we do nearly everything, from getting to work to gathering (or not) in public. Fears of the virus multiply when it comes to public transportation. Public transit…

Electric Scooters: Range vs Weight

8/19/2020

Electric Scooters: Range vs Weight

Advances in battery technology have led to a market filled with high-quality electric scooters for everything from tooling around the neighborhood to competitive off-road racing. It’s an exciting time to buy a scooter, but also a confusing time, given the…

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter in the Rain?

7/21/2020

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter in the Rain?

“No” is the standard answer to the question of whether you should ride an electric scooter in the rain. But can you ride an electric scooter in the rain? There are times when it may be safe to do so…

Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane?

7/21/2020

Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane?

Wondering whether you can take your electric scooter on an airplane? As with all things air travel-related the answer should be simple, right? As you might expect, it’s not—or not entirely—but the short answer is no, you cannot take most…

Is It Worth Buying an Electric Scooter?

6/17/2020

Is It Worth Buying an Electric Scooter?

As cities become more crowded and traffic worsens by the year, the old ways of commuting have become increasingly unsustainable. So, is it worth buying yourself an electric scooter?

How Fast Can Electric Scooters Go?

2/24/2020

How Fast Can Electric Scooters Go?

How Fast Do Electric Scooters Go Step aside, skateboards, electric bikes, and mopeds.  These days electric scooters are so ubiquitous, you can hardly pass by your neighborhood coffee shop, ATM, or happy hour hotspot without encountering one (or a few).…

Micro Mobility & Local Culture

4/15/2019

Micro Mobility & Local Culture

“Nice neighborhood you’ve got there. Sure would be a shame if someone put a highway through it.” So says the text over the face of Robert Moses in a meme that launched the Facebook group “New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented…