Electric Scooter

Question

Carlos asked: I have an electrical scooter, with pedals. It is a 500 watts motor, max. speed 25mph. Do I need a driver’s locense to operate it?

Answer

The only vehicle that is not entirely human powered that does not require a drivers license or registration is an eBike defined as a bicycle in the statutes.

s. 316.003 – Definitions

(2) Bicycle – Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which a person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels.

It appears your vehicle does not meet that definition since the max speed is greater than 20 mph, and is likely a moped which does require a driver’s license and registration, but not a title.  For more on mopeds, see this post.

http://flbikelaw.org/2011/06/mopeds-3/

I recommend that you review the information in this post and make your own determination about the category of your vehicle.

http://flbikelaw.org/2011/06/motorized-bicycles-5/

It may be that you could put some type of speed limiter to reduce the maximum speed and maybe then meet the “bicycle” definition above.  I don’t know if that is legal.  Can any of our readers assist with that?

If you are in doubt, you should contact the DMV or your local police about the requirements for your vehicle.

18 comments on “Electric Scooter
  1. Specialx says:

    You need to have the pedals connected all the time. You also need to somehow limit the speed. Sometimes there’s a wire you can connect to engage the speed limiter function. As long as the vehicle is not CAPABLE of speeds greater than 20 mph your legal.

    • Spanman says:

      Correct answer

      • Toni Bollinger says:

        I do not have a driver’s license I need to have something to drive to work can I ride an electric scooter in Florida without a driver’s license or insurance and how fast do they go can I ride him on the road

  2. cheryl says:

    You do not need ins. Or drivers license if it goes 20 miles or less per hrs you must have pedal on and ride in bike path does not need plate or tag

  3. Geo says:

    That is partially true if your motorized bicycle has an electric assist motor. If it has a gas assist motor, it is not a legal vehicle unless registered as a moped and a driver’s license and license tag are required.
    Only human powered vehicles may use a bike path or sidewalk. If you are referring to a bike lane, which is part of the roadway, the driver of a legal motorized bicycle has the same rights and duties as any other driver and the vehicle can be operated anywhere in the roadway that a bicycle can be used. In some circumstances, that means in a bike lane.

  4. MarshallDimick says:

    How about a battery operated scooter two wheel no pedals top 20 mph

  5. Geo says:

    It is not a bicycle. It is a motor vehicle. To determine if it can be registered, you must ask the registration authority or local police in your community. If so, you will need a driver’s license. See above.

  6. Geo says:

    Peter,

    No!

    “….combination of human power and an electric helper motor …”

    • peter phelps says:

      Thanks for the prompt response my dilemma is that the scooter I’m looking at doesn’t have pedals is electric and goes under 20 miles per hour am I legally relegated to my driveway only?

  7. Geo says:

    Peter,

    Please see this post about motor scooters.

    http://flbikelaw.org/2012/11/motor-scooters/

  8. Cc says:

    The federal law over sees state law!!!I just got a electric scooter that is 500 watts goes 20 mph and has pedals. It is classified as a bicycle through federal law and does NOT require a license!!I brought my electric scooter through e wheels. Good company. They also sent me the link to the federal law and statue number so I could print it and keep it with me at all times!!Again federal law over sees state law!Hope this helps.

  9. Geo says:

    Cc,

    The federal law to which you refer is a Consumer Product Safety Commission statute and has nothing to do with traffic laws which are promulgated by states.

  10. I have a question, need quick response please. I’m considering buying an electric scooter reported to be able to reach up to 45mph. What legal requirnments would there be? Motorcycle license designation? Insurance and registration?

  11. Geo says:

    Mary,

    I believe this post will answer your question.

    http://flbikelaw.org/2012/11/motor-scooters/

  12. Isaiah says:

    I’m looking to get a 49cc gas powered scooter top speed is 22mph. Do I have to have a license to ride it? If so do I rode on the side of the street or side walk okay to ride on?

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