Driver’s License for Roketa Type 44?

Question

Rexene asked: I am looking at purchasing a Roketa 350 watt electric bike type 44. It states bike but looks more like a scooter. Would this be considered a motorized bicycle, which would not require a Florida driver’s license?

Answer

A driver’s license is required for operation of a motor vehicle.

s. 322.03Drivers Must be Licensed; Penalties

(1) Except as otherwise authorized in this chapter, a person may not drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has a valid driver license issued under this chapter.

s. 322.001 – Definitions

(27) “Motor vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle, including a motor vehicle combination, not operated upon rails or guideway, excluding vehicles moved solely by human power, motorized wheelchairs, and motorized bicycles as defined in s. 316.003.

If the vehicle meets this statutory definition of “bicycle”, a driver’s license is not required.

s. 316.003Definitions

(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 any 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. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or similar device. No person under the age of 16 may operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle.

Posted in Ask Geo, Driver License, Motorized Bicycles
3 comments on “Driver’s License for Roketa Type 44?
  1. fred_dot_u says:

    I did a quick google search on the model described. The tech specifications show a top speed of 20 mph, which fits in with Florida’s regulation relative to e-assist bicycles. This particular model also has fully functional pedals, required for Florida’s regulations.

    Because this vehicle can be powered strictly by human effort alone, I believe that it qualifies under the bicycle definition.

  2. Agree with fred_dot_u. Description on dealer’s website shows fully functional pedals, and the technical specs list “Max Speed” as 20 mph. A 350-watt rating for an e-bike motor is relatively modest.

    As it’s unlikely that brakes on the bike automatically activate to limit speeds to 20 mph (a photo of the speedometer shows the indicated speed can be as high as 60 km/h [37 mph]), the “max speed” spec may be a little confusing. Nothing in the Florida Traffic Control Law’s definition of “motorized bicycle” excludes any e-bike that might go faster than 20 mph. On a long (and sufficiently steep to overcome friction) downgrade, most bicycles will accelerate to speeds greater than 20 mph with little or no pedaling effort, unless brakes are applied.

    The definition excludes an e-bike whose motor continues to supply power to the drive chain at >20 mph speeds, but doesn’t rule out operation at >20 mph speeds.

    “Max Speed” in the specs presumably means the e-bike has a governor that cuts off drive power above 20 mph. The owner’s manual should explain.

  3. fred_dot_u says:

    Dwight, Florida law is also a bit more generous than other states. The regulation is relative to the speed of the vehicle unassisted and does not require that the assist cut off at 20 mph. With even a low powered wheel such as the 350w unit referenced, the operator could exceed 20 mph and yet have the motor contribute a small part of the energy required. Unfortunately, many manufacturers build their vehicles with “50 state” compatibility, and that means cut-off at 20 mph. The specs are sorely lacking on that web site. It doesn’t state if the batteries are lead-acid or more advanced technology, but the price would indicate the less-expensive and lower performing lead-acid type, probably gel cells.

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