Electric Non-Bike


Sean asked:  I have a question regarding electric bicycles and needing a drivers license, registration and should they be on the road or sidewalks and bike lanes? A little bit about my bike: it is only electric (not gas powered) and it does have pedals although I keep them in the storage under the seat and not on the bike, it only goes 20 mph. It does have head lights, tail lights, turn signals and horn. It is a 500 watt electric motor. I talked to the PBSO (Palm Beach Sheriffs office) and they said I didn’t need to register it or a license but Palm Beach Gardens PD says I do. The law is very unclear in this gray issue.


Actually, the law about your vehicle is quite clear.  All of your questions except one are answered by the posts under the tag “motorized bicycles”.


If you do not have functional pedals and they are not in place for use to propel the bike, your bike does not meet the definition of “bicycle” in the statutes and does not have the advantages implied.  It is not a bicycle, moped or motorcycle.  It is not a legal vehicle for use on the roads.

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 ….

8 Comments on “Electric Non-Bike

  1. Leave the pedals on and be done with it…
    You would have to show any officer that you CAN propel it via the pedals.
    I used to live in PBG, and I NEVER had an issue with my electric bicycle.
    Why would you want to remove the pedals? Where would you put your feet?
    (That’s actually a rhetorical question, as the answer is, that I’m sure there is some type of “deck”, to put your feet on.. )
    If you don’t have the pedals on, all the time, you technically have an unregisterable electric moped that’s illegal to use on public roads.
    Like Geo said, there is NO grey area. (Even if, you would like it to be).

  2. Other questions are..
    1.) Is it 24v, 36v or 48v?
    2.) Is it CAPABLE of going over 20mph
    (Is there a limiter to stop you from going over 20mph or do you just ride it under 20?
    3.) What remaining questions, that you have, are you still unclear about the answers?

    • As long as there is no local ordinance banning bicycles on a sidewalk, you can pedal a bicycle (or electric bicycle) on a sidewalk…
      You may NEVER ride an electric bicycle on a sidewalk under motor power.

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