Joe asked: Last week I was pulled over and ticketed on my ebike for not having license and registration. There is a ton of confusing material out there, and at this point, I don’t know if I’m required to have them or not. It’s a 700 watt motor, the pedals were on Xtreme 700Li (it doesn’t look like a bike, I know). I showed the officer what I thought was the proper law for the state of Florida, pedals, human power combo, motor size, etc. Nope, tickets and a court date for me. Am I guilty?
According to the advertising material for the Xtreme 700LI here,
your ebike is a bicycle.
That is consistent with the Florida statute defining a bicycle.
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 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.
Bicycles are not registered with the DMV and the operator is not required to have a driver’s license.
I recommend that you retain an attorney and file a motion to dismiss prior to your court date. Presenting this statute and the material from Xtreme, including the Federal statute in a link on that site, should be satisfactory and result in a non-guilty outcome.
You can take your chances in traffic court, but bear in mind that traffic courts are rushed and you may not get full consideration. Filing a motion to dismiss requires full consideration and will result in a written answer from a judge, which will be documentation for appeal if not dismissed.
Please advise the outcome in a comment on this post. If you are successful, I also recommend sending a letter to the law enforcement agency involved asking that they educate their officers on this subject.