Gas or Electric Assist Motor?


Marc asked: I was recently stopped by Volusia sheriff and told that a motorized bike is a motor vehicle as of 2014 and I could be arrested for driving on a suspended license? Every thing I read states maybe, maybe not?


As you said, maybe, maybe not. It depends on the power of your motorized vehicle.

If your vehicle has an electric assist motor and meets the statutory definition of “bicycle”, you do not need a driver’s license and the vehicle does not have to be registered or have a title. It is a bicycle.

If a vehicle is powered by a gas assist motor, it must meet the statutory definition of “moped” and must be registered and have a license tag (Not titled), and you must have a driver’s license..  If not registered as a moped (Or motorcycle), your vehicle is an unregistered motor vehicle and is not road legal.

This post provides all the details and applicable laws:

The law has always been the same, but In 2014, the DMV clarified the law with Procedure RS-68 which is linked in the post and here:

7 Comments on “Gas or Electric Assist Motor?

  1. I had to fight this battle in November over my 700 watt xtreme bike. I showed the officers the law, told them what the bike was, etc. Pointless, I got tickets for not having a license, not having the bike registered, had to hire an attorney, had to go to court. The charges were dropped of course, and the case dismissed. I’m waiting for my attorney to write a letter to my employer (I was ticketed by police from the university I work at) asking that I be left alone, and that I be reimbursed for my legal expenses. It was all very time consuming, expensive and stressful. The cops said that because the speedometer on the bike went higher than 20mph, it was not a bike.

    • To make matters even more absurd when they wrote the ticket they wrote the make of the vehicle as a Lexus…
      How stupid is that?

  2. The speedometer is irrelevent. The bicycle had an electronic controler that limits the acceleration and speed. As long as that controler is designed for 20 mph limit and the motor is less than 750 watts, you are USA legal.

  3. As far as I know, no one has ever made a claim in small claims court for expenses related to an invalid ticket, lawyer, time off work, etc. If you want to try that, please let us know the results.

  4. Dwight,
    Excellent point. I don’t think any of us looked at it that way. Answers the questions and solves a lot of problems.

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