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The US law and electric scooters

Electric Scooters are growing in popularity in the USA thanks to demands for greener and sustainable transport. But are they legal?

Motorized scooters are not street legal as they do not meet federal requirements for lights and mirrors. They cannot be insured, titled or tagged.

With a top speed of 32 kilometers per hour and small wheels, there are concerns over how best to accommodate the e-scooters.

State Laws

California

In California where they are popular on the boardwalks, a rider must:

  • Be 16 or over
  • Have a valid drivers license
  • Wear a cycle helmet
  • Have no passengers
  • follow the same rules as a car driver
  • Have brakes
  • Have handlebars under the shoulders
  • A headlight, taillight and side reflectors if at night
  • Not ride on sidewalks
  • Use Not ride on streets where the limit is over 40 km/h unless in a bicycle lane.

Michigan

In the midwestern state, there is more freedom with use similar to bicycles and allowed on sidewalks, bicycle lanes and roads.

Washington D.C

In the capital city, electric scooters are classified as Mobility Devices and not motor vehicles. As such, there is no inspection, insurance, license or helmets required. Motorized scooters riders can use the sidewalk.

Atlanta

In the capital of  Georgia again electric scooters are considered Personal Assistive Mobility Devices and are treated to the same rights as pedestrians and can use sidewalks, bike lanes and highways (max speed limit 60 km/h).

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