Do Electric Bicycles Need a License?

Electric bikes by definition have always been bicycles characterized by foot pedals and a small motor. Although it is true that these bikes do not need any sort of title to operate they do require registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles. This might lead one to believe that bikes need some type of license in order to operate safely on the roadway. After all, car drivers are required to have a license so why not for electric bikes? It would only be natural to do so simply based on the possibility of worst case scenarios.

License and Insurance for Minors

With the possibility of dangerous situations, the need for a license (as well as insurance) when operating an electric bike out on public roadways might not be a bad idea. However, current laws and regulations in the various states across the United States of America do not require license to be carried in order to legally operate an electric bicycle. This is great for the operator (one less bill to pay) as long as he or she doesn’t get involved in an accident. That’s really quite ideal for children under 18 who might not yet have a job and are still in school. Not all parents will agree on the idea that bikes should be licensed and some would argue that their child get a job to pay for such coverage but insurance premiums can be rather high in some states (more than a child alone can earn in a week in combination with mandatory school attendance). Although not having coverage can save an individual a lot of money down the road, it would cost far more out of pocket should an incident occur if there was some type of active coverage.

Today more and more companies are beginning to question whether or not an operator of an electric bicycle should be required to get a license. Drivers are becoming increasingly careless with modern technology while they operate motor vehicles. More accidents are happening now than ever before and more and more people are turning to electric bicycles as their primary means of transportation. Electric bicycles are far more inexpensive to maintain than a car or truck plus it is good exercise! Each bike takes up much less space than a vehicle and as they do not currently require a license, there is no fear of getting a ticket for not being able to afford insurance coverage or a tab as with a license plate.


Overall, most insurance is like a game. It’s a bit of a gamble. If you pay into it and never use it, you’re out the extra money. On the plus side, having active coverage on an electric bicycle would mean there would be an added sense of safety out on the public roads that would better protect the riders and other drivers also out on the roadway. This would ultimately benefit everyone.

Do electric bicycles need a license? Certainly not. Even kids need a way to get around. So if electric bicycles required license then regular bicycles without motors should also require the same coverage, as the electric bicycle is nothing more than a normal bicycle with pedals, a battery pack, and a motor.

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