Electric assisted bicycles are becoming a very common sight on bike paths, sidewalks and even beaches. They come in all different forms - there are commuter models, mountain bikes and even lightweight racing bikes models. The one thing that these increasingly popular electric bikes have in common is that they are pedal assisted and are classified as bicycles in the state of Florida.
Note; A city, town or state agency that has jurisdiction can restrict where e-bikes are allowed. When in doubt, check for local rules and regulations.
Definition of an electric bike in Florida?
The state of Florida (FL) defines electric bicycles as a bicycle or a tricycle equipped with fully operable pedals, a seat or saddle for the use of the rider, and an electric motor of less than 750 watts. Electric bikes are categorized into 3 categories:
- Class 1: Comprise of e-bikes with a motor that assists the rider when pedaling only. The motor should cease to offer assistance if the e-bike reaches 20mph.
- Class 2: The e-bikes come with a motor that propels them without pedaling. The motor should cease to offer assistance if the e-bike reaches 20mph.
- Class 3: The e-bikes come with a motor that assists a rider when pedaling. It ceases to help if the e-bike reaches 28mph.
If your e-bike can reach a speed of 30, 35, 40, and 45 mph, it will fall under a description of a moped and electric motorcycle and you need to license, register and insure it.
Are there any age restrictions to riding an electric bike in Florida?
You need to be older than 16 years old to ride an electric bike in the state of Florida.
What are the laws around helmets in Florida?
Florida state law requires persons under the age of 16 to wear a helmet.
What are the rules for riding on the road in Florida?
Electric bikes are allowed on roadways in the right lane, bike paths and trails and on sidewalks where pedestrians are present.
What are the rules for riding on the trails in Florida?
Electric bicycles are regulated by local government in terms of their use on bicycle path, multiuse path, or trail network.
Do you need a license, insurance or registration in Florida?
Electric bikes do not need to be licensed or registered. Operators of electric bikes must be at least 16 years old.
What are the restrictions on Motor power or throttle in Florida?
An electric bike motor can't exceed 750w
Florida Statutes - 316.20655 Electric bicycle regulations.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, an electric bicycle or an operator of an electric bicycle shall be afforded all the rights and privileges, and be subject to all of the duties, of a bicycle or the operator of a bicycle, including s. 316.2065. An electric bicycle is a vehicle to the same extent as a bicycle. However, this section may not be construed to prevent a local government, through the exercise of its powers under s. 316.008, from adopting an ordinance governing the operation of electric bicycles on streets, highways, sidewalks, and sidewalk areas under the local government’s jurisdiction or to prevent a municipality, county, or agency of the state having jurisdiction over a bicycle path, multiuse path, or trail network from restricting or prohibiting the operation of an electric bicycle on a bicycle path, multiuse path, or trail network.
(2) An electric bicycle or an operator of an electric bicycle is not subject to the provisions of law relating to financial responsibility, driver or motor vehicle licenses, vehicle registration, title certificates, off-highway motorcycles, or off-highway vehicles.
(3) Beginning January 1, 2021, manufacturers and distributors of electric bicycles shall apply a label that is permanently affixed in a prominent location to each electric bicycle. The label must contain the classification number, top assisted speed, and motor wattage of the electric bicycle.
(4) A person may not tamper with or modify an electric bicycle so as to change the motor-powered speed capability or engagement of an electric bicycle, unless the label indicating the classification number required in subsection (3) is replaced after such modification.
(5) An electric bicycle must comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission under 16 C.F.R. part 1512.
(6) An electric bicycle must operate in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the rider stops pedaling or when the brakes are applied.
(7) An operator may ride an electric bicycle where bicycles are allowed, including, but not limited to, streets, highways, roadways, shoulders, bicycle lanes, and bicycle or multiuse paths. (Not sidewalks!)