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Are Electric Scooters Legal in Boise?

Updated on December 1st, 2023

In Boise, individuals of any age may operate an electric scooter (E-scooter) or bicycle on roadways, bike lanes, and certain public areas, with the rights and responsibilities of motor vehicle operators per Idaho laws. They must have functional brakes, an audible signal device, and appropriate night visibility equipment. E-scooters must not exceed 300 watts of power and disengage motors upon braking, with no assistive seats attached.

Every person, regardless of age, who operates a bicycle, E-bike, or E-scooter upon a roadway, public parking lot, sidewalk, bike path, bike lane or other public vehicular right-of-way in the City of Boise City ("City") shall be granted the same rights and shall be subject to the same responsibilities applicable to a motor vehicle operator by the laws of the State of Idaho, and the provisions of this title not in conflict with and as authorized under title 49, Idaho Code; except where provisions of those laws and ordinances by their very nature can have no application to bicycles, E-bikes, or E-scooters, or where portions of this chapter direct otherwise.

No person shall operate a bicycle, E-bike, or E-scooter without the following equipment:

A. Brakes capable of causing the bicycle, E-bike, or E-scooter to stop within twenty five feet (25') at ten (10) miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement; and

B. A bell, the human voice or other audible warning device capable of being heard at a distance of at least one hundred feet (100') away, except that no bicycle, E-bike, or E-scooter shall be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle, E-bike, or E-scooter any siren or whistle; and

C. When in use at nighttime, a red reflector on the rear visible from a distance of three hundred feet (300') when directly in front of lawful upper beams of a motor vehicle, and a forward-facing white light attached either to the bicycle, E-bike, E-scooter, or the operator that is visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet (500') in front of the bicycle, E-bike, or E-scooter. A bicycle, E-bike, or E-scooter shall be equipped with a front-facing white or yellow reflector when the operator uses a generator powered light that is unlit when the bicycle, E-bike, or E-scooter is stopped; and

D. All bicycles and E-bikes shall have a permanent seat designed for the bicycle or the E-bike being operated. E-scooters shall not have any attached seats. (Ord. 28-18, 8-21-2018)

ELECTRIC POWER-ASSISTED SCOOTER (E-SCOOTER): A two (2) wheeled device that has handlebars, has a floorboard that is designed to be stood upon when riding, and is powered by an electric motor that has a power output of not more than three hundred (300) watts that: a) is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than fifteen (15) miles per hour; and b) disengages or ceases to function when the device's brakes are applied. An E-scooter is not a motor vehicle for purposes of this chapter.

Max Speed

15 mph

Minimum Age

No specific minimum age requirement to operate E-scooters; riders are expected to follow traffic laws applicable to motor vehicles.

Helmets Required? 

No (Helmets are recommended but not legally required for all riders; local regulations may strongly advise or mandate helmet use for minors under certain ages.)

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