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Are Electric Scooters Legal in New York?

Updated on December 1st, 2023

In New York, an electric scooter is classified as a lightweight device, not exceeding 100lbs, with handlebars, a seat or a floorboard for the operator, and an electric motor. It can be propelled by the electric motor or human power, and it must not exceed a speed of 20mph on a level surface when powered solely by its motor. Electric scooters are permitted on roads with a speed limit of 25mph or less, though individual municipalities may impose additional regulations. Riding on sidewalks is prohibited unless local laws permit. Registration of these scooters is not required; however, they can be ridden legally on certain public roads.

New York defines an electric scooter as a device weighing less than 100lbs that:

(a) has handlebars, a floorboard or a seat that can be stood or sat upon by the operator, and an electric motor,
(b) can be powered by the electric motor and/or human power, and
(c) has a maximum speed of no more than twenty miles per hour on a paved level surface when powered solely by the electric motor.

You can operate an electric scooter or bicycle with electric assist on some streets and highways in New York State:

  • you can operate these devices on highways with a posted speed limit of 30 MPH or less
  • municipalities can further regulate the time, place and manner of operation of these devices
  • you cannot operate these devices on a sidewalk except as authorized by local law or ordinance

Note: An electric scooter or bicycle with electric assist cannot be registered but still may be operated on some streets and highways in New York State.

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Minimum Age

No specific minimum age for operation stated, but adherence to helmet laws for riders under 18 is enforced and adult supervision is recommended for young riders.

Helmets Required? 

Yes, for riders under the age of 18.

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