Electric Bicycles & More

Not everything is an e-bike. Learn the difference between emerging micromobility options, including pedal assist, e-bikes, e-scooters, mopeds and more. Learn about NYC e-bike programs, including the E-Bike Battery Charging Pilot.

"Get Smart Before You Start" Campaign

NYC DOT’s latest e-bike public awareness campaign promotes the safe use of e-bikes, including educating newer e-bike riders on how to safely operate them.

Get Smart Before You Start video description: An animated video shows an icon of a person on an e-bike rides through various scenarios that a cyclist might encounter, such as needing to break. Text on screen reads: Get Smart Before You Start. n y c dot gov slash e bikes.

Ponte Listo Antes de Partir (Spanish)

What to know before you e-bike

Keep yourself and others safe by accelerating and braking carefully, staying off sidewalks, and following all traffic laws.

  • Stay off the sidewalk
  • Wear a helmet
  • Yield to pedestrians
  • Watch for turning vehicles
  • Watch for pedestrians
Graphic of a person riding an e-bike with tips to know before riding an e-bike.

Types of Electric Bikes & Mopeds

Where you are allowed to ride and how you ride in NYC depends on the type of e-bike or vehicle you have. E-bikes and mopeds can look quite similar. Check the chart below to see what type you have.

Electric Bicycles & More Chart Bicicletas eléctricas y más 電動自行車及更多電動車輛類型 Vélos électriques et autres ই-বাইক এবং আরও অনেক কিছু

Class 1

Class 2

Class 3

Class C

Class B

Class A


Pedal assist Throttle with pedals Throttle with pedals Limited use motorcycle Limited use motorcycle Limited use motorcycle Under 100 pounds
How fast can I go? 20 MPH 20 MPH 25 MPH 20 MPH 30 MPH 40 MPH 15 MPH
Do I need a Driver's License? No (must be 16) No (must be 16) No (must be 16) Yes Yes Yes (plus M endorsement) No
Does it need a license plate? No No No Yes Yes Yes No
Does it need a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)? No No No Yes Yes Yes No
Do I need to register it with the DMV? No No No Yes Yes Yes No
Can I ride in bike lanes? Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes
Can I ride in vehicle lanes? Yes* Yes* Yes* Yes** Yes** Yes** Yes*
Can I ride on bridges? Yes (only in bike lanes) Yes (only in bike lanes) Yes (only in bike lanes) Yes† (only in vehicle lanes) Yes† (only in vehicle lanes) Yes† (only in vehicle lanes) Yes (only in bike lanes)
Can I ride in park drives and greenways? Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes
Do I need to wear a helmet? Recommended (Yes, if working) Recommended (Yes, if working) Yes Recommended Yes Yes Recommended

Chart Notes

*Vehicle lanes with speed limits no greater than 30 MPH
**Right lane and/or shoulder, except when making a left turn
†Except the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Ed Koch Queensboro and Williamsburg Bridges

Additional Guidance

Cyclists have all the rights and are subject to all of the duties and regulations applicable to drivers of motor vehicles. E-bikes can park on areas of the sidewalk intended for bicycle parking E-bikes and stand-up scooters are allowed on all park drives and greenways as part of NYC Parks-led pilot program

Dangers of Lithium-ion Batteries

graphic of an e-bike covered in flames.

Safety Tips and Precautions

  • Use approved batteries and chargers – only use devices that have a reputable testing agency mark such as UL. Use the charger that was made specifically for your device.
  • Keep away from heat – keep batteries and devices at room temperature. Keep away from direct sunlight and any heat sources such as a radiator.
  • No overnight charging – do not leave devices unattended while charging or charge them overnight.
  • Make sure you can get out – never block your primary way in or out of a room or apartment.
  • Call 911 for battery fires – water and fire extinguishers do not work on lithium-ion batteries fire. If a battery overheats or you notice an odor, change in shape/color, leaking, or odd noises, stop using immediately. If safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire and call 911.

Electric Scooters

E-scooters are allowed in NYC. They have handlebars and a floorboard or seat, and may be powered by electric and/or human power.

You must not operate an e-scooter in excess of 15 MPH.

E-scooters may be ridden in bike lanes and on streets with speed limits no greater than 30 MPH. Do not ride e-scooters on sidewalks.

Helmets are recommended for all e-scooter riders, and required for 16 and 17 year olds.

A person riding an e-scooter wears a helmet and backpack and travels along a green bike lane. Ahead of him is a cyclist riding an e-bike, wearing a helmet, riding along the green bike lane.