Do I need a driving license for an electric bike in California?

  • 5
    This question might be more suitable at Bicycles Apr 23 '18 at 7:44
  • @HankyPanky true, but it is still on-topic here. SE policy is that questions that are on-topic where they were asked are not migrated. Apr 23 '18 at 14:17

You do not need a license for upto a Type-3 E-Bike.

enter image description here

Reference: ElectricBike.com

Then we have this matching information from calibike.org:

Mopeds and high-speed electric bikes are not like regular bikes. Gas-powered bicycles and type 3 electric bicycles (with top assisted speeds of 28 mph) may not be used on trails or bike paths or lanes unless allowed by local authorities. They may be used in bike lanes or separated bikeways adjacent to the roadway. CVC 21207.5 They require helmets and may not be operated by people under age 16.

Low-speed electric bicycles are almost like regular bikes. Type 1 and 2 electric bicycles (with top assisted speeds of 20 mph) are allowed wherever regular bikes are allowed unless a sign specifically prohibits electric bicycles.

Although that does not explicitly mention licensing requirements, it does say that low speed e-bikes are treated just like regular bikes, which implicitly suggests you don't need a license for them.

  • They also do not require insurance to operate nor be registered in most places. Also, you can get Type 2 e-bikes that look and ride like mopeds except for top speed. They even have pedals which is why they are still technically a bicycle.
    – Johns-305
    Apr 23 '18 at 6:03
  • When I was in California (decades ago), a "moped" looked nothing like that last image and was by law not capable of exceeding 35 MPH, and did not require insurance. I had a driver's license, so I don't know whether it was required. Apparently California has changed definitions to be inconsistent with other states I've been in since then.
    – WGroleau
    Apr 23 '18 at 9:55
  • Moped speed limit N/A? That's strange.
    – gerrit
    Apr 23 '18 at 10:57
  • 2
    @gerrit it means that a vehicle may be classed as a moped regardless of its top speed.
    – phoog
    Apr 23 '18 at 12:12
  • @WGroleau That's how most mopeds I see look and I'm on the opposite coast from California.
    – JAB
    Apr 23 '18 at 14:13

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