Biking Tips

Do Electric Bikes Need to be Registered?

All motorized vehicles need to be registered. Electric bikes are technically also motorized vehicles. So do they need to be registered? There are different laws regarding electric bikes in different parts of the world and in different states of the US. It’s natural to be curious if your electric bike requires any kind of registration or not. After all, ignorance is no excuse to break the law. Besides, who wants to deal with law enforcement and pay hefty fines or get into trouble? Read more to know if you need to register your electric bike or not.

Electric Bike Regulations in the US

The US and Canada both categorize electric bikes into 3 classes.

Class 1: Low-speed pedal-assisted bicycle. The motor assists in pedaling only when the rider is actively pedaling. Pedal assistance stops when the speed reaches 20mph.

Class 2: Low-speed throttle-assisted bicycle. The motor provides pedal assistance even when the rider is not actively pedaling. As with Class 1, pedal assistance stops when the speed reaches 20mph.

Class 3: Speed pedal-assisted bicycle. The motor provides assistance with active pedaling but the speed limit increases to 28mph.

The laws regarding electric bike registration in the US differ from state to state. It’s always a good idea to check the state laws before putting your electric bike on the road for the first time.

Laws in Different US States

Some states require no registration or license to own an electric bike. But some states require a diver’s license and registration.

No Registration Required

You don’t need to have any license, registration, or insurance in the state of California if your electric bike falls into the 3 classes mentioned above by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

M-Tag Required

The states of Alabama and Alaska require an M-tag for an electric bike.

Driver’s License Required

You need to have a driver’s license if you want to own an electric bike in the following states: Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and West Virginia.

Age Restrictions

Different states impose different age restrictions to own an electric bike and you have to be equal to or older than the age restriction imposed.

14 years: New Hampshire, Virginia, Utah, North Dakota, Michigan, Alabama, Alaska, North Dakota, Tennessee.

Children between the age of 8 and 13 years can be accompanied by a parent in the state of Utah. Riders of any age can ride an electric accompanied by an adult.

15 years: Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota, New Jersey.

16 years: Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Oregon, West Virginia, Illinois, Idaho, District of Columbia.

Arkansas and Washington have 16 years age restriction on Class 3 electric bikes while Maine has 16 years age restriction on Class 2 and Class 3 electric bikes.

Helmet Requirements

All states require you to wear a helmet. The states of Alabama, West Virginia, and New Jersey require you to wear a motorcycle helmet.

Global Regulations

While most countries usually don’t require you to hold a license or registration to own an electric bike, there are some requirements. A few countries around the world require licenses and registration as well.

Finland: Requires license and registration.

China: No registration or license is required.

Prince Edward Island: Requires passing a moped inspection test.

Australia: Different laws according to states. Most states don’t require a license but you should check for local laws.

UK: You have to be 14 years old or older to own an electric bike. Bikes with 250 watts motor or less don’t require any registration. Bikes with motors producing more than 250 watts of power are registered as motorcycles.

New Zealand: Bikes with motors having less than 300 watts of power are considered non-motorized. You would need a license if the bike motor produces more than 300 watts of power.

Canada: Electric bike categorization in Canada is the same as in the US. In Canada, electric bikes are known as “power-assisted bicycles”. Canada doesn’t allow electric bikes to have more than 500 watts of power and the capability to achieve speeds of more than 20mph (32kmph). No registration is required for owning an electric bike in any province but there are strict safety laws in each province.

How to Know If You Need to Register Your Electric Bike?

In most cases, your seller will tell you of any kind of requirements you need to fulfill to operate an electric bike on the road while buying an electric bike. You can ask in case s/he forgets to tell you. Other ways you can find out whether you need registration or not is to contact a lawyer, traffic authorities, or bike law networks. You can also visit the websites of the local authorities to find out the registration information.

Why Should you Register your Electric Bike?

While many states don’t require registration for an electric bike, you would have to register with your manufacturer to activate your warranty. You can visit the manufacturer’s website to register your electric bike with them.

The other more important reason to register an electric bike is to increase the chances of recovering your electric bike in case of theft. An unregistered electric bike is almost impossible to recover if it is stolen. Only a miracle can get your bike back. But you can register your electric bike with for free. is a global community-driven non-profit bike registry that helps law enforcement check for a bike when it is recovered. It is advised that you register your bike immediately and upload pictures for the whole community to know around the globe. You can notify the community in case your bike goes missing or gets stolen and the community can help you recover it.

Also Read: Do Electric Bikes Need Gears?

Final Thoughts

In many parts of the world, you don’t have to register or obtain a license to keep an electric bike. But there are some requirements to ride an electric bike. Always check your local laws before you take your electric bike on the road for the first time.

In the US, you don’t need registration for an electric bike if it falls into the 3 classes defined by the CPSC. But you may need to obtain a license or comply with age restrictions in some states. Helmets are a requirement in all states. You usually have to register with your bike’s manufacturer to activate the warranty. You should also register with to help recover your electric bike in case it is stolen.