Are Electric Bikes Legal in New York State?

Electric bikes are popular among outdoor enthusiasts and hunters due to its efficiency and convenience. However, not all states legalize the use of electric bicycles on city roads. You can be arrested if seen riding your e-bike. In one of the world's busiest cities, the big question remains--are electric bikes legal in New York State?

It’s crucial to understand the rules and regulations when it comes to electric hunting bikes. It will save you from a lot of troubles in the long run.

Are Electric Hunting Bikes Legal in New York State?

Previously, riding your e-bike on the roads and highways of New York States was illegal. You can pay up to $500 if you are caught. Only e-bikes with a maximum speed of 20mph are allowed to operate on the roads, but it still needs to be registered. In 2017, NYPD had confiscated numerous e-bikes and e-scooters before due to violations.

Today, the law allowing hunters and bikers to ride their electric bikes in New York State has been approved. Effective last April, people can freely operate their e-bikes on the city roads. So, the answer to the question: are electric hunting bikes legal in New York State is a resounding yes.

Furthermore, last August 2, 2020, a new law has been approved, allowing riders to operate their electric scooters and bikes with electric assists on the highways. You are only authorized to ride these e-bikes with a speed limit of 30 MPH. But these e-bikes are still not allowed on sidewalks. The regulations may also vary by municipalities.

You cannot register your electric bike, but you are allowed to ride it on some highways and roads of New York State.

Are Electric Bikes Legal in New York State

What are the Classes of E-bikes that are Legal to Run?

All classes of electric hunting bikes are allowed to run on highways and roads to implement the new law. As long as its maximum speed is below 25mph, there should be no problem. There's no need for registration of e-bike as well.

For years, advocates and e-bike riders have been calling out the government to allow electric bikes to run. Now, it has been approved, much to the delight and convenience of delivery cyclists. This law prevents unequal crackdowns of their e-bikes.

Unlike before, the new legislation has lowered the penalty from $500 to $250. You can only be caught if you're riding your e-bike with a speed of over 25mph. Aside from that, authorities can ticket irresponsible riders who drive recklessly and endanger other motorists' safety. Riders of Class 3 electric hunting bikes are also required to wear a helmet at all times.

At the height of the pandemic, companies are seeing an increase in the top electric bike sales. People are changing their ways of transportation and ensuring social distancing while commuting to work and doing errands. It became more popular when New Yorkers were advised to avoid public transportation as much as they can.

What are the Pros of New York E-Bike Law?

Now that you know that electric bikes are legal in the New York State, let’s take a look at the pros of the approved legislation:

  1.   Both Class 1 and Class 2 electric hunting bikes remain consistent with the imposed industry standards.
  2.   Owners of electric bikes are now allowed to carry passengers with them on the road.
  3.   E-bike owners are given the rights and responsibilities similar to that of a pedal-bike rider. However, they should not be classified under motor vehicles.
  4.   E-bikes are allowed to operate on bike lanes, roads, and highways as long as its top speed is below 30 mph.
  5.   E-bike owners are allowed to take bike paths that are adjacent to highways and city roads.

What are the Cons of the E-Bike Law?

While there are advantages to the newly-imposed e-bike law in New York State, there are also cons that you need to be aware of.

  1.   Class 3 e-bike do not comply with industry standards. Hence, operating a Class 3 e-bike with 28 mph can violate the law.
  2.   Riders below 16 years old are not allowed to ride their e-bikes.
  3.   The local authority may or may not make changes with the imposed law. Some may require wearing reflective clothing and helmets when driving.
  4.   Electric hunting bikes are not allowed on roads with a speed limit of below 30 mph.
  5.   The bike path policy is still confusing and misleading to most riders.
  6.   Electric bike riders are not allowed to ride with two abreast. It must always be on a single file.

Final Thoughts

Are electric bikes legal in New York State? Finally, after being indomitable with the advocacies of riders for many years, the state legalizes electric bikes. The new law now allows riders to use their e-bikes in the city, despite a few drawbacks.


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