MICHIGAN’S E-BIKE LAW

MICHIGAN’S E-BIKE LAW FOR THE ROAD

  • E-bikes are regulated like bicycles. The same rules of the road apply to both e-bikes and human-powered bicycles.
  • E-bikes are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.
  • Michigan designates three classes of e-bikes:
    1. Class 1: : Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    2. Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    3. Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.
  • Class 1 e-bikes are allowed on bike paths and linear trails; while class 2 or 3 e-bikes are not, unless the local agency authorizes them. When in doubt, check with your town, city, or county for local rules and regulations.
  • Helmets are required for riders of Class 3 e-bikes under 18 years of age. Persons under 14 years of age may not ride a Class 3 e-bike, unless they are riding as a passenger. To ride an e-bike within the Mackinac Island State Park, a permit is required

eMTB GUIDELINES

  • On federal, state, county and local trails, e-mountain bike (eMTB) access varies significantly.
  • Generally, any natural surface trail that is designated as open to both motorized and non-motorized uses is also open to eMTBs.
  • eMTBs may not be allowed on trails managed for non-motorized activities. 
  • Do not ride your eMTB in areas where the local rules are unclear. Ride legally and only on authorized trails to show that mountain bikers are responsible trail users.
  • When in doubt, ask your local land manager about access to specific trails. Local land rules change frequently.

ILLINOI'S E-BIKE LAW FOR TRAILS

  • LOCAL: Consult your local land management agency.
  • STATE: Currently, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources categorizes e-bikes as motor vehicles. However, the department is in the process of developing an e-bike policy for the lands that the department manages. Contact the department for the most up to date information. 
  • FEDERAL: The majority of public lands managed for recreation in Michigan are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service, where as of August 29th 2019 all eBikes up to 750 watt can now access Federal Lands and natural parks anywhere a regular bicycle can access.  The one exception is National Forests, the forests are managed by the Department of Agriculture and these changes are not implemented yet on the forests.  Changes are happening to align all Federal land to the recent Order.   Contact the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Regional Office for more information.

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