E-bikes lack a specific classification under current South Carolina traffic laws. However, “e-bikes” are “vehicles” and are therefore subject to the requirements for “vehicles.”
E-bikes equipped with motors that have a power output of less than 750 watts are specifically exempt from the definition of “moped.” Therefore, e-bikes are not subject to requirements that apply to “mopeds,” such as licensing and registration.
E-bikes are subject to the rules of the road that apply to vehicles.
Consult your local authority or agency for more information about ebike regulation in your jurisdiction, including whether they are allowed on bicycle paths.
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.
SOUTH CAROLINA’S E-BIKE LAW FOR TRAILS
LOCAL: Consult your local land management agency.
STATE: The South Carolina State Parks Department does not currently have an eMTB policy. Contact the department for the most up to date information.
FEDERAL: The majority of public lands managed for recreation in South Carolina 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 Southern Regional Office for more information