Electric scooters and bicycles and other unregistered vehicles

Operating an electric scooter or bicycle with electric assist

Effective April 2020 - the law allows people to operate bicycles with electric assist (e-bikes) on some streets and highways in New York State.

Effective August 2, 2020
- the law allows people to operate electric scooters (e-scooters) and bicycles with electric assist (e-bikes) on some streets and highways in New York State.

  • Electric scooter - a type of device with handlebars, a floorboard or a seat, and an electric motor that can be powered by the electric motor and/or human power. 1

  • Bicycle with electric assist - multiple classes of bicycle with an electric motor and operable pedals. 2 A bicycle with electric assist doesn’t qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, limited use motorcycle, moped or ATV and doesn’t have the same equipment.

You can operate an electric scooter or bicycle with electric assist on some streets and highways in New York State:

  • you can operate these devices on highways with a posted speed limit of 30 MPH or less
  • municipalities can further regulate the time, place and manner of operation of these devices
  • you cannot operate these devices on a sidewalk except as authorized by local law or ordinance


Note: An electric scooter or bicycle with electric assist cannot be registered but still may be operated on some streets and highways in New York State.

 

Operating a registered ATV on public highway

You cannot operate an ATV on a public highway unless the highway has been designated and posted for ATV use (usually a short distance between off-road trails).

 

Vehicles that cannot be registered or operated on New York State sidewalks, streets or highways

You cannot register or operate any of the motorized devices from the list below on any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk or other area in New York State that allows public motor vehicle traffic. You may be arrested if you do.

  • Mini-bike - a small, motorized device with two wheels and created for off-road use. A mini-bike doesn’t qualify as a moped, a motorcycle or an ATV.

  • Off-road Motorcycle (Dirt Bike) - A motorcycle designed for use on off-road trails or in off-road competitions.  Unless exempt, these vehicles must be registered as an ATV.  See register an ATV for more information.

  • Go-Kart - a small, motorized device with four wheels, created for off-road use. You can’t register a go-kart as a motor vehicle or ATV because a go-kart doesn’t have the same equipment.

  • Golf Cart (also referred to as Golf Car or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) - a small motorized device with four wheels designed to carry people.  You can’t register a golf cart as an ATV.  Many low speed vehicles are similar in appearance to a golf cart, and can be registered and driven on New York State highways. 3