Electric Skateboard Laws in the US

E-skateboards are getting increasingly popular in the US. Since it is a relatively new phenomenon, a majority of the states in the US have not yet legalized electric skateboards.

Many e-skaters are waiting for the laws to catch up to ride without fear of their rig being confiscated by overzealous cops.

There are no federal laws that regulate the use of e-skateboards. That being said, it does not mean that the absence of any laws indicates that you are allowed to use them.

For any type of vehicle with wheels, it must adhere to a minimum set of design standards. Unfortunately, e-skateboards don't meet them.

Electric Skateboard Laws

So, what is an electric skateboard?

We all know skateboards. When the short narrow board is fitted with a battery-operated motor that increases the general speed of a skateboard up to 20 to 25 MPH, it becomes an Electric Skateboards.

However, only a random few companies make electric skateboards due to the growing demand for more speed and better traction.

Do you need a license to ride an electric skateboard?

What is the current legal scenario concerning operating an Electric skateboard on roads?

Electric skateboards do not need a license, unlike various other modes of transports. However, since its operability is still a matter of concern, many rules and regulations are being mandated in multiple countries regarding its usability.

For instance, In Finland, motorized skateboards need to be registered as a light motor vehicle! Various other European nations have classified it under the “Bicycle” category.

While Austria and Turkey have banned its usage in these countries, a few European nations have categorized electric skateboards under Hoverboards and Segway category.

Canada, Mexico, and Alaska allow skateboards to be used only on sidewalks at a maximum speed limit of 20 miles per hour.

Similarly, across Southern America and Asia, using Electric Skateboards on roads is heavily regulated. In most cases, electric skateboards are not permissible on highways and main roads due to safety concerns.

According to the new laws, Singapore is one of the world’s most advanced nations, yet allows Electric skateboard to operate under a speed limit of 12 miles per hour.

Though many nations’ regulations are being considered again, the scenario is yet to change soon, given the need to keep the public safe and the riders’ well-being as the main priority.

What are the electric skateboard laws for different states in the US?

Though the rules and regulations about the usability of Electric skateboard as the regular mode of transport is similar to other nations, it varies from state to state in America.

The federal government does not interfere with the regulations about Electric vehicles as it is overseen by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in governance with the local state traffic laws and regulations.

The State of California

California permits the use of Electric Skateboards; however, a few mandatory rules are imposed. These includes -

  • Helmets are compulsory.
  • Raiders should be 16 and above.
  • The board cannot be used on main roads and highways.
  • The upper-speed limit is 20 miles per hr.
  • The skateboard should not support power over 1000 watt.
  • Red and Yellow reflector lights on the backside and white night light on the front should be there on the skateboard.
  • The speed should not exceed 15 miles an hour in crowded and public areas.

State of New York

Skateboards aside, even Electric bike is considered illegal in New York. There has been a substantial ongoing protest about it, so changes are being considered.

State of Texas

Skateboards are categorized under ‘Motor assisted scooter’ in Texas, and its usability requires one to follow a few rules. These are -

  • The maximum speed should not exceed 35 MPH.
  • The skateboard is to be only used on sidewalks and bicycle lanes.

State of Florida

Since skateboards are officially categorized under Motor Vehicle, it requires registration. Given the size, shape, and other safety and design requirements of a motor vehicle registration, it is currently impossible.

As a result of this discrepancy in the categorization, Electric Skateboards are deemed illegal in Florida also. Similarly, as moto vehicles cannot be used on sideways and bicycle lanes, it is relatively impossible to use Electric skateboards anywhere in Florida.

Similarly, other states like Illinois, Alabama, Delaware, and Idaho also have a ban on electric bikes.

State of Michigan

In 2018, Electric Skateboards were made legal modes of transportation in Michigan. However, additional rules have also been implemented that need to be strictly followed. These rules include -

  • No electric skateboard can go over the speed limit of 25 mph.
  • The skateboard cannot have a power capacity of over 2500 watt.
  • A maximum of only one person can board and ride an Electric Skateboard at a given time.

As these regulations are not mentioned anywhere, it is essential to ask police or patrolling officers beforehand if you want to avoid incurring a fine of 50$ minimum for riding an electric skateboard within your locality.

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