If you’re thinking of springing for an E-Bike in Florida you’re in luck. On July 1st, 2021 the law was changed, making the state one of the best for Electric Bike access and availability.
Making a choice on the bike you need and what’s out there can be hard with state-to-state differences. We’ve summed up all of the relevant statutes and guidelines in an easy-to-read explanation of E-Bike laws in Florida.
Legal Disclaimer: We are not giving legal advice and you shouldn’t take this as the law. This is just a collection and summation based on what we interpret from local laws. We aim to keep it up to date but can’t guarantee anything.
Are Electric Bikes Legal In Florida?
Yes, on July 1st, 2020 the state passed a bill that gave E-Bike riders the same rights as normal cyclists. All three classes are allowed and there are minimal restrictions.
As the laws are fairly new some sites show older, incorrect information about classes, where you can ride, and minimum age e.t.c. This article is based on the latest laws.
Previous laws called E-Bikes “motorized bicycles”. This definition and its previous regulations no longer exist. Read on for the full E-Bike Laws in Florida so you know what your rights are.
What Class Electric Bikes Are Allowed In Florida?
All three classes of Electric Bike are legal to buy and ride in Florida. The standard three Electric Bike Classes that are suggested were adopted and are as follows: –
“Class 1 electric bicycle” means an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the electric bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
“Class 2 electric bicycle” means an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the electric bicycle and that ceases to provide assistance when the electric bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
“Class 3 electric bicycle” means an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the electric bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.
All three classes need to have fully operable pedals (even if they’re not the main method of activating the motor), a seat or saddle, and the motor should be less than 750 Watts.
You do still need a permanent label in a prominent location that shows the class number, top assisted speed, and watt power.
For more on Class 1, 2 + 3 read – What Are Electric Bike Classes?
Top Watt Power For Electric Bikes In Florida
All the classes of Electric Bike in Florida can be up to 750 Watts in power total.
How Fast Can Electric Bikes Go In Florida?
Class 1 and 2 are allowed up to 20 mph and Class 3 up to 28 mph. You can go faster when coasting or pedaling but the motor should be programmed to stop giving you assistance after that.
Do You Need A License Or Plate For E-Bikes In Florida?
No, there is no need to register or get a license for E-Bikes in Florida. No plate needs to be displayed and no documents/cards need to be shown.
Do You Need Insurance For E-Bikes In Florida?
You don’t need any insurance to ride an E-Bike in Florida. However, you’re still liable if you cause an accident and can still get fined or prosecuted for breaking E-Bike class regulations or standard bicycle laws.
It’s absolutely worth getting Electric Bike insurance to cover personal liability, accident cover, theft, damage, and more. Electric Bikes cost a lot and are obvious targets for thieves.
What Is The Electric Bike Minimum Age in Florida?
There is no minimum age for riding an Electric Bike in Florida.
Under previous laws there was a minimum age of 16 for the old definition of a “motorized bicycle” but that definition was removed in July 2020 and a new one for electric bicycles was added.
Many websites still have the old information and are incorrect. Mopeds and electric or motorized scooters also come under a different definition.
Do You Have To Wear A Helmet When Riding An Electric Bike In Florida?
Anyone under 16 must wear a helmet on an Electric Bike as the standard bicycle rules apply. If you’re 16 or over you don’t need to wear a helmet – though you should.
It must be properly fitted and securely fastened. The person responsible for the person under 16 is in charge of making them wear the helmet.
Can Electric Bikes Carry Passengers In Florida?
Yes, E-Bikes can carry passengers as long as there is a passenger seat just like normal bicycle laws. The seat has to be a permanent and “regular” seat.
Any child under 4 has to be in a seat or carrier designed specifically for kids, and it has to be secured to protect them from the road and the bike’s parts. You can have a child under 4 in a backpack or sling.
Are E-Bike Laws Different To Standard Bicycle Laws In Florida?
Basically no, your rights are the same as non-electric cyclists as of the latest law updates. E-Bike riders by default have all the rights, access, requirements, and liability of standard Bicycle users.
However, local laws can be enacted to restrict where E-Bikes can be ridden. This does mean there are a few beaches and local areas that are trying to discourage E-Bike usage.
As with all bicycles in Florida, you must have working brakes, white lights on the front and red at the rear if you ride between sunset and sunrise, and you can’t wear headphones or even a single earphone unless it’s a hearing aid.
Bicyclists in Florida also cannot ride “two abreast”, or side by side, unless on a specific path meant for bikes only.
Are Throttle Electric Bikes Legal In Florida?
Yes, you can get a Class 2 E-Bike that is primarily driven using a throttle in Florida.
It’s also arguable that as long as Class 1 or 3 E-Bikes are mainly propelled by your pedaling that having a booster throttle on top is OK. However, that’s a gray area.
Do You Need A Speedometer On Electric Bikes In Florida?
There is nothing stating that Electric Bikes need a speedometer in Florida
Is There A Weight Limit For E-Bikes In Florida?
No there is no weight limit for riders or cargo on Electric Bikes in Florida.
Can You Get Fined For Riding An Electric Bike In Florida?
If you don’t make sure that a person under 16 you are responsible for wears a helmet you may be liable. You are also liable for all normal traffic tickets that apply to bicycles in Florida.
Drinking / Drug Laws For E-Bikes In Florida
Bicyclists and Electric Bike riders can be liable for fines, jail time, and further prosecution if found riding while intoxicated. The standard BAC level is 0.08 and for those under 21 is 0.2.
The fine can be up to $2,000 and can include community service, with jail time up to 9 months. DUI or DWI charges on a bike do count towards charges on your regular driving license too.
Can You Modify Electric Bikes In Florida?
Yes, it’s fine to modify Electric Bikes in Florida as long as you stay within the class system and don’t go above 750 Watts. If the class, top speed, or wattage changes you need to replace the permanent label to show the new details.
Where Is It Legal To Ride An Electric Bike In Florida?
Florida’s latest Electric Bike legislation is great for access as it basically says you can go anywhere that bicycles are already allowed.
Chapter 2020-69 Section 8 – Section 316.20655 (7) of the laws of Florida states: “An operator may ride an electric bicycle where bicycles are allowed, including, but not limited to, streets, highways, roadways, shoulders, bicycle lanes, and bicycle or multiuse paths”.
The one possible problem is that local areas can make their own rules on where E-Bikes can and can’t go. You might find certain areas that are really against them have managed to get their local area to block use on certain trails or streets.
Can You Ride An Electric Bike On The Sidewalk In Florida?
Yes, riding an Electric Bike on the sidewalk is legal in Florida. You must give the right of the way to pedestrians and make an “audible signal” if you are going to overtake or pass one. You also don’t have to use a bike lane if there is one.
Can You Ride An Electric Bike On The Road In Florida?
You can ride an Electric Bike on most roads in Florida – just like bicycles can. You must stay close to the curb (when safe to do so) unless turning left, and have to make hand signals for turns. You must also obey all standard traffic laws and not run red lights.
You can’t ride an E-Bike on interstate highways or limited access facilities. There are some specific schemes that are testing out bicycle lanes and access on certain bridges and highway sections in Florida.
Can You Ride An Electric Bike In Bike Lanes In Florida?
Yes, riding an E-Bike is allowed in bike lanes in Florida. You have the same rights as cyclists.
Can You Ride An Electric Bike On Bike Paths In Florida?
Yes, Electric Bikes can use bike paths in Florida. Some paths may have specific rules so check ahead of time.
Can You Ride An Electric Bike On Trails In Florida?
By default, you have the same access rights as other bicyclists on trails. All Classes of E-Bike are treated as a bicycle. However, some trails have specific rules for E-Bikes that you should know before you ride.
As an example, the popular Pinellas Trail specifically allows Electric Bikes.
Can You Ride Electric Bikes In National and State Parks In Florida?
All classes of Electric Bike are allowed in all National Parks wherever normal bicycles are allowed. National Parks are governed by the National Park Service (not the state), who are given jurisdiction over E-Bike use.
However, the intent is that E-Bikes should be used (pedaled) like regular bicycles, and exclusive use of a throttle for all riding is prohibited. Put simply you should be pedaling all of the time, though a little throttle use is OK.
Some parks do have their own restrictions so check the specific park you’d like to visit. National Forests also have their own jurisdiction and often restrict Electric Bikes.
Are DIY E-Bikes Legal In Florida
Yes, DIY E-Bikes are legal in Florida. That means you can build your own from scratch, add a kit to an existing bike, or modify your Electric Bike for more power, a bigger battery, or better software.
However, you must still stay within the State’s Class system and guidelines, as well as follow standard bike safety laws.
You’ll also need to affix a new permanent label with the new class, top assisted speed, and watt power. The label must be in Arial font of at least 9-point type.
Full Electric Bike Laws In Florida
The bill introduced the three-tier Class system and allowed Electric Bikes everywhere normal bicycles can go – with the caveat that local authorities can still make their own rules on where they can go.
It got rid of the old definition used – “motorized bicycle”, as well as the 20 mph speed limit, age limit of 16, and more.
The full text of the latest laws as of 2020 can be read a little easier here. Click the “entire chapter” for the definitions of an Electric Bicycle.