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2024 State Legislative Roundup: E-Bike Registration & More

We’re four months into 2024, and most state legislatures across the country are in session deciding the laws and funding allocations that will shape life in each respective state. The decisions state lawmakers make have the ability to impact residents’ access to safe infrastructure for active and multimodal transportation, along with the regulations that govern different methods of transportation. Like 2023, electric bicycles (e-bikes) and other assisted methods of transportation are a popular topic in statehouses this year. 

It may be no surprise to some reading this that e-bikes continue to be on the menu in one way, shape, or form in the majority of state legislatures. What may surprise some however are the bills that go beyond rebates and class definitions, like the efforts happening in several states that would restrict accessibility and put in place burdensome regulations that treat e-bikes more like motor vehicles than their non-motorized siblings. 

Restrictive E-Bike Bills

At least three states are considering legislation that would require e-bike owners and those using other electric mobility devices like scooters to register their devices similar to how most are required to register vehicles. Residents of New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York are at risk of additional registration requirements, fees, and potential legal penalties if their state adopts these restrictive transportation bills. 

In addition to requiring the registration of electric bicycles, several states including two of the three mentioned above are also trying to require a license or photo identification to operate an e-bike or similar electric mobility device.

Furthermore, Oregon passed a bill and Florida tried to pass a similar law that would limit the age of riders who can use e-bikes, e-scooters, and other electric mobility devices. 

Why These Bills Matter

The League is deeply concerned about proposed legislation in several states mandating registration, licensing, and insurance for low-speed e-bikes and other electric mobility devices. While ostensibly for safety, these bills would actually burden people who bike, particularly people who rely on bikes as their main mode of transportation. If the focus is truly on safety, then the bills should emphasize proven safety measures like education, infrastructure improvements, and vehicle safety technology. 

The requirements for e-bike registration and insurance are inappropriate, costly, and not relevant for these electric mobility devices. Unlike motor vehicles, e-bikes are involved in few crashes with significant property damage or insurance claims, are relatively inexpensive, and do not pose substantial dangers to others. We require registration and insurance for motor vehicles because they cause more than 40,000 deaths each year in the United States. E-bikes do not pose the same danger and justify the same level of regulation. These proposed regulations could also discourage people from switching to e-bikes, worsening traffic safety.

If adopted, these regulations and additional fees would make e-bikes and e-scooters less affordable, disproportionately affecting low-income communities and communities of color, who rely on them for transportation. These laws could exacerbate existing transportation inequities and push people away from choosing sustainable modes of travel. Registration, insurance, and licensing are all not readily observable and may lead to increased interactions with police potential based on pretextual reasons rather than bad behaviors This is especially concerning for people of color who are already disproportionately stopped and searched by police while biking. Ultimately the proposed laws would limit access to e-bikes for the majority of people in each state including, but not limited to seniors, young people, families without cars, undocumented residents, and people with disabilities.

Not only are these regulations bad for residents, but they are also bad for our environment. These laws threaten each state's progress towards net zero emissions by making electric bicycles and other electric mobility devices less accessible. In a time when many other states have incentivized e-bikes with rebate programs to help combat climate change, it’s sad to see a few take steps backward.  


The League firmly opposes these bills, and we are not alone in urging states to prioritize infrastructure improvements and equitable transportation policies over burdensome regulations on micromobility devices. To learn more about why these bills are so harmful, read the latest sign-on letter we along with our partners sent to members of the New Jersey Legislature voicing our opposition to Senate Bill 2292 and Assembly Bill 3359.

Stay tuned to our Action Center for opportunities to voice your support or disapproval of cycling-related legislation in your state and at the Federal level.

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