Legal in New York
What kind of small electric scooter is legal in New York (without a driver's license)? Does anyone know?
The kind that is both DOT certified and that qualifies as a class "B" or "C" "Moped" in NY. That means it can go no faster than 30MPH. My Oxygen Lepton (which is still for sale!) falls under this category, as its top speed is 28MPH. Board-type scooters, even with handlebars and seats and lights, are not legal in NY.
You know, I misread the original post. I thought he was asking what scooter(s) could be ridden here in NY without a *motorcycle* license. The answer to what he actually asked is much simpler: none of them. Zilch. Not even electric assist bicycles are legal here, and they make sure to tell you that you can't ride them on the sidewalk, either. So you need to get a driver's license, after which what I first wrote will be correct.
What you say about power assisted bikes is not true. If it looks like a bicycle, it's a bicycle. I have one. There are a few of us here in Huntington, NY.
What you say about power assisted bikes is not true. If it looks like a bicycle, it's a bicycle. I've been riding my Trek for about 3 years. There are a few of us here in Huntington, NY.
Apparently you didn't read the web link I provided, or read what I wrote clearly. E-bikes are *not legal* in New York, state or city. That doesn't mean that people don't ride them, or even that they aren't sold here (the retailers can just argue they are for use on private land only). What it means is that any police officer and/or Judge who wants to penalize you for riding one has the law behind them. Some locales ignore them, others leave well-behaved E-bicyclists alone (this seems to be the case where I live), and others will ticket you and impound your bike regardless of circumstances. Believe me or not, as you wish...
"Motorized Scooters, Mini-Bikes, Dirt Bikes, Go-Karts, Motor Assisted Bicycles"
You cannot register any of the motorized devices from the list below in NYS. You cannot operate these devices on sidewalks, public streets or highways in NYS. These devices are motor vehicles, but they do not have the correct equipment or design for operation on roadways.
Motorized Scooter - a device with a motor attached and a handlebar for a standing rider. An example of a motorized scooter is the device called the Go-ped®.
Mini-bike - a small, motorized device with two wheels and created for off-road use. A mini-bike does not qualify as a moped, a motorcycle or an ATV.
Dirt Bike - a motorized device like a motorcycle, but created for and used for off-road use. Some "dirt bikes" qualify as an ATV. These vehicles can register and operate off-road as an ATV.
Go-Kart - a small, motorized device with four wheels, created for off-road use. You cannot register a go-kart as a motor vehicle or ATV because a go-kart does not have the same equipment.
Motor-assisted Bicycle - a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle does not qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and does not have the same equipment.
These devices are not allowed on any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk or other area that allows public motor vehicle traffic. You are subject to arrest if you operate one of these motorized vehicles and do not have a registration, driver license, inspection, insurance or correct equipment. The DMV can not provide any information about operation of these devices on private property. Contact the local authorities and property owners.
It's an un-enforcible law then. My pedalic looks like a bicycle with a large rear hub. It would have to be a pretty anal police officer to stop me for riding this.
Before the Federal Ebike Law (20 mph, 750 watts, must have pedals) all the states did whatever they wanted and there wasn't even a shared framework to start with.
Since then we've seen many states adopt the Federal law.
However... the Federal Law is more of a "suggestion" because it has no real authority over the states.
Each state has the "right" to reject or accept what they want.
In the case of New York state the city is probably where the "anti-ebike" thinking came about because of the crazy bike messengers they have. People in upstate New York are forced to accept city solutions.
My guess is if you are far from the city that the police would be more willing to ignore you.
(but I'm just guessing)
Just don't try to race an ebike through the middle of New York city !!!
One thing to keep in mind...
Most of the world uses a 250 watt power limit, so the fact that the US encourages these higher powered ebikes is actually a very welcomed thing. Had things gone differently the US might have been saddled with a blanket 250 watt law.
But in some ways the 750 watts causes it's own problems because it's so much more power than cycling power that there is a nearly irresistable urge for more. Throw in the "EV Grin" that becomes the "EV Bummer" when the acceleration fades and you have created a situation where people find themselves unsatisfied with triple what other people are permitted. This then creates a culture of "stealth" where people go to extreme lengths to behave as criminals who hide their illegal behavior.
The "Gruber Assist" is probably the most invisible solution... if you like running scared and illegal.
If I was living in New York I'd just ride a regular bike... why fight the law?
Some states allow "motorized bicycles" to travel at speeds up to 30 mph and are less concerned with power.
Race tracks like Go Kart tracks are also being used to race these ebikes. (no speed limit or power limit)
Where I am living on the North Shore of Long Island, it's fairly hilly. I tried to ride a regular Trek bike and nearly killed myself. I didn't want to ride any more. With power assist I can really fully enjoy the bike. I am 72 years old. The bike is my only means of independent transportation. That's why.
I ride an EZIP because I have serious problems with my legs and feet, and it's actually helped me to be able to ride my unassisted mountain bike more (and to lose weight and lower my blood sugar), so I understand. Just don't confuse "I'm getting away with doing it" with "It's perfectly legal here." Your best bet in NY is to ride an E-bike that looks as normal as possible, and to ride it as conservatively as possible - no hot-rodding', violating traffic laws, or riding without pedaling. It probably wouldn't hurt to carry some medical documentation with you, as well.
E-bike riding is like pot smoking. They tolerate it in small amounts (lol).
New York is the only state that has gone to the extreme of banning ebikes.
All the other states either allow "Federal eBike Law" legal or higher.
In Missouri I used to be able to have as much as 3 hp and ride up to 30 mph "legally", but the police were so cool about things I was able to do a lot more. They just didn't think enforcing laws on "low powered" vehicles was something worth bothering with.
Just don't do anything that will piss anyone off and you should be fine.
It's those crazy bike messengers that pissed everyone off that prompted the ban most likely.
If pulled over be sure to show your age... take off anything covering your face. The police tend to go after the "punks with attitude" and so you want to make it clear you are a mature and reasonable person. Submit to authority and they will tend to relax. Never try to be smarter than the policeman.
As the joke goes:
"My friends think I'm so sharp they call me a pinhead."
...don't be a pinhead. ;)
Electric bicycles are unregulated in New York State. DMV laws banning "motor-assisted bicycles" refer to bicycles with small gasoline engines, not electric bicycles.  There is a proposed bill to regulate ebikes. As of May 2009, Bill A2393("Defines the term electric assisted bicycle") has been passed in the NY State Assembly  and its corresponding Bill S4014, sponsored by Senator Thomas Morahan, passed the Transportation Committee of the New York State Senate on January 26, 2010.
...so the issue is actually not that clear.
The "stink bikes" with the noisy motors are illegal, but the ebike is not included in that.
There might be hope for New York after all.
S 102-C. ELECTRIC ASSISTED BICYCLE. A BICYCLE WITH TWO OR THREE WHEELS WHICH HAS A SADDLE AND FULLY OPERATIVE PEDALS FOR HUMAN PROPULSION AND ALSO HAS AN ELECTRIC MOTOR. THE ELECTRIC ASSISTED BICYCLE'S ELECTRIC MOTOR SHALL: HAVE A POWER OUTPUT OF NOT MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND WATTS; BE INCAPABLE OF PROPELLING THE DEVICE AT A SPEED OF MORE THAN TWENTY MILES PER HOUR ON LEVEL GROUND; AND BE INCAPABLE OF FURTHER INCREASING THE SPEED OF THE DEVICE WHEN HUMAN POWER IS USED TO PROPEL THE DEVICE AT OR MORE THAN TWENTY MILES PER HOUR.
So it's "20 mph, 1000 watts, must have pedals".
...nothing to worry about. ;)
So this issue of ebikes in New York seems to be RESOLVED.
Electric bicycles are unregulated in New York State. DMV laws banning "motor-assisted bicycles" refer to bicycles with small gasoline engines, not electric bicycles.  There is a proposed bill to regulate ebikes. As of May 2009, Bill A2393("Defines the term electric assisted bicycle") has been passed in the NY State Assembly  and its corresponding Bill S4014, sponsored by Senator Thomas Morahan, passed the Transportation Committee of the New York State Senate on January 26, 2010."
The law simply states "motor" and does not exempt electric motors. The above interpretation is just that: optimism as opposed to legal fact. The proposed bill is great, but it has not been voted on despite being around for several years, IIRC. So E-bikes are still "illegal" for use on public roads and sidewalks, and not "unregulated." Hopefully the bill will come up for a vote, pass in both houses in NY, be signed into law, and *then* E-bikes that conform to it will finally be legal here.
It didn't pass already... it's been sitting since 2009 ?
Wow... well at least our federal government can pass budgets every year.
It's so nice to be able to trust that government has our best interests at heart.
(I'm joking of course)
Makes those ancient christians seem wiser.
(imagine how screwed up politics got back then)
So the ebike is getting "crucified" it seems in New York state.
Strange though... to get so close to passing the bill and then stop suddenly. ?????
Writing a proposed Bill and submitting it for consideration isn't getting especially close to passing it anywhere, but especially not in NY. Here, they don't even vote on bills unless they are guaranteed to pass.
Why wouldn't it pass?
Something "fishy" is going on... I can't think of any honest reason to not pass it.
Maybe there is some corruption going on?
Someone must benefit "somehow" by blocking people in New York from using ebikes.
The only thing I can imagine is that there is a strong hatred of bike messengers and if ebikes became legal they would instantly adopt them for delivering messages and packages. Once the public finds out the politicians sided with the hated bike messengers they get all kinds of anger.
Other than that I can think of no other reason to not pass it.
Hmmmmm... maybe there is a "cycling snob" lobby that wants to keep out ebikes?
I tried to follow these posts, and the NY DMV regulations. The NY ban on electric bicycles seems to apply.
I have an e-Weels 6-speed mountain bike, with a 20 MPH max speed. I have a NYS automobile driver's license, but bike is not registered, not tagged, and not insured..
NYS DMV says I can't register my ebike, and only registered vehicles are allowed on pulic roads.
I'd rather obey laws, but might be tempted if only facing ~$20 fine. Confiscation of ebike, plus a heavy fine, are not worth the risk.
Am I missing something in interpreting the present DMV regs?
Unfortunately, you have it just about correct. Ironically, you can ride an unregister-able ATV for a few hundred yards on public roads here, and a registered snowmobile to get from one path to another, but not an E-bike - not a single foot. It's insane. Oh, and many bike paths allow snowmobiles in Winter, but E-bikes? Never.
http://dmv.ny.gov/registration/register-moped http://dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv82.pdf here is everything you have to know about registering your vehicle. There are established classes with a 20, 30 and 40 mph top speed. I just don't see the problem. Here in California you can have the DMV issue a "I'm not kidding" VIN number plate that is a stick on. NY State has the same classes as California. There must be some way to get by the DMV bureaucrat. I suspect logic would work.
So you don't think those of us in NY with E-bikes have read the DMV regs? Like the Bible, it's easy to find a single page that supports any position. You, however, want to read this one:Thanks for playing!
They have the right listings. What is the difference between a motorized bicycle and a moped..not much. Turn signals and brake lights. Some bureaucrat in NYS has their head where the sun don't shine. I'd just keep trying to register as a 20mph moped. Keep asking what you need to do. I went down to the Highway Patrol office to get a 3 wheel cart certified as a moped. Took 10 minutes. If you keep trying some clerk might OK it and then you are in. Until then just keep it under 20mph. Lawrence Rhodes
Just a couple years on here in NYC and the pots now become "legal," OK, decriminalized (or whatever that is...)yet our ebikes are STILL considered illegal? and it's a 'blanket ban,' it seems and yes it's because some idiot Chinese takeout delivery guy, silently smashed into a City/State Senator in approx 2005 (or a councilman/woman) I don't exactly recall and even the yearly attempt to repeal the ban in Albany, finally making it to it's furthest point this last year, it's still technically illegal to operate one, so as they've always smoked pot despite its previous BAN, it seems we'll do the same on our ebikes ;) I mean, Never drink and drive!! smoke pot then go ebike ;p