Texas generally follows the federal rules outlined by the Department of Transportation. Electric bikes are classed as bicycles on the same level as regular ones. It means that electric bikes can be legally ridden on streets and roads up to 20 mph. But what is the Texas Electric Bike Laws?
Texas is a great place for bicycling, but Texas law regulates electric bicycles with a motor no greater than 20mph. You should familiarize yourself with many other laws to ride safely in Texas. This article covers the legal aspects of e-bikes in Texas and how they are different from gas-powered bikes.
- Is an E-Bike Considered a Motorized Vehicle in Texas?
- Rules for Riding E-Bike on the Road in Texas
- Texas State Electric Bike Laws FAQ
- Do You Need a License to Drive an Electric Bike in Texas?
- Can You Ride a 49cc Bike on the Road in Texas?
- Are There Any Age Restrictions to Riding an Electric Bike in Texas?
- What Are the Laws around Helmets in Texas?
- Are Electric Bikes Street Legal in Texas?
- Can You Ride an Electric Bike on the Sidewalk in Texas?
Is an E-Bike Considered a Motorized Vehicle in Texas?
First of all, yes. An electric bicycle is also known as a motorized vehicle in the state of Texas. Like a motorcycle or scooter, or personal golf cart or ATV, or whatever other cool little electric toy you have found, an e-bike is considered motorized means of transportation in the state of Texas.
You might not treat your electric bicycle SIMILAR to a motorized vehicle, but for the most part, it’s legally LIKE one. It’s for your own good to know the laws in your community and what includes an e-bike in your state. In Texas, electric bicycles numbered above 50cc are considered motorcycles and governed by their specific laws instead of your standard vehicle laws.
For example, in Texas, it is unlawful for any person to operate a motor-driven cycle unless they have a valid driver’s license. So, if you don’t have a valid driver’s license, you can’t ride one. The same goes for electric bicycles. You have to be sixteen years and above to ride one with power assist unless you’re on private property or designated bike trails.
Rules for Riding E-Bike on the Road in Texas
An electric bike is not just a mode of transport. It is a healthful lifestyle. The newest electric bikes come with advanced features to help you ride with ease and confidence. From ride modes to integrated lights, e-bike helps you maintain optimal cycling performance for your stride length, payload, and pedal cadence.
Riding an electric bike is smooth and easy on an electric bike. You don’t need to be an expert to ride one. Nevertheless, there are rules for riding an e-bike on the road in Texas.
E-Bike Law for the Road
Three classes of e-bike . So, with the law for the road, there are three classes: class 1, class 2, and class 3.
- Bicycles that are equipped with a motor
- A bicycle with an electric motor assists only when the rider is pedaling and stops when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
- A bicycle with a throttle-controlled motor stops assisting once the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
- A bicycle with an electric motor assists the rider only when the rider pedals and stops when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.
Electric bikes are also regulated just like bicycles, and they have the same road laws and rules guiding them.
Electric bikes are not compelled to registration, insurance, and licensing that apply to another form of transportation.
You have to be 15 years and above to operate a class 3 electric bike. You can ride like a passenger but not as a rider.
E-Bike Laws for Trails
- Local: You should always consult your local land agency
- State: There are rules and laws in the state regarding the use of e-bikes. Therefore, if you will ride your e-bike on any trail, you need to check the up-to-date information to avoid going against the law.
- Federal: Electric bikes are considered motorized cars and have access to motorized trails on federal lands. You should always check to know the updated information and rules on federal law for e-bikes.
Texas State Electric Bike Laws FAQ
Do You Need a License to Drive an Electric Bike in Texas?
You do not need a license to drive an electric bike in Texas. However, you must follow certain state regulations, including operating your electric bike at or below 20 mph and only on streets, avoiding off-street trails, and wearing a helmet if you are under 17 years of age.
Can You Ride a 49cc Bike on the Road in Texas?
Yes, you can ride a 49cc bike on the road in Texas. If your 49cc bike can go faster than 30 mph and has a motor larger than 48 cc’s, you will need to register it as a Moped. While it is legal to ride a 49cc bike on the road, you still must obey all traffic laws.
Also, you cannot ride a 49cc motorcycle on the road in Texas unless you have a Class M license or higher. However, if your state does not require you to have a license to operate a 49cc vehicle, you can ride it on the road because it is considered a moped.
Are There Any Age Restrictions to Riding an Electric Bike in Texas?
Yes, there are age restrictions to riding an electric bike in Texas. Riders must be at least 16 years of age to ride an electric bike. However, youths between the ages of 14 and 16, who own and operate an electric bike, can operate it under adult supervision only if the parent or legal guardian of the minor has written consent.
What Are the Laws around Helmets in Texas?
The laws around helmets in Texas are varied. Some cities, like Austin, have some of the strictest laws. In Austin, if you are under the age of 14 and riding a motorcycle, you need to wear a helmet while driving. At the same time, others have no requirements at all. If you are looking to learn more about the helmet laws in each city, we suggest you make more findings.
Are Electric Bikes Street Legal in Texas?
Yes, electric bikes (eBikes) are street legal in Texas. It is the class three electric bike that is legal in Texas.
Can You Ride an Electric Bike on the Sidewalk in Texas?
You can ride your e-Bike on the sidewalk anywhere in the state. However, cities and municipalities do have some control over whether you can ride your e-bike on the sidewalk and in what manner. In some areas, you are likely to own a permit to ride outside of the roadway. For example, Austin has a program under their non-motorized transportation umbrella that allows you to obtain a permit to ride an electric bike on the sidewalk located in one part of central Austin.
Laws and laws might change at any time, making the information above obsolete and useless. Check with your city, county, state, and other local agencies for the most up-to-date rules governing the safe and legal usage of electric bicycles in your area.
You can see other USA state Laws:
- New York State Electric Bike Laws and Restrictions
- Arizona State Electric Bike Laws & Restrictions
- Electric Bike Laws in Michigan & Restrictions
- Electric Bike Laws in Michigan
If you are considering buying a new electric bike in the state of Texas, you have come to the right place. We have put together this Texas Electric Bike Laws guide to help you make an informed decision. So, on this page, you have comprehensive information you need to abide by the law that guides ebike in Texas.
Hello, this is Evan Larry. The chief editor of this site, “eBikeBuster.” After completing my graduation in mechanical engineering, I worked for a renowned e-bike manufacturing company as a technician. I had worked there for almost six years, and later I quit the job and started my own business where I sell different types of e-bike and their tools and accessories. I created this site, eBikeBuster, to guide people, who are new to an e-bike and don’t have proper knowledge about its tools, accessories, and maintenance.