Do You Need a License for An Electric Scooter?
The use of scooters has skyrocketed with increased awareness about the importance of green energy and reduction in emission of greenhouse gasses. Now everyone wants to get a scooter, not only for these reasons, but also because riding them makes it easy to navigate through traffic laden roads. While this trend is currently in vogue, one important question people ask is: Do you need a license for an electric scooter?
The answer to this question is that it depends on the city. In some parts of the world, especially in the United States, most states – apart from California and a few others – haven’t made laws around the use of scooters. But in some European countries, you will need a license to drive an electric scooter.
The truth is, electric scooters can be quite addictive. It feels cool to hop on a scooter, zap around the city and maneuver through traffic and tight spaces at a crazy speed. It’ll give you that excitement of living life on the edge, but it can endanger you, pedestrians and other road users.
Why Laws For Electric Scooters Are Important
Many cities have enacted laws that require people to get a license to drive an e-scooter. This legislation aims to maintain sanity on roads. However, when you consider that scooters are not as fast and intensively used as cars and motorcycles, you may want to ask “why do you need a license for an electric scooter”?
Why Do You Need a License For An Electric Scooter?
Some reasons are as follows:
- To prevent under aged people from riding on main roads.
- Many cities require a license for any vehicle that has a speed of up to 25 km/h or power output of more than 250W.
- To ensure that the riders meet the requirements for driving on public roads.
- To ensure that the scooter is roadworthy.
Are You Planning on Riding in Public?
If you don’t intend to ride on public roads and restrict your riding to your private facilities, then you can forget about getting licensed.
But if you intend to ride on public roads, parks, campuses, and other crowded places, it is ideal to find out the requirements for your city. Learn about all the rules for riding an adult scooter in that state and ensure to abide by them. You must also note that some cities restrict riding in certain places even if you’re fully licensed.
Scooter Licensing in Different Parts of the World
Every state and country has unique ways of regulating e-scooter usage. They could either require a license, or allow people to ride around their city without being registered like regular vehicles.
Do You Need a License to Drive an Electric Scooter in North America?
As should be expected, North American countries don’t have a unified law for e-scooter use and licensing. Each state and country has specific rules. They include:
In the states like California, Florida and many others, you need to possess a valid driver’s license to ride an electric scooter. Many other states — like for example New York, Hawaii, Washington state, and New Jersey — don’t require a license.
In Canada, the laws surrounding electric scooter usage differ across provinces and rules are being changed frequently. In Ontario, there is a pilot program that allows municipalities to choose where and how e-scooters may be used. Whether you need a license, depends on the municipality. The same applies to Alberta.
In British Columbia, e-scooters can only be ridden in public in communities participating in the pilot project of the state. A driver’s license is not required in participating communities.
Do You Need a License for an Electric Scooter in Europe?
Different European countries and states have laid down rules for getting a license for an electric scooter. They include:
In the United Kingdom, you can only ride electric micromobility devices which are fitted with pedals that are capable of propelling it and comply with the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) rules. As e-scooters do not have such pedals, they can only be used on private land with the landowner’s permission. It is illegal to use them on public roads, pavements, in cycle lanes as well as pedestrian-only areas.
In Ireland, you need a valid driver’s license before you can ride your micromobility device on public roads.
Austria, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and many others
You can drive an e-scooter in public without possessing a driver’s license.
In Belgium, you require a Category AM driving license (driving license for drivers of mopeds, scooters, and light motor-powered vehicles) to ride a scooter.
In Poland, you need to get a class AM, T, B1 or A1 driving license to ride a scooter.
Do You Need a License for an Electric Scooter in Asia?
Some Asian countries have strict rules on the use of electric scooters, while some others don’t care so much about it.
In Japan, any scooter that can exceed 9 km/h must be registered, licensed and abide by all traffic rules.
In India, you don’t need a license, insurance, or registration. The only rule is that you shouldn’t exceed 25 km/h.
In Singapore, it’s a different ball game altogether. Your scooter will be given a plate number by the Land Transport Authority. You must also get a license and avoid speeding beyond 25 km/h.
People living in Korea can only ride their micromobility device from 7 am to 8 pm. They must have a license and only drive by the sidewalks.
The authorities in some parts of South Asia like Cambodia and Vietnam require you to have a license. In some other parts, the laws aren’t that clear, so while some cops will pull you over and ask for a license, some will only ask for your passport.
In Australia, riding private scooters in public without possessing a driver’s license is only allowed in the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia. In South Australia, the use of private e-scooters isn’t legal beyond private property. This also applies to the Northern Territory.
In New South Wales and Victoria, e-scooters can only be ridden in trial locations. Here, a driver’s license is not needed.
There is no clear-cut answer to the question “do you need a license for an electric scooter?” The requirements differ from state to state, but speed limit is one constant factor that cuts across all regions. This is why you need to buy an excellent scooter like the Äike T, which has ride optimization features for you to set your speed limit to avoid flouting the rules of riding scooters in your city.