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Electric Scooters in New York State: What are the rules?

There was a time when you could not commute on your e-scooters in NYC. However, in 2020 electric scooters were made legal in the city. This has made life easier for people who want to commute on electric scooters. But, there are certain laws to follow in order to avoid fines and penalties. Let us discuss “Electric Scooters in New York State: What are the rules?”

Knowing New York State’s Electric Scooter Legislation in Detail

The V.A.T. Law § 114-E defines an electric scooter as a device “that weighs less than 100 pounds, has handlebars, a floorboard or seat, and electric motors”.  An E-scooter may be a device that is powered by an electric motor or it can also be human powered. The maximum speed of an electric scooter may go up to 20 mph, but you cannot ride them over 15 mph as per law. 

You can now ride your electric scooters in New York City. You’ll have to follow some laws. For example, if you want to have fun with an automated version of transportation, you need to be familiar with the updated law laid down by New York City local authorities.

Guide to Electric Scooter Laws in New York: Rules & Regulations


Age Limit:

Not everybody can ride an electric scooter in New York City, instead, you have to be a certain age to commute on this vehicle. The minimum age for you to ride an electric scooter without any legal complications is 16 years old. If you are under 16, you are not allowed to commute on the scooter. This rule recognizes the importance of the safety of the riders and the rest of the traffic.

As much as the age limit has been prescribed by law, you are not required to hold any specific licence or a driving licence to operate this vehicle. Having said this, if you ride an electric scooter without a driving licence, you need to be careful to ensure safety.


There is no such application by law to wear a helmet for the rider scooter in NYC, which provides you an additional layer of safety. It is a general rule, but according to V.A.T. Law § 1286(1), there is a specific law for riders who fall between the age group of 16 years and 18 years regarding wearing a helmet. So as a general rule, if you are 18 years or older, you are not bound by law to a helmet, but it is always advisable to wear one to ensure your safety.

Vehicle Registration and Insurance:

If you are a new rider, there might be a lot of questions in your head regarding the vehicle. For example, there might be confusion about the classification of electric scooters as they are related to cars, bikes, or motorcycles. Similarly, you might be having questions about the registration and insurance of your vehicle.

Well, The law does not require you to register an E-scooter or get a licence. Besides, these electric scooters have become legal in the city only recently. There are no set rooms for insurance of the vehicle. However, if you are driving a car in New York City, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is a must-have. 

Since it is a matter of safety, before you hit the road in NYC with your scooter, inquire about any insurance requirements with the relevant authorities.

Where to ride?

NYC is perhaps one of the public hotspots with thousands of people moving on the road every second. Considering the crowd situation local authorities restrict electric scooter riders from entering the sidewalks of the city. However, you can manoeuvre them freely on street and bike lanes with speed not exceeding 30 MPH.

Traffic laws:

E-scooter traffic laws are no different than rules for other vehicles like cars, trucks, and bicycles. So if you are new to NYC and want to commute a scooter, you must be aware of the local traffic laws.

Lawsuit allowed or not:

If in case you get injured while riding an electric scooter in NYC, you have the option of filing a lawsuit for compensation. However, there is a minimum injury threshold for filing such a suit for compensation. To file a suit for compensation you must have incurred the minimum economic loss of $50,000.


So this was all about the “Electric Scooters in New York State: What are the rules?” Getting familiar with the local laws is important as it ensures your safety, and that of others too. If you are new to the city, it is always recommended to contact the local authorities to get detailed information on the traffic routes and an updated set of laws around riding and scooters in NYC. Irrespective of riding places, riders commit some basic and common riding mistakes. Knowing them well in advance and adopting a proactive approach can save them from all sorts of hassle.

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