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Is It Legal to Ride Electric Scooters on Streets in California

In the bustling urban landscapes of California, you must have seen people commuting on electric scooters. These sleek and eco-friendly vehicles become a common sight on city streets. So, if you also plan to get one for yourself, you must first understand the legal framework surrounding their use. So, here is a detailed account to answer this question: "Are electric scooters street legal in California?"

Are electric scooters legal in California?

Yes, riding electric scooters is legal if you follow the riding protocol. Let's see what it includes

1.Knowing an E-scooter and its Operational law: An electric scooter is typically a motorised vehicle equipped with two wheels, handlebars, and a floorboard for standing. So, if you are wondering about "Are electric scooters street legal in California," here is a thing for you. Yes, California law permits you to operate e-scooters with any class of driver's license without registering with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

2.No Passenger allowed: Well, first, you are not allowed to pick up and drop off people (commonly referred to as tandem rides)along the way under California Vehicle Code §21235. Yes, you have to commute alone. This regulation ensures that each scooter is operated by a single rider, promoting safety and stability on the road.

3. Helmet requirements: While you are not obliged to wear a helmet over 18, California Vehicle Code §21235(c) mandates that riders under 18 must wear helmets. Despite the absence of a legal requirement for adults, e-scooter companies like Lime, Bird, and Spin strongly advise wearing helmets to mitigate the risk of injury.

4. Speed Limit: Here is an important point to adhere to. Yes, as they say, "Speed thrills but kills." You must maintain the maximum speed limit of 15 mph for your electric scooters (California Vehicle Code §22411). So, if you have successfully figured out whether electric scooters are legal in California, you must follow this rule. As a result of non-compliance, you may end up in a traffic stop and issuance of a ticket, with fines potentially reaching up to $250.

5. Lane Restrictions: You must utilize designated bike lanes whenever available while commuting on your electric scooter, per California Vehicle Code §21229. However, exceptions are made for passing, turning, and navigating hazards encountered on the road.

6. Sidewalk restriction and Licensing: Another aspect of "Are electric scooters street legal in California" is the restricted lanes. Yes, Riding electric scooters on sidewalks is strictly prohibited under California Vehicle Code §21235. Additionally, you must possess a valid driver's license, as it is a prerequisite for operating an e-scooter. This law ensures that riders are familiar with traffic laws and regulations.

7. Turning protocols: Under the California Vehicle Code §21228, you must dismount and start walking while taking a left-hand turn. This measure aims to reduce the risk of accidents and collisions at intersections.

8. Crosswalk Guidelines: Remember that you cannot ride electric scooters in crosswalks under California Vehicle Code §275 and §21235(g). You may be subjected to potential fines of approximately $200 in case of violation.

9. Traffic Laws: You must follow the same traffic rules as other motor vehicle drivers, including obeying traffic signals, giving way to pedestrians, and showing considerable traffic sense.


As the popularity of electric scooters continues to soar, understanding "Are electric scooters street legal in California?" is paramount for riders. By familiarizing themselves with these laws, you can ease the potential burden on your finances and your health.

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