Looking to buy an electric scooter but don’t know if it is street legal or not? Then don’t worry as you are just in the right place as today we are going to shine some light on this complicated matter.
Scooters have always been a blast when it comes to having some fun, but lately, the electric scooters have taken the streets by storm. Either it’s your daily commute to work or just a spin around the block these electric scooters are fun to ride and also the easiest way to get around. That’s the reason why it is more appealing for young adults and millennial’s who are looking for new ways to get around.
With that said let’s get straight into the term ‘’street legal.’’
- What Makes a Vehicle Street Legal?
- Law Requirements in the Different States
- Best Street Legal Electric Scooters For Adults
- Comparison Table: Best Adult Electric Scooters
- FAQs: Street Legal Electric Scooters
- The Bottom Line
What Makes a Vehicle Street Legal?
For a vehicle to be ‘’street legal’’ it has to meet certain requirements that are determined by the road authorities that make the vehicle perfectly safe for you and for others on the road. So what that means is that it should have a set of brakes, signal lights, a specific configuration of lightning that would make the road visible for you, especially at night. Also at the same time, you must also be visible to others on the road, and most importantly your vehicle must be compliant with certain safety standards.
Now you know what features you must have in order to be in compliant with the term street legal, but that’s not all to it. You do have to figure out whether you need a license or not in order to operate your electric scooter on the public roads.
Though there is no specific law for electric scooters but the federal law that governs electric bikes is used most of the time to govern electric scooters. So according to Federal Law from 2002, ‘’any two or three-wheeled electric vehicle that is fully operational without the motor, when powered solely by the electric motor the top speed must be under 20mph, and the electric motor should produce less than 750W (1.01hp)’’.
So, if your electric scooter meets all the safety standards and is compliant with the Federal Law, then it is street legal, and you don’t need any license and registration to operate it on the roads. Though, some states have their own laws and restrictions when it comes to regulating the electric scooters. So you do have to dig a little more into it!
Law Requirements in the Different States
In California, a motorized scooter or electric scooter is defined as any two-wheeled device that has a deck to be stood upon with handlebars and is powered by an electric motor. So according to the law, it is not a motorized vehicle, so you don’t need any registration or license plates or any kind of insurance.
Apart from that, there are some restrictions when it comes to where you should ride and what rules you must follow.
- In the state of California electric scooters can only be operated on a bicycle path, trail or bikeway.
- You cannot ride your electric scooter on the sidewalk as they are for pedestrians only.
- You must be at least 16 years old in order to drive an electric scooter on the streets.
- If you are riding your e-scooter on the street, you must wear a helmet that meets the regulatory safety standards.
- If there is no bikeway or lanes for bicycles, then you can ride your electric scooter on the road as long as the speed limit for that road is no more than 25mph. Also for your safety, you should always ride it close to the right-hand curb unless you are overtaking or turning left.
So here are the five rules that you must follow when riding an electric scooter in the state of California.
The only difference between the state of California and Florida is that in Florida you do have to register your electric scooter. Also in order to operate your electric scooter, you need a valid driver’s license. Apart from that the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles clearly points out the difference between motorized scooters, mopeds, and motorized bicycles. So it’s better to check out their Official Website to know in which category your scooter falls.
Unfortunately, if you are living in New York, you’re outta luck. That’s because electric or motorized scooters and e-bikes are illegal to be ridden on the streets of New York. Here’s a list of all the motorized vehicles that are illegal in the state of New York.
- Motorized Scooter: a device that has a motor, handlebars and a deck upon which a rider can stand.
- Mini-Bike: It’s a mini-bike meant for off-road use and is powered by a motor. Moped, motorcycle or ATV’s don’t qualify as mini-bikes.
- Off-road Motorcycle (Dirt Bike): Any motorbike that is meant or designed for off-roading. These include dirt bikes meant to be ridden on off-road trails and off-road competitions.
- Go-Kart: A small motorized device, that has four wheels and is designed for off-road use is prohibited.
- Golf Cart: Also referred to as a Golf Car and Neighborhood Electric Vehicle. It’s a small motorized device, which has four wheels and is meant to carry people.
- Motor-assisted Bicycle: A bicycle with a small motor to assist you when your pedal is also prohibited from being operated.
Though it’s very unfortunate to use any motorized vehicle in New York but not every single one is banned. But you can check out some electric skateboards and see if they are illegal or not in your city.
Texas laws are somewhat similar to California, and you don’t need any license or registration to operate them. In the eye of law a motorized scooter is defined as a self-propelled device with:
- At least two wheels
- A handlebar
- A gas or electric motor that is 40cc or just under 900W (1.2hp)
- A deck to stand on or sit while operating the device
- Ability to be propelled by human power alone just like a kick scooter
Apart from that, all the laws that apply on electric bikes must be obeyed by the rider. Just like California, you can only ride them on trails, bikeways or bicycle path. Also if there is no bike lane you can ride your motorized scooter on the road as long as the speed limit of that road is less than 35mph.
Please use this page as a general source of information as it does not constitute legal advice. Also, the information on this page may not be comprehensive or current as the laws are always changing. So you are solely responsible if you break any laws.
With that said I would highly recommend you to get yourself familiarized with any local or municipal legislation. You can check out your State’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) official website as it’s the best source of information out there as you can look out for all the Transportation Codes that apply to you.
Now we can move onto the electric scooters for adults that are street legal.
Best Street Legal Electric Scooters For Adults
Here’s a full list of all the electric scooters that I’ll be reviewing and at the same time which come with the tag of ‘’street legal’’. So without any due let’s get started with the feature overview of TOP 3 Electric Scooter after that there’s a Buyer’s Guide and Comparison Table.
- Glion Dolly Foldable Adult Electric Scooter
- Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter
- Razor EcoSmart Metro Electric Scooter
- Segway Ninebot ES2
- Razor E300S Seated Electric Scooter
So, lets get started!
Check the latest price on Amazon.
First up on the list is Glion Dolly. I’ve been testing out electric scooters lately and what I found is that Glion Dolly is one of the best street-legal electric scooters that you can get out there. It’s best for people who don’t like to get stuck in traffic and prefer public transport but need something for their short last-mile commute.
There are two distinctive features that make it stand out from the other electric scooters; first, you’ve got a trolley handle so that when you are not riding you can roll it just like a suitcase and the second one is its ability to stand up vertically all by itself. Apart from that what I really like about Glion Dolly is that it’s a hell of a bargain when it only costs you around $500. With that said let’s take a look at some of its features.
It all starts with the strong and reliable, durable construction that is built to stand the test of time. Glion Dolly is built from 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum frame. The frame is also powder coated which prevents any rust and corrosion.
Other than that Glion Dolly comes equipped with
- 36V, 7.8Ah rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a 250-watt brushless motor. The battery when fully charged provides you with a range of 12-15 miles. The hub motor is also quite powerful as it delivers enough power to attain a top speed of 15mph which is faster than a runner at full sprint.
- 8-inch tires with a honeycomb interior. So what does this honeycomb interior do? It’s a military developed technology which makes your tires maintenance free; what that means is that they never go flat or need any kind of air.
- An electronic anti-lock brake is installed inside the rear hub motor that ensures smooth and secure braking.
- When fully loaded the scooter weighs around 28lbs which is not that impressive, but when you compare it with other electric scooters that weigh around 30-40lbs, then we can make a few exceptions.
- Also what I really like about this e-scooter is that it is highly convenient and portable. You can easily fold it within a few seconds by the help of foot activated folding mechanism and can take it anywhere you like without being noticed.
Apart from that Glion Dolly is quite energy efficient and an economical way to travel as for every 500mile you travel it’s only gonna cost you 1 dollar of electricity. INSANE Right!
While everything seems right with the Glion Dolly but that’s not all to it! As my only problem with Glion Dolly is its weight and electric brake.
- Weight: The heavy it is the more difficult it is for you to pull around though it is fairly balanced so it’s not that awkward to lift, but still it’s bulkier than you’d want it to be.
- Brakes: Glion Dolly features only one brake which is an electric brake present in the rear hub motor. So, the problem with that is; its quite weak and takes a lot of time to slow you down. So I’ll personally suggest you install a front brake or a rear disc or friction brake which would help you to stop in any kind of situation.
Apart from that, it’s the best choice for you if you are in need of an electric scooter that can take you from Point A to point B in a hurry. Also, you can bet Glion Dolly can kick some serious ass.
Check the latest price on Amazon.
Next up on the list is the Mi Electric Scooter. It’s a foldable electric scooter. Also, it’s the same scooter that many of the dock less electric scooter startups like Bird and Spin use as their flagship model. So you can bet that there is something special going on here with Mi e-scooter.
There’s a reason why these startups are using Mi scooters with a few little modifications. It’s pretty much affordable, easy to ride with a simple and minimalistic design, durable enough to last the relentless barrage of users unlocking and riding it all day long.
That’s why you should definitely consider it for your fast and quick, zippy trips.
At for just under $500, Mi electric scooter comes in with a long-range battery that can last up to 18.6 miles on a single charge. The battery is paired with a 250-watt motor that propels it to a max speed of 15.5mph. So if you’d like to compare it with Glion Dolly; it is both fast and has a high capacity battery that maximizes your range.
With that said let’s take a look at some of its other features
- At just 26.9lbs Mi electric scooter is made from aerospace grade aluminum which is durable enough to last years of fun riding. Also, due to its elegant and minimalistic design, you can fold it in just three easy and simple steps that won’t take you more than 3 seconds.
- Large 8.5-inch tires both in front and rear come pre-installed and feature great shock absorption and anti-slip treads.
- Ultra-bright headlight comes handy for night riding and red taillight at the back flashes while braking as a warning to aware other pedestrians and vehicles on the road.
- The feature that I like the most about Mi scooter is its braking system. It’s a double braking system that combines both worlds of disc braking and regenerative anti-lock braking that results in efficient and responsive braking. It’s so efficient that you can come to a full stop within as short as 4 meters.
Also, Mi features some of the best intuitive and easy-to-learn controls on the handlebars that you can’t find anywhere else. On the handlebar, you can find a single power button that will perform a variety of functions, LED lights that indicate remaining battery life, brake lever and an accelerator that gives you a gentle and controlled acceleration, so you don’t lose any control.
The only thing that I don’t like about this Mi scooter is that you can’t really roll it like Glion Dolly and if you’ll ask me it’s a big deal for me. Though it’s a bit lighter but I don’t like to lift it around all the time but if you have to choose between features and convenience then surely Mi absolutely clean sweeps Glion Dolly but for convenience I’ll give all my points to Glion Dolly as you can easily fold it within a second and can walk along it like a roller bag suitcase.
So it all comes down to your personal preferences and what features matter to you.
Check the latest price on Amazon.
Next up is the Razor EcoSmart electric scooter (also known as an electric moped or just moped). It’s an electric scooter with a seat just like a bicycle saddle. There’s something very special about the looks of the EcoSmart as it looks like a mix between a scooter and a mini-bicycle but whatever it is it looks pleasing and is a very clever and efficient design.
In fact, it looks so cool that you can seriously imagine it replacing the paper boy’s bicycle in the quaint suburbs. With that said let’s dive into the features that the Razor EcoSmart has to offer.
Let’s get started with the construction. The frame of the scooter is built from steel that is powder coated that prevents any rust and corrosion. As it’s a sit-down scooter, it has a lot more room for you and features a laminated bamboo deck. So you can ride it just like a bicycle, or if you are tired of sitting, you can ride it by standing straight upward.
- 500-watt extra high torque motor provides you with a top speed of 18mph on a flat surface, but if the surface has somewhat of downward incline, you can easily reach speed up to 20-25mph depending on how steep it is (but surely I won’t suggest you do these kinds of experiments).
- A 36V sealed lead acid rechargeable battery resides under the bamboo deck and will give you a range anywhere from 10-12 miles on a full charge.
- Both the seat post and the handlebar are adjustable so you can adjust it according to your height. Also, the rear luggage rack is detachable.
- Bicycle style seat post with extra cushioning for a smooth and comfortable ride. To add to the plush riding experience, the Razor scooter features 16-inch pneumatic tube tires on spoke wheels. Large tires really help with pumps and all but remember it’s not meant for off-roading by any means.
Last but not least you’ve got rear disc braking system which is quite handy when it comes to stopping fast in a smooth manner. Apart from that it also boosts your confidence as you know you won’t be bashing into walls and pedestrians.
On the downfall, the only thing that I really don’t like about the moped electric scooter is that it’s not foldable like the Mi or Glion electric scooter. Also, it’s quite heavier than both two and weighs around 67lbs. So yeah if you like the idea of sitting down and are in need of an electric scooter to get around town in a sleek way, then Razor EcoSmart Metro is the one to look for.
It has all the bells and whistles that you need; featuring a modern design and virtually silent motor it is perfect for your short commutes to work, coffee shops or just wanna go around the block it’s Perfect! Clean & Green!
Check the latest price on Amazon.
Segway has been quite successful with their Ninebot series, the one we are reviewing is the Ninebot ES2 electric kick scooter. It has all the features you need in a sleek, stylish design, shock absorbers, theft protection, customizable ambient light colors, Bluetooth and the most important of all it comes in with cruise control. INSANE Right!
This particular model competes with the Xiaomi Mi electric scooter but it is almost a $100 more expensive, and there are reasons for that.
The first one and the most important of all is that you don’t need to carry or lift it around as when folded you can easily roll it like your normal rolling carry-on luggage. Just like Glion Dolly! So you can take it anywhere you like and can fold and unfold it with a highly convenient one-touch folding system.
- ES2 can get up to a top speed of 15.5mph (25km/h) thanks to its powerful motor with a maximum power of 700W, and on a full charge, you can get a range anywhere between 10-15 miles.
- With large solid tires and built-in front and rear wheel shock absorbers the scooter ensures maximum comfort for the rider.
- Mechanical and anti-lock braking system comes pre-installed to ensure efficient and responsive braking.
Overall the scooter really gives you a smooth and comfortable ride with a never-ending joy of riding it all day long.
There’s not much for the cons when it comes to Ninebot ES2 as it is an upgrade from the ES1 which was already a perfect electric scooter for your daily commutes, but Segway really takes things up a notch with their upgraded ES2. Also if you would like to get a bit more range and power you can opt for the Segway ES4.
Though ES4 is a bit more expensive but it can give you that extra juice. It’s a lot more powerful and comes in with upgraded motor and dual batteries. It really combines performance with luxury as you can reach a top speed of about 18.6 miles and a max range of about 28 miles but its gonna cost you a few hundred buck more. So I’ll leave it to you!
Check the latest price on Amazon.
Razor E300 is probably the ugliest electric scooter in this list but don’t get me wrong as looks are not everything. As they are durable, sturdy and carries the same legacy of Razor’s kick scooters that burst onto the scene about 15 years ago and we used to ride them as a kid on city sidewalks and streets. But we’ve all grown older and have become lazier, so here we are with Razor’s electric scooter. (Note: Its more of an option for kids and teens)
There are two models available
So depending on your personal preference, you can opt for any of the two; whether you are a fan of the seat or not you can stand and ride it just like a regular kick scooter on both of the models. With that said let’s take a look at some of its features.
Razor E300 is the best electric scooter when you are on a really tight budget. It looks and feels pretty basic and also it’s the cheapest scooter on this list. With that said it’s got some really good things to offer to you in terms of value for money. As for the price of one Segway Ninebot ES2 you can almost buy two of these Razor E300’s. INSANE!
Apart from that, from the features point of view, it’s pretty basic. An electric motor is mounted on the rear end, and you can accelerate it with the help of twist grip throttle on the handlebar. On a full charge, you can ride it continuously for about 40mins and can gain a top speed of about 15mph on a flat surface.
The deck is wide and has got plum tires which help you to have really comfortable riding experience. Also, you can take it down some rough asphalt, and all kinds of potholes and the tires will nicely absorb all the vibrations. Stating the fact that it doesn’t even have any actual built-in spring suspensions.
It’s a budget pick, so you don’t expect it to be exceptionally good. As this e-scooter doesn’t come in with any special features so I’ll suggest you to shortlist this one as the famous saying goes ‘’you get what you pay for’’ so it’s really up to you and your personal preferences what you want from your electric scooter and how you’ll be using it.
Apart from that, the value for money is really good, and I would highly suggest you buy this if you wanna test things out and are on a really really tight budget.
Comparison Table: Best Adult Electric Scooters
|NAME||Glion Dolly||Xiaomi M365||Razor EcoSmart||NINEBOT ES2||Razor E300S|
|FRAME||6061-T6 Aluminum||Aluminum||Steel||Aluminum Alloy||Aluminum Alloy|
|SPEED||15 mph||15.5 mph||18 mph||15 mph||15 mph|
|RANGE||15 miles||18.6 miles||40 mins||15.5 mph||40 mins|
|EDITOR RATING||4.1 / 5||3.8 / 5||4.2 / 5||4.1 / 5||3.9 / 5|
FAQs: Street Legal Electric Scooters
Q: Can you ride Electric Scooters on the sidewalk?
A: Precisely, it is absolutely legal to ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk, just like a bike; same laws apply to the scooters. So if you are found guilty of riding your electric scooter on the sidewalk, you will be fined according to your local rules and regulations. However, if your kid wants to ride his/her scooter then if he is under 12, he/she can ride the scooter on the sidewalk.
Though it’s always pleasing to ride it on a smooth surface, and nobody likes to ride it on the pavement with those short wheels but sidewalks are made for people, and it can get pretty crowded with scooters, and all so don’t get over-excited by the tricks or by how smooth and efficient your scooter runs on the sidewalk.
Also, there are a few exceptions to this if there is no bikeway or bike lane you can use your scooter on the sidewalk. But there are a few rules that you should always follow
- If you are going over a sidewalk with pedestrians around then, you need to take extra care of others that are walking around you. In any case of someone’s injury, you’ll be responsible.
- You shouldn’t ride more than 10mph; riding slow is the key to preventing any unnecessary incidents.
- Make sure that your brakes are working properly before you step on your e-scooter.
- Last but not least if in any case you lose control just try not to hurt anyone.
So, that’s all you need to know about riding an electric scooter on the sidewalk.
Q: Does an Electric Scooter need a License?
A: The probability of whether you need a license or not mostly depends upon the state you tend to ride your electric scooter in. So depending upon the state you are in, you may or may not need a license to operate your electric scooter. So I’ll suggest you check your local laws before going out on the street, but in most of the states, you don’t need any kind of license or registration to operate your electric scooter.
That’s all when it comes to either you need a license or not
Q: Do They Need To Be Registered?
A: Just like the license and license plates it will greatly depend upon the state you live in. It is advised that you should get familiar with your local legislation just so you are not breaking any laws.
Q: What are the Road Laws?
A: There are a few road laws that apply to all of the riders and whatever the case you are obliged to follow these rules.
- You must wear a helmet all the time if you are riding a personal EV.
- You are only allowed to operate your electric scooter in the bike lane.
- You must not go over the speed limit of 25mph in any case.
- You must not have any other passenger with you (either it’s a kid, adult or anyone you are not allowed).
- You must not leave/abandon your electric scooter on the road or the sidewalk.
- You must have at least one of your hands on your handlebar at all times.
That’s all you need to know about the road laws. Also in most of the cases, road laws for electric scooters and e-bikes are going to be the same so make sure that you obey them.
Q: What’s the difference between an electric scooter and an electric bicycle? Or a moped?
A: Even though many companies use these terms interchangeably, there is a huge difference between them, and they all refer to many different things.
Electric Bikes: All electric bikes or bicycles will have the optional or permanently mounted pedals that are fully operational. So whether your battery dies these pedals will serve to continue or will provide some assist and extra horsepower to the motor. Also, these e-bikes are typically most immune to governmental restrictions.
Electric Scooter: This type of personal electric vehicle does not need any kind of pedals and all unless the manufacturer wants to characterize your scooter as an e-bike, but it is most likely that you will require some registration and a driver’s license to operate your electric vehicle. But the need for these documents can vary depending upon the Public Law 109-217. Also in some states, they can be totally illegal to be ridden like in the state of NY.
Moped: As most of the time a moped is powered by gas which increases its horsepower there’s a high probability that you’ll require the license plates, a valid driver’s license, and registration. Again depending upon the make and model you have it’s going to vary whether you need a title/registration or not.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, most of the electric scooters are going to be ‘’street legal’’ as no manufacturer wants their product to be illegal on the road. So all you have to make sure is that your electric scooter meets all the safety standards like lights for front, indicators and for braking, etc.
Also as this new trend of personal Ev’s have invaded our streets by storm most of the states have no specific laws and are being treated like an electric bicycle but as more and more people are moving towards this kind of clean, economical and eco-friendly electric vehicles more and more states are developing new laws and legislation. Who knows you might even need insurance and all to operate these scooters.
So that’s all to it!
Also if you have any suggestions that you would like me to add to this post or any question or query of yours that you have, feel free to ask in the comment section below!