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Electric Bikes and Mopeds in NYC: What’s Legal and What Isn’t

Food delivery riders and others often use motorized vehicles to navigate the streets of New York City. Each type of vehicle, such as electric bikes and mopeds, has different rules, according to the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT).

Documented created this guide to help you understand the differences and the rules for safely operating electric bicycles and mopeds in New York.

Electric bikes and mopeds have different rules according to the New York City Department of Transportation. Here is what you need to know.

Rules for using a moped

Mopeds or motorcycles typically do not have pedals. 

  • There are three “classes” of mopeds in New York. Class A has a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour, Class B has 30 miles per hour, and Class C has 20 miles per hour. 
  • Wearing a helmet and registering the moped with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is mandatory for all classes. 
  • For Class A: you need a motorcycle driver’s license (M/MJ). You can only ride in automobile lanes and cannot be ridden in bike lanes.
  • For Classes B and C: you need a regular driver’s license. You can ride in automobile lanes or on the “right edge, except for left turns,” according to the DOT.

Other recommendations and rules

  • You can only use an electric bicycle or moped if you are 16 years or older. 
  • You must wear a helmet by law if you are under 18, but it is recommended for everyone. 
  • Tips for keeping your electric bicycle battery safe. 

Also read: How Undocumented Immigrants Can Get Their Driver’s License in New York

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