Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

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Helmet laws for electric bikes

Summary: States are adopting electric bike classification and rules laws that sometimes include helmet requirements for all ebike riders or for Class 3 (28 MPH maximum speed) riders.

The model ebike legislation being promoted to states by PeopleForBikes and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association includes a provision for mandatory helmet use for all riders of Class 3 ebikes, the pedal assist bikes capable of up to 28 MPH. The list below is compiled from the PeopleForBikes fact sheets on each state. Class 1 ebikes are pedal assist bikes capable of no more than 20 MPH, and Class 2 ebikes have same maximum speed but have a throttle in addition to pedal assist.

The International Mountain Bike Association has a fact sheet that covers the differences in ebike classes.

Note: Some states in the list below have bicycle helmet laws that apply to ebikes, and many localities do. We have a page listing those laws. We have included the state requirements for all bicycles including ebikes below. For a list that excludes regular bike helmet laws, see this PeopleForBikes spreadsheet. They have additional detail on the ebike laws. Most ebike laws requiring helmets for riders also cover passengers.

Jurisdiction Covers
Alabama All classes, all ages
Alaska Local bike requirements only
Arizona Local bike requirements only
Arkansas Class 3 riders under 21 years old
California Class 1&2, under 18. Class 3, all ages
Colorado Class 3, under 21
Connecticut Class 1 & 2, under 16. Class 3, all ages
Delaware All classes, under 18
District of Columbia - Washington DC All classes, under 16
Florida All classes, under 16
Georgia Class 1 & 2, under 16. Class 3, all ages
Hawaii All classes, under 16
Idaho No requirement
Illinois Local bike requirements only
Indiana Class 3 under 18
Iowa No requirement
Kansas Local bike requirements only
Kentucky Local bike requirements only
Louisiana Class 3, all ages
Maine All classes, under 16
Maryland All classes, under 16
Massachusetts All classes, all ages
Michigan Class 1 & 2 local bike requirements. Class 3, under 16
Minnesota No requirement
Mississippi Local bike requirements only
Missouri Local bike requirements only
Montana Local bike requirements only
Nebraska No requirement
Nevada Local bike requirements only
New Hampshire Class 1 & 2, under 16. Class 3, under 18
New Jersey All classes, under 17
New Mexico Moped law, all classes, under 18
New York Class 1 and 2, state and local bike helmet laws
North Carolina All classes, under 16
North Dakota "Motorized Bicycles" No requirement
Ohio Class 1 & 2, local requirements. Class 3, all ages
Oklahoma All classes, local requirements only
Oregon All classes, under 16
Pennsylvania All classes, under 12
Rhode Island All classes, under 16
South Carolina No requirement
South Dakota No requirement
Tennessee Class 1 & 2, under 16. Class 3, all ages
Texas All classes, local requirements only
Utah No requirement
Vermont No requirement
Virginia Class 1 & 2, local requirements. Class 3, all ages
Washington State All classes, local requirements only
West Virginia Class 1 and 3, under 15 plus local requirements
Wisconsin Local requirements only
Wyoming No requirement

Albany County NY has adopted an all ages ebike and escooter law.

Here is our page on local and state bike helmet laws.

We have a page on ebike helmets with more information on them.

Here is a fact sheet on ebike class definitions.