eBike Classifications and Laws

California Electric Bicycle Policy Explained

Knowing the class of your e-bike will tell you where and how you can ride. For instance, in California, a Class 3 electric requires that the rider wear a helmet. E-bike users in Class 2 and below can be any age and have access to pathways meant for cyclists.

Low-speed electric bicycles are almost like regular bikes. Class1 and 2 electric bicycles (with top assisted speeds of 20 mph) are allowed wherever regular bikes are allowed unless a sign specifically prohibits electric bicycles.

Mopeds and high-speed electric bikes are not like regular bikes. Gas-powered bicycles and Class 3 electric bicycles (with top assisted speeds of 28 mph) may not be used on trails or bike paths or lanes unless allowed by local authorities. They may be used in bike lanes or separated bikeways adjacent to the roadway. CVC 21207.5  They require helmets and may not be operated by people under age 16.

Key Differences Between E-Bike Class 1, 2, & 3

California's e-Bike Law for Trails

  • In California State Parks, Class 1 and Class 2 electric bicycles may be allowed where bicycles are allowed as long as they’re not specifically called out as prohibited. They are currently allowed in Wilder Ranch State Parks, as well as Folsom and Auburn State Recreation Areas. Contact California State Parks for more information.
  • FEDERAL: As of August 29th 2019 all eBikes up to 750 watt can now access Federal Lands and natural parks anywhere a regular bicycle can access.  The one exception is National Forests, the forests are managed by the Department of Agriculture and these changes are not implemented yet on the forests.  Changes are happening to align all Federal land to the recent Order.  Contact the US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Regional Office or the BLM California State Office for more information.

Further Information