e-bike license

California, New Jersey E-Bike Licenses: Is This New 2024 Legislation Needed or a Nuisance?

by Nathan Schaumann

In both California and New Jersey, e-Bike License bills (here and here) have recently been proposed (not yet passed), advocating for licensing, education, age-limits, and insurance requirements for riders of electric bicycles in the respective states. If these bills pass, those without a regular drivers license will be required to complete an online course, pass a written test, and get a state ID to legally operate an electric bicycle in California, and will be required to hold up to $35,000 of liability protection in New Jersey. Let’s take a closer look at each bill, and what this could mean for the industry.

The California E-Bike License Bill


  • Children under 12-years old BANNED from using e-Bikes
  • Bikers can be ticketed for riding without a helmet, carrying passengers if bike is not rated to support them

Potential Effects:

  • Increased educational resources for non-drivers
  • Opens the door for more e-bike-related protections and traffic laws
  • Limits transportation options for non-citizens
  • Potential deterrent to prospective e-bike riders

The New Jersey E-Bike License Bill


  • Class 1 or Class 2 e-bikes must be registered with Motor Vehicle Commission
  • Class 1 or Class 2 e-bikes must carry liability insurance

Potential Effects:

  • Increased cost to using e-bikes
  • Protection for e-bike crash victims

California E-Bike Licenses – The Freshly Charged Take

While it would be nice to see e-Bikes get more official legal recognition, I worry this bill could turn into a major deterrent for kids considering e-Bikes. One major advantage of e-Bikes is the freedom – easy to ride, easy to park, not cost-prohibitive – and so introducing hoops to jump through could decrease the number of kids hopping on E-Bikes, thereby increasing the cars on the roads, and further contributing to traffic and congestion. If this bill passes, I would consider it a success only if it increases the number of kids on bikes.

New Jersey E-Bike Licenses – The Freshly Charged Take

It seems silly, in my opinion, to require an e-bike to carry liability insurance. Bikes are 1600x less deadly than cars, and a bike causing a fatal or otherwise expensive injury to anyone besides its rider seems like such a rare occurrence that doesn’t warrant forcing every e-bike rider to go out and spend $30-40/month just to use their bicycle.

E-Bike Comparison Tool

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