Do I Need A License To Ride an Electric Scooter?

According to California’s Vehicle Code (CVC) §21235, it’s necessary to have a driver’s license to operate an e-scooter. It doesn’t matter which class driver’s license you have, so long as it is legal. California also allows anyone over the age of 16-years-old that has a learner’s permit to legally operate an e-scooter.

While e-scooter users require licenses, they don’t need a special vehicle registration. It’s not a requirement to have insurance or license plates. It’s also not necessary to register an e-scooter with the DMV to ride it in California. You can find all of these laws are listed in CVC §21224.

It’s important for e-scooter users to carefully review CVC §407.5 to ensure their vehicle meets California’s definition of an e-scooter. Different vehicles like mopeds, motor-driven cycles, and motorcycles have very different license requirements.

In CVC §407.5, the California legislature clearly defines an e-scooter as a two-wheeled vehicle with handlebars and a floorboard that the user can stand on. Obviously, an e-scooter must also have an electric motor! E-scooters may also have a driver’s seat, but this isn’t a requirement.

It’s legal to operate e-scooters on roads with 25 mph speed limits, so long as the e-scooter is traveling at 15 mph or less.

For those who are interested, the definitions of a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, and moped are listed in CVC Sections 400, 405, and 406, respectively.



Check with your local DMV for your state law.

Alabama Louisiana Ohio
Alaska Maine Oklahoma
Arizona Maryland Oregon
Arkansas Massachusetts Pennsylvania
California Michigan Rhode Island
Colorado Minnesota South Carolina
Connecticut Mississippi South Dakota
Delaware Missouri Tennessee
Florida Montana Texas
Georgia Nebraska Utah
Hawaii Nevada Vermont
Idaho New Hampshire Virginia
Illinois New Jersey Washington
Indiana New Mexico Washington, D.C.
Iowa New York West Virginia
Kansas North Carolina Wisconsin
Kentucky North Dakota Wyoming