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E-Bikes: Laws and Driver’s License Requirements in Georgia

Bikes that operate on electricity, or E-bikes, actually have fully operable pedals and a seat just like regular bicycles. However, they also have an electric motor that provides power to propel the E-bike forward. Here we want to discuss the laws and driver’s license requirements in the state of Georgia for a person to operate an E-bike.

Defining an E-Bike in Georgia

The state of Georgia defines electric bicycles as any type of bicycle or tricycle equipped with fully operable pedals, that have a seat or saddle for the rider, and have an electric motor of less than 750 watts. Electric bikes are placed into one of three categories:

  1. Class 1 defines E-bikes as ones equipped with a motor that only provides assistance when the rider is pedaling and that turns off when the bicycle reaches 20 mph.
  2. Class 2 defines E-bikes as ones with a motor that can power the bicycle even when the rider is not pedaling and ceases to provide propulsion when the E-bike reaches a speed of 20 mph.
  3. Class 3 defines E-bikes as those equipped with a motor that only provides assistance when the rider is pedaling but stops when the bicycle reaches 28 mph.

Do You Need a Driver’s License to Operate an E-Bike in Georgia?

In Georgia, an individual does not need any special type of driver’s license to operate an E-bike.

What Are Georgia’s E-Bike Laws?

Some people think that E-bike operators are required to carry insurance or register the vehicle with the state of Georgia. That is not true. Electric bicycles do not have to be registered, and owners do not have to carry insurance to operate the E-bike. However, the power output of the motor of an E-bike in Georgia cannot exceed 750 watts.

There is an age restriction concerning E-bikes, but only ones that are considered Class 3. A Class 3 E-bike can only be operated by an individual 15 years of age or older. Additionally, any person who operates a Class 3 E-bike in Georgia must wear a helmet when doing so.

Electric bicycles are allowed to ride on the roadway, but they must be as far to the right as practical, just like regular bicycles. Additionally, electric bicycles are allowed onto marked bike paths. All local ordinances must be obeyed, including any local ordinances specifically restricting E-bike usage.

Do E-Bike Riders Have to Follow Traffic Laws in Georgia?

Yes, in the state of Georgia, E-bike operators must follow traffic laws.

When we examine Georgia law, we can see that bicycles are considered actual vehicles in this state, regardless of whether or not they are electric or powered solely by a person.

Bicycles are legally classified as vehicles in the state of Georgia. What does this mean? Well, it means that bicyclists are afforded the same rights as other vehicles, which means drivers of any other vehicle must adhere to the same traffic laws when bicyclists are present. This includes affording them the right of way when required by law.

Additionally, the other aspect of this law is that bicyclists are required to follow all traffic laws, just like any other vehicle driver on the roadways of Georgia. This includes E-bike users.

Even though bicyclists, including those who operate E-bikes, are allowed on the roadways in most places where other vehicles are allowed, they should be as far to the right of the roadway as practicable, just like regular bicycles. Electronic bicycles are allowed onto marked bicycle paths in Florida.

If you have a driver’s license, then you understand traffic laws. However, we want to give you a brief rundown of the requirements (or lack thereof) related to bicycling and writing an E-bike:

  • E-bike operators in Georgia are not required to have any type of special license to operate the bicycle.
  • E-bikes do not have to be registered in Georgia.
  • Georgia E-bike operators do not have to carry any additional liability insurance.
  • The output of an E-bike cannot exceed 750 watts.

There is an age restriction for E-bikes, but only those that have a motor that provides assistance when the rider is pedaling but stops when the bicycle reaches 28 mph. If the E-bike meets these specific requirements (Class 3 E-bike), then it can only be operated by individuals 15 years of age or older. Additionally, any person on a Class 3 E-bike must wear a helmet when riding.

Safety Gear to Wear When Riding an E-Bike

The safety gear necessary for a great and safe riding experience on an E-bike is similar to what an individual would wear on a regular bicycle. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Helmet: A must-have for head protection. Opt for one that meets or exceeds federal standards for added safety.
  • Reflective Clothing: Wear high-visibility jackets or vests, especially for night riding.
  • Padded Cycling Shorts: To enhance comfort and safety during long rides.
  • Gloves: Essential for grip and hand protection; padded gloves can reduce vibrations.
  • Safety Glasses: Protect your eyes from debris and glare.
  • Durable Shoes: Closed-toe, non-slip shoes for better pedal control.
  • Elbow and Knee Pads: Extra padding for joints in case of falls.

In addition to the safety gear you wear when operating an electric bicycle, we encourage you also to make sure that your bike is equipped with the necessary safety gear, including lights and reflectors, if you anticipate operating when there is limited lighting outside.

Riders Need to Maintain Safety

Even though the state of Georgia generally treats electric bicycles as regular bicycles when it comes to roadway safety, we need to caution any E-bike user in this state to maintain safety standards. The reality is that these bicycles typically reach cruising speeds that most bicyclists do not maintain regularly. These vehicles skirt the line between regular bicycles and mopeds, and individuals can sustain severe injuries if they are involved in an accident.

If you or somebody you love has been injured in an accident while riding an E-bike, you may need to seek assistance from a Newnan bicycle accident attorney who can help you recover compensation for your losses. This is particularly true if your crash was caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver in Georgia. Contact us today online or by calling us at (770) 251-7100 for a free consultation