Motorized Bicycle Laws in New York

Motorized Bicycles in New York

Generic Court GavelAlthough depictions of New York are famous for it’s tall buildings and busy streets, motorized bicycles still provide a good alternative method of transportation. But it is important to know how your bike is classified, as different classifications of bikes have different laws and requirements.

Aside from electric bikes, New York’s classifications are pretty straight forward, having 3 different classes of bikes based on their top speed, which combines motorized bikes, mopeds and scooters together into each class.

Electric Bicycles

The State of New York has actually banned e-bikes from being used on the streets (and of course sidewalks.) So, it is currently illegal to use them on public roads.

Class C Motorized Bikes

To meet the Class C specifications in New York, your bike must have a top speed of 20 mph or less on level ground.

Class C motorbikes have the least amount of requirements, but you must still abide by the following:

  • You need a valid driver’s license (of any class.)
  • You need to get your bike registered through the DMV.
  • You need a working headlight when operating your vehicle.
  • You are not required to title your vehicle.
  • You are not required to carry insurance.
  • You are not required to get your vehicle inspected.
  • You are not required to wear a helmet, but it is highly recommended.
  • You must always drive in the right hand lane or on the shoulder, but never on the sidewalk.

Class B Motorized Bikes

Class B motorbikes have a top speed between 20 mph and 30 mph.

Like Class C bikes, you have a similar set of rules that you need to follow:

  • You must have a valid driver’s license (of any class.)
  • Your bike must be registered.
  • You must have a working headlight on while driving.
  • You are required to carry insurance.
  • You are required to wear a helmet and eye protection at all times while riding.
  • You do not need to get your bike titled.
  • You do not need to get your bike inspected.
  • You must drive in the right hand lane whenever or on the should whenever possible, but not on the sidewalk.

Class A Motorized Bikes

Class A motorbikes approach the capability, and thus, the requirements of standard motorcycles.

If you bike has a top speed between 30 mph and 40 mph, then it is a Class A motorized bike, and you must abide by the following:

  • You need a valid Class M/MJ driver’s license (a motorcycle license.)
  • You must have your bike registered.
  • You must have a working headlight on while riding.
  • You must wear a helmet and eye protection at all times.
  • You need to carry insurance.
  • You need to get your bike inspected.
  • You do not need to get your bike titled.
  • You can drive in any of the traffic lanes.

Registering Your Bike

As you can see above, all classes of motorized bikes need to be registered through the DMV.

To register your bike, bring the following items to your local DMV office:

  • Valid identification.
  • A completed MV-82 form (Vehicle Registration/Title Application.)
  • A proof of ownership, via a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO), a bill of sale, or the previous registration.
  • Some cash, a check or credit card to pay the registration fees.

The cost of registration will vary slightly depending on the weight of your vehicle.

Want a Motorized Bicycle?

We have a great selection of motorized bicycles for sale! While we recommend getting an e-bike, we also have motorized bicycle kits for sale and bicycle accessories for sale. All of our listings are highly reviewed, as you will see for yourself!

2 thoughts on “Motorized Bicycle Laws in New York

    • I think this website is confusing motor-assisted bicycles with mopeds or motor scooters.

      Mopeds and motor scooters are described in the Vehicle and Traffic Law as “limited use motorcycles” (section 121-b). LUMs are classified as Class A, B, or C depending on their top speed. All three classes require a driver license and registration, and Classes A and B require insurance. See: https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/register-moped.

      According to the DMV website you linked in your comment, motor-assisted bicycles cannot be registered or legally operated on New York streets. I would infer from that fact that one also cannot obtain a driver license or insurance for a MAB.

Comments are closed.