Do I need a license for an electric bike? This question is often asked by those who have bought or are about to buy an electric bike. It is clear that no one wants to break the law, so today we will talk about the legal side of owning this miracle of technology, as well as understand the intricacies of Russian law.
What is written in the law
And there is no specific information in the law about electric bicycles. From the word “at all”. There is no information in the traffic code about the drivers of such vehicles. But there are nuances:
- Thus, in 2013, at the legislative level, a separate category “M” was introduced, which gives the right to drive a moped and scooter, powered by both electric and diesel fuel.
- If your vehicle has an engine over 50 cc or an electric motor of more than 250 W, you must be in possession of a driver’s license and a valid insurance card. If the engine capacity is at the lower limit, you do not need a license.
This means that a driver’s license for a bicycle with a motor is not needed if the power of the unit does not exceed 250 W. And if you are the lucky owner of a much more frisky horse, then here you should already be guided by another article of the traffic code.
Do electric bicycles need to be registered?
It is not necessary to register a bicycle with an engine of less than 250 watts. The traffic police may very rarely require registration – only if you “ask for it. Often the electric bike does not have a suitable place to mount the license plate. The catch is something else – in the absence of external markings, the inspector will not be able to classify the bike, so you need to have some kind of proof of real power.
If the electric bike is equipped with a motor more powerful than 4 kW and accelerates up to 50 km/h, registration at the traffic police is a mandatory procedure.
Electric bikes with a motor above 350 W are mopeds?
It is not possible to say that an electric bicycle and a moped are the same thing. After all, their designs are noticeably different. But this does not mean that the owners of bicycles with a motor are exempt from the need to obtain a license. If the bike is equipped with an electric motor of more than 250 W, you must have a driver’s license.
What category of license is required
It is possible to obtain an official license to operate an electric bicycle or moped at the nearest department of the traffic police after completing training in a driving school. Drivers who are at least 16 years old can obtain the category “M”. If you have a Category A, B, C or other driver’s license, you do not need to take a separate “M” test.
You may ride an e-bike in a park or designated area, in your backyard or playground, or where there are no people or other vehicles on it. It is strictly forbidden to ride on the roadway without a driver’s license – remember that you not only endanger yourself, but also other people.
Liability for not having a license
If you ride a bicycle with an engine that exceeds 250 W, be prepared to face penalties that include:
- Monetary penalty. The amount of penalties is set at the discretion of the employees of the traffic police. The maximum limit is 15,000 rubles.
- Confiscation of the electric bicycle with its subsequent placement in the parking lot. To take the faithful friend from imprisonment, you will have to pay a solid amount. In addition, to take away the bike can a person who has a driver’s license with the appropriate category.
In the end, trivial irresponsibility can lead to much more money losses. Therefore, when you buy an electric bike, immediately resolve the issue with the documents, or better – do it much earlier.
The traffic regulations for electric bicyclists: are there any?
As such, there are no rules specifically for this category of driver. But there are general rules of the road that must be followed:
- Before you leave, you need to make sure that the vehicle is in good working order.
- Not to sit behind the wheel of an electric bicycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Notify other road users of planned maneuvers and stops.
- Take your hands off when crossing a crosswalk. Do not continue to ride even at a slight speed.
Keep in mind that when riding an electric bicycle, your speed, even if a little, is higher than normal. Take care of your safety – don’t forget your helmet and other protective gear.
If you are planning on buying an electric bike, make sure you have a driver’s license: get it in the appropriate category if you don’t have one. Or buy an electric bike with power that does not require a license. Do not forget to check the serviceability of all mechanisms – on the road you are responsible not only for yourself but also for other road users.