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An Introduction

To use and drive any form of electric motorcycle, you'll need a motorcycle licence. A motorcycle licence allows you to operate only a two-wheeled motorcycle and not a car or any other sort of vehicle. Motorcycle licences are divided into two categories: Class M1 and Class M2. Depending on the type of electric motorcycle, a different form of licence would be necessary.

Does an Electric Bike Need Licence?

It might be difficult to keep up with transportation legislation in a continually changing environment where new cars and bikes are always being developed. We know how regular vehicles are classified and what kind of driver's licence is required to operate them, but what about plug-in electric vehicles, such as electric motorbikes and scooters?

All sorts of electric motorcycles, including motor-driven cycles, mopeds (bikes with pedals), and commercial motorised EV scooters, require a licence, notably full-sized street-legal electric motorcycles.

The problem with electric motorbikes is that the phrase encompasses a wide range of one, two, and three-wheeled electric vehicles with varying horsepower, features, and speeds. Electric motorcycles are frequently used interchangeably with electric bikes or e-bikes, as well as scooters. After all, motorcycles are also referred to as motorbikes. And it is in this grey region that the majority of issues arise.

Following the central definition of e-bikes, we may draw a boundary between what constitutes an electric bike and what constitutes an electric motorcycle. We can now say with absolute certainty that if you want to ride an electric motorcycle, you'll need a licence.

The fact that the regulations governing their use and licence vary from state to state is one of the major hurdles, if not outright impediments, for persons looking to acquire and ride electric bikes. That said, it's always a good idea to check with your local motor vehicle registration (Department of Motor Vehicles in your state) and the bike's manufacturer about the legality and licence requirements for an electric motorcycle.

What Kind of Electric Motorcycle Licence Do I Need?

  • M1 Licenses -

With a Class M1 licence, you can operate any form of electric motorbike, including full-fledged electric bikes with more than 150 cc of horsepower, electric motor-driven cycles, electric mopeds, and electric scooters.

  • M2 Licenses -

If all you want to do is cruise around town on a moped or motorised bicycle, all you need is a Class M2 licence. The restrictions on a Class M2 licence are more stringent. It can only allow you to ride a moped or a motorised bicycle at a speed of less than 30 miles per hour. If the top speed of your motorised bicycle exceeds 30 mph, you may be required to obtain a Class M1 licence.

Any class of driver's licence will suffice if you only want to use a motorised scooter or an electric scooter. You must pass a vision test, a written test, and have a certificate of completion of the motorcycle basic rider course to apply for a motorbike licence. If you are under the age of 18, you must additionally pass a driving test.

What types of electric motorcycles can I ride without getting a license?

  • A licence is required to ride any form of electric motorcycle. To operate a motorcycle, including electric scooters and mopeds, the rider or driver must have a valid driver's licence.

  • An electronic bike, often known as an e-bike, can be ridden without a licence. All classes of e-bikes, including class 3 e-bikes with a top speed of up to 28 mph do not require a licence to operate. Motorized bicycles, including e-bikes, that reach speeds of more than 28 mph however, require a licence to operate.

  • The distinction between electronic bikes and electric motorbikes, particularly mopeds, is becoming increasingly blurred as the growth of electric bikes continues apace. New e-bike types, in particular, can operate at the same speed as motorcycles.

  • Pedals are standard on all electric bikes. This is one of the most crucial characteristics of an electric bike. It wouldn't be a bike without it. Not all two-wheeled vehicles with pedals, however, are termed bikes. A moped is a two-wheeled motorcycle with pedals. Even if some mopeds are slower than e-bikes, riding one would always require a licence.

Requirement for New Laws

  • As the distinction between electric bikes and electric motorcycles blurs and the usage of two-wheeled electric vehicles grows, the regulations governing these vehicles must evolve to keep up.

  • All diverse sorts of two-wheeled vehicles need to be grouped together and given a consistent definition, word, and classification. Currently, each government or state develops and implements its own set of rules and regulations for various sorts of two-wheeled vehicles. In different jurisdictions and nations, similar vehicles are arbitrarily classified as an electric bicycle, motorised bicycle, or motorbike with pedals (moped).

  • With the rise of electric powered vehicles as a preferred mode of urban mobility, such as e-motorcycles, e-scooters, electric unicycles, and other transporters, it may be necessary to create a new class of driver's licence that applies to these types of urban transporters.

  • More teenage riders who are unfamiliar or lack familiarity with traffic restrictions are using them, necessitating the requirement for a licence. Riders of two-wheel vehicles must also understand a variety of safety precautions and rules. Electric vehicles, particularly for urban and personal transportation, are a new and rapidly emerging form of vehicle that need new regulations and licences to be properly regulated. One should also consider electric bike insurance to safeguard their vehicle from any harm. 

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FAQs on Requirement of Licence for Electric Bike

  • ✔️Is it against the law to ride an electric scooter without a valid driver's licence?

    Privately owned e-scooters are still banned on public roadways, bike lanes, and just about anywhere else. Anyone who rides a scooter on their own risks receiving a substantial fine and six points on their existing or future driver's licence.

  • ✔️Is a bike licence required for an electric bike?

    For drivers who are unable to drive, electric bikes are a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative mode of transportation. Electric motorcycles that fulfil certain technical specifications are not required to be registered, insured, or taxed, and they do not require a licence to ride.

  • ✔️In India, do electric bikes require a licence?

    All electric vehicles in India must be approved by the ARAI. Vehicles with less than 250W and a top speed of less than 25 km/h do not require certification. Thus, they do not have to go through the complete testing process. Instead, they must obtain an exemption report from ARAI.

  • ✔️What kind of permit is required for riding an electric motorcycle?

    Electric motorcycles and mopeds that can reach speeds of more than 28 miles per hour. There are no speed limits, however you must be 17 or older and have completed a CBT course OR have a full motorbike licence to ride.

  • ✔️What is the top speed of electric bikes?

    When you're pedalling, you can go as fast as your legs will allow. When pedalling at 20 mph, however, most bikes stop offering electric assistance. At speeds of up to 28 mph, some will offer assistance.

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