Electric Motorcycle License USA: A Guide to Legal Requirements

Apr 02 2024


In the year 2024, an assortment of electric motorcycles will cater to riders of diverse preferences, ranging from low-powered electric scooters to high-performance electric superbikes. The extensive array of options, however, may lead to uncertainty when contemplating the purchase of your inaugural electric motorcycle, particularly regarding the requisite license.

Therefore, we aim to address all the frequently asked questions pertaining to licenses for electric motorcycles.Indeed, it is imperative to possess a motorcycle license to operate any electric motorcycle. It’s important to note that electric bikes do not fall under the same requirement; they do not mandate a license. Nevertheless, regulations regarding electric bikes vary from state to state.

Distinguishing e-bikes from electric motorcycles

E-bikes function akin to traditional bicycles, with an electric motor providing assistance through pedaling. In contrast, electric motorcycles do not necessitate pedaling, with all movement regulated by the throttle.While operating an e-bike does not demand a specialized license, a motorcycle license grants permission to ride a two-wheeled motorcycle. It’s crucial to understand that a car license does not confer the legal right to operate a motorcycle, three-wheeled motorcycle, or any other vehicle.

1. What Type of License is Required for an Electric Motorcycle?

There exist two classifications of motorcycle licenses in various states: Class M1 and Class M2. The specific class of license required depends on the specifications and type of the electric motorcycle.

2. Differentiating between the two classes:

Class M1 License: This license authorizes the operation of any type of electric motorcycle, encompassing those with an equivalent horsepower exceeding 150cc, electric mopeds, and electric scooters.

Class M2 License: More restrictive in scope, a Class M2 license permits the operation of a moped or any motorized bicycle not exceeding 30 mph.

Additionally, a Class C License, typically intended for cars, is necessary if the electric motorcycle is equipped with a sidecar or has three wheels.

4. How to Acquire a License

Securing a license for an electric motorcycle closely mirrors the process of obtaining a license for an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) motorcycle.

5. Firstly, eligibility for a motorcycle license requires:

  • Age between 15 to 16 years old, dependent on the state.
  • Successful completion of a vision test.
  • Possession of a valid driving license for at least 6 months.

Subsequently, undertaking a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)-approved rider training course becomes necessary. This course imparts the skills necessary for motorcycle operation. Upon completion, a certificate is issued, permitting the individual to undertake the practical and written exams administered by the DMV.

Successfully passing both exams results in the issuance of a motorcycle license, commonly referred to as the ticket to an exhilarating experience.

6. Steps to Take After Acquiring Your License

The first step is to obtain a motorcycle license. The next step is to buy an electric motorcycle. Despite this presumption that you already own one. It is essential to obtain insurance for electric motorcycles and finish the DMV registration process.

Getting registered and getting insurance is essential since not doing so is against the law and puts people and oneself in danger. State-to-state variations may exist in the specific registration procedures for electric motorcycles. But generally speaking, you’ll need to attend the DMV with the following.

  • Certificate of Title
  • Proof of insurance
  • Valid motorcycle license (as per state regulations)
  • Applicable fees

Once insured and registered, the road awaits.

7. How Do Electric Motorcycle License Requirement Differ Across States?

The prerequisites for obtaining an electric motorcycle license exhibit minor variations from state to state.

For example, even after getting a motorbike licence, riders in California who are 17 years and 6 months old or older are not allowed to ride in the dark or with passengers. Furthermore, completion of an authorized motorcycle safety training programme is a requirement for eligibility for an M1 or M2 licence until the age of 21 or older. Since state regulations governing motorcycle licencing are set, it is essential for individuals to become familiar with the requirements particular to their state by referring to local DMV resources, which are available on the separate DMV websites.


In conclusion, navigating the electric motorcycle license landscape in 2024 requires clarity. Understanding the distinction between electric bikes and motorcycles is crucial, as the latter mandates a Class M1 or M2 license, depending on specifications. Acquiring the license involves age requirements, vision tests, and completing a DMV-approved rider training course.

Beyond the license, riders must secure insurance, complete DMV registration, and adhere to state-specific regulations. Variations exist across states, such as California’s additional restrictions even after obtaining a license. Staying informed and consulting local DMV resources ensures a legal and enjoyable riding experience as the electric motorcycle community continues to evolve.

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