North Carolina State Electric Bike Laws

North Carolina State Electric Bike Laws

How does North Carolina define what an electric bike is?

The state of North Carolina (NC) defines an E-bikes are defined as “electric assisted bicycles,” so long as the e-bike’s motor is under 750w, has a maximum speed of 20mph, and has operable pedals. The same rules of the road apply to
both e-bikes and human-powered bicycles.

Do you need a license, insurance or registration in North Carolina?

The state of North Carolina does not require registration of electric bikes.

What are the restrictions on Motor power or throttle in North Carolina?

According to the state of North Carolina, an electric bike as a bicycle with a small helper motor with less than 750W and a maximum speed of 20mph on flat surfaces.

Are there any age restrictions to riding an electric bike in North Carolina?

Riders must be at least 16 years of age.

What are the laws around helmets in North Carolina?

Helmets are not required.

What are the rules for riding on the road in North Carolina?

§ 20-4.01(49) Vehicle. – …for the purposes of this Chapter bicycles shall be deemed vehicles and every rider of a bicycle upon a highway shall be subject to the provisions of this Chapter applicable to the driver of a vehicle except those which by their nature can have no application.

As drivers of vehicles, bicyclists are allowed to travel on all public roadways except fully controlled access highways (freeways) such as interstates. NCAC 19A.2E.0409 OPERATING NONMOTORIZED VEHICLES: It is unlawful for any person to ride any animal, or to operate a bicycle or horse drawn wagon or any nonmotorized vehicle or moped on any interstate or other fully controlled access highway.

State law does not specifically address whether electric bicycles are allowed on bike paths. Consult your local authority or agency for information about whether electric bicycles are permitted on bike paths

Operators of electric bikes must yield to human-powered devices and pedestrians.

Additional Notes:

Every bicycle shall be equipped with a reflex mirror on the rear and both of the following when operated at night on any public street, public vehicular area, or public greenway:

  • A lighted lamp on the front thereof, visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of at least 300 feet in front of such bicycle.
  • A lamp on the rear, exhibiting a red light visible under like conditions from a distance of at least 300 feet to the rear of such bicycle.


Laws and policies can change at any time rendering the above information outdated and non-applicable. EVELO strongly encourages checking with City, County, State and other local agencies for the most recent laws governing the proper, legal use of electric bicycles in your area.


North Carolina General Assembly

North Carolina Department of Transportation 



North Carolina State Electric Bike Laws