Washington State Electric Bike Laws

Washington State Electric Bike Laws

How does Washington define what an electric bike is?

The state of Washington (WA) defines electric bicycles as “electric-assisted bicycles.” The electric bike must have two or three fully operational pedals for human propulsion and the electric motor must be no more than 750 W. Electric bicycles are classified as Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 as defined below:

  • Class 1 electric-assisted bicycle means an electric-assisted bicycle in which the motor provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 mph.
  • Class 2 electric-assisted bicycle means an electric-assisted bicycle in which the motor may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle and is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 mph.
  • Finally, Class 3 electric-assisted bicycle means an electric-assisted bicycle in which the motor provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 mph and is equipped with a speedometer.

Do you need a license, insurance or registration in Washington?

The state of Washington does not have licensing and registration requirements for electric bikes.

What are the restrictions on Motor power or throttle in Washington?

The state of Washington determines that e-bikes must have a motor of less than 750w.

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

No person under the age of 16 years can operate a class 3 electric bikes, unless they are riding as a passenger.

What are the laws around helmets in Washington?

Helmets are required for riders under 16 years of age.

What are the rules for riding on the road in Washington?

Electric bicycles are allowed on roadways and limited access highways, bike lanes, bike paths, and multipurpose paths. Local jurisdictions are allowed to modify these and restrict use when necessary. While Class 1 and Class 2 electric-assisted bicycles are not explicitly prohibited from riding on sidewalks, it is unlawful to ride a Class 3 electric-assisted bicycle on a sidewalk unless there is no alternative.

Additional Notes: 

An electric bike can't be modified to change the speed capability of the electric-assisted bicycle, unless the label is appropriately replaced.

Disclaimer:

Laws and policies can change at any time rendering the above information outdated and non-applicable.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.

Source:

Washington Bikes
Washington State Legislature