Nebraska Ebike Laws - What Are The Restrictions?

Last Edited
May 5, 2022

Nebraska ebike laws

Nebraska has traditionally not been a very bike-friendly state. Antiquated laws, such as not being allowed to ride on the road, if there were bike paths or bike lanes, trails alongside the road, have been on the books in Nebraska up until 2016.

That said, there have been some recent changes to the laws that make Nebraska ebike laws more friendly towards cyclists and more in line with the ebike laws in other states.

What is the definition of electric bikes in Nebraska?

Nebraska classifies an Ebike as being powered by pedals or an electric motor up to 750 watts but limited to no more than 20 mph. This means that Class 1 and Class 2 Ebikes are permitted in Nebraska, but higher-speed Class 3 E-bikes are not allowed.

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

In Nebraska, e-bike owners can purchase e-bikes and don't require licensing, insurance, or registration.

What is the helmet law in Nebraska?

Nebraska's law does not specifically require helmet usage while a person is on an electric bike.

What is the age restriction for e-bike riders?

Currently, there are no age restrictions for a person to ride an electric bike. Parents or guardians are responsible for the actions of children under the age of 16.

Young man riding an electric bike

Electric bicycles in Nebraska

The state of Nebraska classifies Ebikes as motorized vehicles and, as such, they should obey the same rules of the road as motorists. One restriction to be aware of though, is that bicycles are not allowed to ride on interstate highways or freeways in Nebraska. (a freeway is defined as a fully access-controlled highway with “no” at-grade crossings).

All bicycles, electric or regular, must ride single file on roadways and stay as far right as possible while traveling with the flow of traffic. If you must cross or turn from a highway or roadway you are required to "signal" your turn if you leave the shoulder and you must yield the right-of-way to all other motor vehicles.

Although Nebraska has laws that require reflectors and lights on bicycles for riding at night, the Nebraska State Patrol does not recommend riding a bicycle on rural state highways at night due to the higher speeds and reduced visibility.

Ebike Crosswalk Law In Nebraska

A bicyclist riding a bicycle on a sidewalk or across a roadway or shoulder in a crosswalk shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances but shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Nothing in this subsection relieves the bicyclist or the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise care.

Three classifications of electric bikes

Understanding the classifications of electric bikes is also important. Most states adopt these guidelines for regulations to make sure that electric bikes are well regulated to prevent any accidents and protect others around you.

Here are the three classifications of electric bikes:

Class 1 E-bikes

Class-1 E-bikes are pedal-assist-powered electric bikes that may reach a maximum speed of 20 mph with human assistance.

A pedal-assist device will detect pedal tempo by measuring the amount of force exerted by the pedal. This design makes great use of bike trails, other public trails, or street biking.

Class 2 E-bikes

Class 2 models are motorbikes powered by pedals OR hand throttle that travel at a max speed of 20 mph. Although they are no quicker than a Class 1 e-bike, they often are seen being considered motorized vehicles based on the fact that they have a hand-controlled throttle.

Class 3 E-bikes

Category 3 Electric Bicycles is a pedal-powered OR hand-throttle electric bike capable of speeds up to 28mph or faster speeds using human power.

Class 3 electric bikes are currently restricted in Nebraska due to the fact that they can reach speeds over 20 mph without human assistance.

Nebraska Ebike Laws Infographic

Other State Ebike Laws Near Nebraska

Some states near Nebraska have very different Ebike laws. Be sure to check out our other articles about Kansas Ebike Laws, Colorado Ebike Laws, and Missouri Ebike Laws if you are planning a trip to one of these neighboring states.

Additionally, check out our article on Federal US Ebike Laws to learn about how federal law may affect your next E-bike ride.

Frequently Asked Question

Is an e-bike considered a motorized vehicle?

Electric bicycles are considered motorized vehicles as far as Federal Public Land access is concerned. When riding on federal land you are not permitted to ride on "non-motorized" only trails.

Is it illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk in Nebraska?

You are legally allowed to ride on sidewalks in Nebraska. See the restrictions regarding crosswalks above for further information.

Can you get a DUI on an electric bike in Nebraska?

As ebike riders are not required to have a license or registration, DWI laws are not applicable in Nebraska. That said, at the discretion of the officer, you may receive a ticket for things such as; being drunk in public, riding with undue care and attention, or similar infractions if you are drunk enough to be a danger to yourself or others.

Are Electric Bikes Legal To Ride On Roads In Nebraska?

Yes, it is now legal to ride electric bikes on roads in Nebraska. The law used to prohibit riding on roads if there was a bike lane or other trail alongside the road but that law was changed in 2016.

Bicycle Safety

  • Helmets: Bicyclists are strongly encouraged to wear helmets. It is recommended to wear a Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved helmet at all times.
  • Never ride against traffic: motorists aren’t looking for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road.
  • Railroad tracks: Cross railroad tracks as close to a right angle as possible, using caution not to lean the bike when contacting the track.
  • Be predictable: Avoid sudden movements. Do not surprise motorists, pedestrians, or other bicyclists. Always signal your turn.
  • See and be easily seen: Wear brightly colored clothes and reflectors. Try not to ride alone. Two bicyclists are more visible than one. A rearview mirror can be a valuable safety benefit to bicyclists.
  • Use paved shoulders: When riding on highways with paved shoulders, ride on the paved shoulder if at all possible. Roadways with paved shoulders usually have higher volumes of trucks.
  • Use hand signals: Signaling your intentions is essential to let motorists and riding companions know what you are about to do.
  • Items to take along: cell phone, identification card, medical card, first aid kit, bicycle tire repair kit, and plenty of water.

Important Note:

All of our e-bike rules and regulations are based on each local state's e-bike laws. In addition, our information and details regarding these e-bike laws are not permanent and are subject to change, especially when there are updates and missed out details.

We highly encourage that you check with local authorities or check the website of your State, County, City, and other agencies.

See more information about bike laws in every state with our article: Ebike Regulations State Specific

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