New Jersey Ebike Laws

Last Edited
November 8, 2021

New Jersey Ebike Laws

Christian Angelo 9-21-21


Just before the summer of 2019, New Jersey adopted a new set of e-bike laws that allows certain classifications of e-bikes to be regulated like regular bicycles. The new legislation promotes e-bike as an alternative mode of transportation, and helps in reducing traffic and emissions of the state. 

Many people were delighted with the new e-bike laws because it is a significant step toward mitigating climate change, minimizing traffic congestion, and increasing availability of more affordable alternative commuter vehicles. With new e-bike regulations, riders feel safer and more comfortable in the streets. 

What’s an e-bike?

An electric bicycle looks similar to a regular bike but its distinctive feature can be found in its integrated electrical system that gives you a new riding experience. It provides an electric assist to help you pedal easily, climb hills with minimal effort, and ride longer without running out of stamina. E-bikes allow a wider range of people to enjoy bicycling.

The electric assist comes in two forms: pedal assist or pedelec, or throttle mode. Pedelec e-bikes only give additional power when you are already pedaling. Throttle mode can be used to propel the bike forward whether or not you are pedaling. There are e-bikes which have both modes. 

What’s the definition of an “electric bicycle”?

Prior to the new legislation, e-bikes belong to the same vehicle group where motorized bicycles like mopeds are categorized. Motorized bicycles must be registered but the MVC system would not allow e-bikes to be registered because only gas-powered vehicles can be registered. Due to this, e-bikes are left in a legal gray area.

A new definition was applied to electric bicycles because of the new law. A low-speed electric bicycle is now defined as a two or three-wheeled vehicle equipped with fully operable pedals and an electric motor below 750 watts, and belongs to the following classes:

  • Class 1: the motor only provides assistance when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance at 20 miles per hour
  • Class 2: the motor can be used to propel the bike with or without the rider’s pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance at 20 miles per hour

E-bike regulations

  • Low-speed ebikes can be operated on the streets, highways, roadways, and bicycle paths of New Jersey.
  • E-bikes can also be parked on a sidewalk as long as they do not obstruct traffic and movement of pedestrians.
  • Starting January 1, 2019, all e-bikes must have a permanent label affixed by manufacturers and distributors. The label must be printed in Arial font in at least 9-point type and must indicate the top assisted speed, electric motor wattage, and classification number.
  • No one is allowed to tamper or modify the motor capabilities or top speed of the e-bike unless the label would be updated accordingly to show accurate information.
  • Low-speed e-bikes may be operated on bicycle paths unless the governing agency or local state authority prohibits the use of such on paths under its jurisdiction.
  • Low-speed e-bikes may be prohibited from trails that are designated for non-motorized operation.
  • There are no registration, licensure, and insurance requirements for e-bikes.
  • E-bike riders or passengers under the age of 17 must wear a helmet.
  • The local authority or state agency can exercise its power to regulate or prohibit the use of e-bikes on paths under its own jurisdiction.

Electric bicycles vs motorized bicycles

You may have noticed that New Jersey only incorporates a two-class tier system. Other states usually use the three-tier class system. In New Jersey, the usual Class 3 e-bikes are added to the definition of “motorized bicycles”. 

A motorized bicycle is defined as a gas-powered vehicle or an electric bicycle that can achieve speeds between 20 and 28mph. Any vehicle that falls under this category is subject to license and registration requirements. Helmet use is also required. 

In short, the first and only two classes of electric bicycles in New Jersey are called “low-speed electric bicycles”. The usual class 3 e-bike in other states belongs to “motorized bicycles” category. The differences between these e-bikes is that low-speed e-bikes are not subject to license and registration requirements while the e-bike that belongs to the motorized bicycle category are subject to such. Helmet requirements also vary depending on the e-bike.

E-bike safety

Now that you know the e-bike laws in New Jersey, it’s time to learn about e-bike safety tips. Here are safety guidelines that you can follow:

  • Wear a helmet even if it’s not required. A helmet can save your life.
  • Wear additional safety gear like gloves, reflectorized vests, and elbow and knee pads, to increase level of safety.
  • Equip additional lighting, reflectors, and an audible signal like a horn or a bell.
  • You can also buy a camera and attach it to your helmet if you want your rides to be documented in case of an unfortunate event.
  • Follow the traffic. Do not counterflow.
  • Remember to use hand signals to indicate your movement.
  • Ride on bicycle lanes as much as possible.
  • Ride to the most right side of the road unless there are hazards to avoid, or pedestrians crossing.
  • Do not attempt to overtake larger and faster vehicles.
  • Do not carry packages or items that will hinder you from having two hands on the handlebars. 
  • Do not carry passengers on e-bikes that are not designed to carry one.
  • Do not overspeed, especially if you are a beginner.
  • Do not press the brakes in a sudden manner. Those behind you might not be able to react immediately.
  • In the event of a crash, stay calm and follow these steps.
  • Be aware and follow traffic laws at all times.

Enjoy the ride!

E-bikes offer a whole new riding experience for a wide range of people. The new e-bike law in New Jersey has given more specific guidelines for e-bike safety in general. There are only 2 classes of e-bike in New Jersey, which are considered “low-speed electric bicycles”. Remember to follow the law at all times and keep safe! A safe ride is a fun ride!

Recent Articles

Want to learn more about Electric Bikes?
Check out some of our most recent article below!
Proudly designed with Oxygen, the world's best visual website design software
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram