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Virginia Electric Bike Laws

2021 Virginia E-bike Laws

*The below information is current as of January 1, 2021!

In Virginia, E-bikes are regulated like bicycles. The same rules of the road apply to both e-bikes and human-powered bicycles. This means that they are not subject to the registration, licensing or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. 

Virginia designates three classes of e-bikes which we go into further detail below. Each Class of E-bikes has it's own laws surrounding where it can and can't be ridden. 

A city, town or state agency that has jurisdiction can restrict where e-bikes are allowed. When in doubt, check for local rules and regulations.

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Class 1 E-bikes

Class 1 Definition

A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20mph.

VIRGINIA CLASS 1 LAWS 

Class 1 e-bikes along with classes 2 and 3 are legal on all roads that a traditional motorized vehicles are allowed on.** They are also classified as non-motorized vehicle in many places and are thus allowed on almost all greenways, and rails-to-trails. If you are wanting to mountain bike the laws are a little different. 

National Parks

As of January 1, 2021 all e-bike (as long as they are class 1-3) are allowed in our National Parks anywhere a traditional bike is allowed.

Mountain Biking Laws

Class 1 e-bikes are the only class of e-bikes allowed on any mountain biking trails!

National Forest: All e-bikes are prohibited from being ridden on any non-motorized trails in our National Forest! A common misunderstanding is that if your e-bike is under 750 watts it is allowed in the national forest. This is incorrect information! At this point all mountain biking trails in the National Forest are off limits to e-Bikes of all types. Find more information here.

State Forest: Class 1 e-Bikes are legal to ride on all mountain biking trails in our state forest as of April 10, 2019. This opens up trail networks such as Douthat and Shenandoah River State Park trail networks to mountain E-bikes.

Private Property: The allowance of e-bikes on private property is up to the discretion of the landowner. Massanutten Western Slopes: Massanutten has legalized class 1 e-mountain bikes on their Western Slope trails. This is one of the best local places to ride your new class 1 e-mountain bike.

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Class 2 E-bikes

CLASS 2 DEFINITION

A bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20mph.

We Do Not Sell or Service Class 2 E-bikes

VIRGINIA CLASS 2 LAWS 

Class 2 e-bikes along with classes 1 and 3 are allowed on all roads that a traditional motorized vehicles are allowed on.** They  are also allowed on most greenways and trails.

National Parks

As of January 1, 2021 all e-bike (as long as they are class 1-3) are allowed in our National Parks anywhere a traditional bike is allowed.

Mountain Biking Laws

Class 2 E-bikes are only allowed on your personal private property.

National Forest: All e-bikes are prohibited from being ridden on any non-motorized trails in our National Forest!

Virginia State Forest: Class 1 e-bikes only!

Massanutten Western Slopes:  Class 1 e-bikes only!

Class 3 E-bikes

Class 3 Definition

A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

VIRGINIA CLASS 3 LAWS 

You must be 14 years or older to operate a Class 3 e-bike. All operators and passengers of Class 3 e-bikes must wear a helmet.

Class 3 e-bikes along with classes 1 and 2 are allowed on all roads that a traditional motorized vehicles are allowed on.** They may be allowed on a greenway or rail-to-trail. It is up to you to research whether class 3 e-bikes are allowed on the greenway you are riding on. 

National Parks

As of January 1, 2021 all e-bike (as long as they are class 1-3) are allowed in our National Parks anywhere a traditional bike is allowed.


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