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Regulations for E-Bikes / Electric-Assist Bicycles and Other Non People-Powered Bikes — in Monterey County and Elsewhere

Related info on this site: From e-bike snob to “won me over”

At the bottom of this post: tips on e-bike cost, including California’s E-Bike Incentive Project.


Nationwide (USA): On August 30, 2023, “E-Bike Smart,” an electric bicycle rider safety education program created by People For Bikes, the League of American Bicyclists, and Bicycle Colorado, launched to the public.

California: On August 31, 2023, “Electric Bicycle Safety and Training,” an online course from California Highway Patrol, launched to the public.

Regulations about e-bikes are still in a state of flux around the United States. Misinformation and confusion abound. It’s advisable to take personal responsibility for researching what the regulations are where you ride. Consider this post a starting point for your own research.

Disclaimer: For the most accurate and up-to-date information, contact resources cited or appropriate government officials. This website is provided as a public service. No claim is made or liability accepted for use of this site.
For California:

WHERE E-BIKES ARE ALLOWED: Assembly Bill 1909 (Friedman-Haney-Portantino), signed by the Governor on Sept 16, 2022, amends CA Vehicle Code Section 21207.5 regarding where e-bikes are allowed. See details, including exceptions [e.g., some Monterey County exceptions are provided later in this post], as well as when the e-bike and other bike-related provisions of AB 1909 become effective:

“What Is an E-Bike? A Guide to California E-Bike Classifications,” an August 24, 2023 summary from the California Bicycle Coalition:

Hey, what kind of bicycles is this sign referring to?

Puzzled? You’re not alone.

As the California Bicycle Coalition (“CalBike”) says, “Electric bikes are quickly becoming the ‘vehicle of choice’ for thousands of Californians.” And national, state, and local e-bike enthusiasts—ranging from bike industry leaders to environmental groups—are supporting efforts to bring more consistency and clarity to e-bike regs.

Here are some starting

points for your own research.

NOTE: As advised in a People for Bikes fact sheet providing info for riders in California, “Local authorities and public agencies with jurisdiction over bicycle paths or trails may also prohibit the operation of any type of electric bicycles on a particular path or trail.”

U.S., including state-by-state guides
1. California-specific: (UPDATE, 8/24/23, an overview from the California Bicycle Coalition: What Is an E-Bike? A Guide to California E-Bike Classifications.

CA law defines e-bikes into three types, based on speed and power control. Refer to the following fact sheet, prepared by People for Bikes, 
“What are the different types of electric bicycles?” Note the definitions of Type 1, 2, 3 e-bikes:
Must be 16 years of age or older to ride a Class 3 electric bicycle in California: 

 Also, to help law enforcement personnel determine if an e-bike has access to a particular bikeway, CA AB 1096 included a new on-the-bike labeling requirement for manufacturers, effective 1/1/17.  CA Assembly Bill 1096 was signed into law by CA’s governor on 10/7/15: For full text of AB 1096, refer to:

2. Monterey County-specific: As of October 2023, it’s possible that a countywide e-bike regulation will be coming, perhaps in 2024. For now, you may wish to start with the info below. For all Monterey County e-bike regulations not mentioned here, and for any updates or corrections, contact the bike-ped coordinator at the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC).
Pebble Beach: PB is private property, although subject to California Coastal Commission regulations about access. Refer to Bicycling Monterey’s Bicycling Pebble Beach tips. Electric bicycles are allowed in Pebble Beach (for any changes to policies, contact Pebble Beach Company). However, if your wheels are in the scooter category, such as a two-stroke, note that scooters—as with motorcycles—are not admitted to PB.  (As of 8/4/21, the Pebble Beach Company website continues to indicate—see FAQ “When is 17-Mile Drive open?” —that motorcycles are prohibited.) 
Fort Ord National Monument: Scroll down to “Interim E-Bike Rules” on the following BLM Fort Ord web page as of 11/14/22. For updates or questions, contact BLM Fort Ord. Also check out
Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST): MST is a popular bike-and-ride option. MST’s Rider’s Guide includes How to Ride–Transit Tips. Click on Transit Tips, then scroll down for “Bicycles on Buses” and “Bike Loading Instructions.”

As of 8/4/21 here’s an excerpt from MST’s website (for any changes, refer to or contact MST): “[a] Bicycles longer than 80 inches (6.5 feet) and higher than 54 inches (4.5 feet) will not be allowed on the bike rack. [b] Total weight placed on the bike rack shall not exceed 250 pounds. [c] Bicycles with electric motors are allowed provided that the external battery is securely mounted, sealed, and of the nonspillable type. Bicycles with wet-cell non-sealed batteries (like most car or motorcycle batteries) are prohibited. [d] Motorized bicycles with gas-powered engines of any kind are prohibited.” 

Advisory: On 12/17/15, Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious offered this additional info:  “Many (all?) ebikes exceed 50 lb weight limit for bus bike racks, even if agency otherwise allows.” Tip: Considering removing your battery before putting your bike on the bus rack, and carrying the battery inside the bus. An e-bike with a total weight, e.g., of 50 lbs might have a battery weight of 7 lbs. Bottom line: Check with MST if you have questions about whether the weight of your bike might be a problem.

Other Monterey County locations: Additional info is provided below.
SIGN - prohibit motorized - City of Mtry near Casa Verde (9)
What about the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network’s coastal bike path / multi-use trail — or other paths or trails?
As California DMV laws state, motorized bicycles may not be used on trails, bike paths, or lanes unless allowed by local authorities. Click here for CVC 21207.5. And as advised, various Monterey County cities have differing laws and policies, and their police departments may appropriately ticket offenders accordingly.
A two-page summary about “Motorized Vehicles on Bike Paths” was provided by Transportation Agency for Monterey County staff member Ariana Green at TAMC’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee meeting on 2/4/15. For full details, download PDF here: Motorized Vehicles on Bike Paths – Monterey County – as of 4 Feb 2015. Ms. Green summarized that for Monterey County:
  • no motorized bicycle or moped is allowed on a bicycle path or trail
  • no pocket bike is allowed on a bicycle path or trail
  • no motorized scooter is allowed on a bicycle path or trail within the City of Monterey – “Section 22-12.5 Prohibition of Motorized Scooters on the Recreational Trail. No person shall operate any motorized scooter as that term is defined in CA Vehicle Code on the Recreation Trail (Ord 3330;10/2003).”
  • motorized scooters may be operated on bicycle path or trail in all other cities and (unincorporated sections of) the county (except for city of Monterey)

Archived note regarding Monterey County: non people-powered bikes – as of April 2013.

City of Pacific Grove:
Ordinance effective beginning 3/20/20:   
12/2/19 update to the following notes for Pacific Grove. As with all municipalities, check with the City of Pacific Grove for any possible new or revised ordinances, or for further clarification. (Also, with regard to the term “motorized bicycles,” note AB 1096 above.) On 7/17/19, PG Police Department Commander Rory Lakind stated that code 16.32.130 “Driving on beaches or in parks” specifically prohibits operation of “motor-driven bicycles” (along with other types of motor vehicles) in parks; and further, that the PG section of the recreation trail is considered a public park, per code 14.08.015, “Recreation trail as public park” (“for the purposes of this chapter [14.08]).” Also note that PG does have a prohibition specific to motorized scooters for the recreation trail, as well as motorized scooters prohibited in all public parks, golf links, and El Carmelo Cemetery; see PG code PG code 14.08.025.
City of Monterey:

In Dennis Taylor’s 4/15/19 Monterey Herald story, note “pros and cons of electric scooters and other forms of emerging transportation options [e.g., various classes of e-bikes]” is on 4/16/19 Monterey City Council agenda; see Taylor’s story titled “Monterey begins parsing e-scooter regulations” along with his  3/28/19 story “Lime eyeing Monterey for e-scooters.
Archived notes regarding history of California legislation:
  • To clear up some confusion resulting from contradictory rules throughout California, “AB 875 would create a new category of electric bike, the ‘low speed electric bicycle,’ and exempt a low-speed electric bicycle from the prohibition of motorized bicycles on a bicycle path or trail, bikeway, bicycle lane, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail. This rule was among the items on the California Bicycle Coalition 2015 legislative agenda.”
  • On October 7, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1096. As the California Bicycle Coalition noted, “By regulating these bikes differently than mopeds, AB 1096 will enable a reexamination of the access restrictions imposed on users of these bikes in order to permit more access to bicycle paths, where appropriate and safe.”
For California bicycle laws that apply to e-bikes and traditional bikes, start with
Besides knowing bicycle laws—as well as riding skills and safety tips (see our section “Bicycle Riding Skills, Bike Safety, and CA Bicycle Laws“)—people riding e-bikes have additional things to consider. See

As Los Angeles Times staff writer Karen Garcia wrote in a 8/16/22 article, “E-bikes aren’t just faster, they’re a different ride.”
Many Monterey County local bike shops and bicycle rentals include e-bikes.

Tips about e-bike cost—

regional, state, and national efforts

Below are some starting points for your own research about e-bike purchase incentives, rebates, grant programs, etc.

This post was published on 31 October 2017. One or more changes last made to this post on 15 November 2023.

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