Navigating Electric Bike Helmet Laws By State

Bicycle helmets are often overlooked by many riders, but they can make a significant difference in reducing head, brain, and facial injuries in case of a fall or crash.
Studies have shown that wearing an e-bike helmet can reduce head injury risk by up to 85% and brain injury risk by 88%. Helmets work by absorbing shock and distributing the force to protect the brain from impact. In addition to head injuries, helmets can also reduce the risk of facial injuries that can result in disfiguration, scarring, or a broken nose.
Despite the benefits, there is still no national helmet law in the US, and states vary in their regulations for bikers and e-bike riders. Read on and we will explore the state of helmet laws and regulations and why you should always wear one regardless of the legal composure and the benefits of wearing an ebike helmet.

Helmet Laws for Electric Bikes:

The list below is compiled from the PeopleForBikes ebike classes. Want to know what the ebike class is? We have a page on ebike classes with more information on them.
Jurisdiction Covers
Alabama Helmet required for all classes of ebikes, for all ages.
Alaska Local bike requirements only
Arizona Local bike requirements only
Arkansas Class 3 riders under 21 years old
California Helmet required for class 1 & 2 riders under 18 years of age, and for class 3 riders of all ages.
Colorado Class 3, under 21
Connecticut Helmet required for class 1 & 2 riders under 16 years of age, and for class 3 riders of all ages.
Delaware All classes, under 18
District of Columbia - Washington DC All classes, under 16
Florida All classes, under 16
Georgia Helmet required for class 1 & 2 riders under 16 years of age, and for class 3 riders of all ages.
Hawaii All classes, under 16
Idaho No requirement
Illinois Local bike requirements only
Indiana Class 3 under 18
Iowa No requirement
Kansas Local bike requirements only
Kentucky Local bike requirements only
Louisiana Class 3, all ages
Maine All classes, under 16
Maryland All classes, under 16
Massachusetts All classes, all ages
Michigan Class 1 & 2 local bike requirements. Class 3, under 16
Minnesota No requirement
Mississippi Local bike requirements only
Missouri Local bike requirements only
Montana Local bike requirements only
Nebraska No requirement
Nevada Local bike requirements only
New Hampshire Helmet required for class 1&2 riders under 16 years of age, and for class 3 riders under 18 years old.
New Jersey All classes, under 17
New Mexico Moped law, all classes, under 18
New York Class 1 and 2, state and local bike helmet laws
North Carolina All classes, under 16
North Dakota "Motorized Bicycles" No requirement
Ohio Class 1 & 2, local requirements. Class 3, all ages
Oklahoma All classes, local requirements only
Oregon All classes, under 16
Pennsylvania All classes, under 12
Rhode Island All classes, under 16
South Carolina No requirement
South Dakota No requirement
Tennessee Class 1 & 2, under 16. Class 3, all ages
Texas All classes, local requirements only
Utah No requirement
Vermont No requirement
Virginia Class 1 & 2, local requirements. Class 3, all ages
Washington State All classes, local requirements only
West Virginia Class 1 and 3, under 15 plus local requirements
Wisconsin Local requirements only
Wyoming No requirement
It's important to understand the specifics of the electric bike helmet laws in your state to ensure you're riding safely and obeying the law. In addition to wearing a helmet, it's also a good idea to follow other safety measures, like using bike lights and reflectors at night, following traffic laws, and being aware of your surroundings.

Is Wearing Helmet Mandatory When Riding E-Bikes?

Safety is a top priority when it comes to cycling. No matter how experienced or skilled you are, accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. Keeping yourself safe while riding a bike is crucial, and wearing a helmet is definitely one of the best ways to reduce head injuries in the event of a crash. However, is it really necessary to always wear a helmet when cycling? Let's find out.

Legal Compliance

Firstly, let's talk about bicycle laws. Depending on where you are in the United States, laws about wearing helmets can vary. In some states, wearing a helmet is an absolute must for all cyclists, while in others, it's not required. However, just because you may not be legally obliged to wear a helmet, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't.

Safety First

Secondly, while it's debatable whether helmet laws should be compulsory, understanding the risk of riding an electric bike without a helmet is essential. According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), nearly 90000 ebike-related injuries in the USA occur each year. Most of these injuries are head injuries, which can often be prevented via helmets. Therefore, in situations where there are no helmet laws, it's always advisable to wear a helmet, even if it's not compulsory.

Reduce the Risk of Brain Injuries

Thirdly, let's talk about the benefits of wearing a helmet. A helmet can significantly reduce the risk of head injuries in the event of a crash. In case you do get involved in an accident, a helmet can absorb and distribute the impact to a larger area, which reduces the force on your skull. This way, you're more protected against severe injury, and a helmet can even save your life.

Comfortable and Stylish

Fourthly, some people argue that helmets are uncomfortable or uncool. However, helmets nowadays are more comfortable and stylish than ever before. With the advancement of technology, helmets have evolved into more than just protective headwear. There are a variety of helmets available today that are not only safe but also comfortable and stylish. Moreover, wearing a helmet sets a good example and influences others to follow safe cycling habits.

Non-Negotiable for Cyclists

Some experienced cyclists may feel that they don't need a helmet because they "know what they're doing" or they've never had an accident before. However, this is a dangerous mindset. Accidents can happen to anyone, at any time, even to the most experienced cyclist. Wearing a helmet does not make you immune to accidents, but it does protect you from the potentially grave consequences of a head injury.

Enhance Bike Safety

Finally, it's important to note that helmets aren't the only safety measure one should consider when riding an ebike. Cyclists should also ensure that their bikes are in excellent condition and that they follow traffic rules. Wearing bright or reflective clothing, using appropriate lights and reflectors, and following proper cycling etiquette can also greatly reduce the risk of accidents.

How to Choose the Perfect Ebike Helmet

  1. Consider Safety Standards

When shopping for an ebike helmet, the first thing you need to check is the safety standards. Look for helmets that comply with the regulations set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which requires helmets that protect against head impact and penetration, as well as restraints to prevent the helmet from coming off the head upon impact. Choose a helmet that meets or exceeds these standards to ensure maximum safety.

2. Choose the Right Style

Ebikes come in different shapes and sizes, and so should your helmet. Choose the style that suits your riding needs. If you plan on riding fast, a full-face helmet provides the most protection but may be uncomfortable for long rides. For leisurely rides, a half-shell or open-face helmet provides more ventilation and a wider field of view. Whatever your style preference is, make sure your helmet fits snugly and covers most of your head.

3. Look for Comfort Features

Wearing an uncomfortable helmet can ruin your ride and make you not want to wear one at all. Look for a helmet that feels comfortable on your head, is lightweight, and provides adequate ventilation. Some helmets come with removable and washable liners that wick away sweat, which can be a lifesaver during hot summer rides. Also, consider the helmet's straps; thick and adjustable straps are more comfortable and secure.

4. Check for Extra Features

While safety and comfort are paramount, some extra features can make your e-biking experience even better. Look for helmets with built-in visors that shield your eyes from the sun and elements or those that come with built-in lights that increase your visibility on the road. Rechargeable battery-powered lights that attach to your helmet are also an excellent option for night rides.

5. Consider Your Budget

Ebikes can be quite expensive, and so are their accessories. However, that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to get a quality helmet. Helmets come in all price ranges, from budget-friendly to high-end ones. While price shouldn’t be the determining factor, it's essential to find a helmet that offers excellent value for money.


Knowing the electric bike helmet laws by state is a crucial step in staying safe while riding. Remember that even if your state doesn't require helmets for electric bike riders, wearing one can greatly reduce the risk of injury and save your life in the event of an accident. So whether you're a seasoned e-bike rider or just starting out, always wear a helmet and ride safely.