Are Electric Unicycles Legal? (Things You Must Know)

Electric unicycles are a common means of transportation people use for short-distance trips. Many people put them in a similar category as electric motorized vehicles.

However, there are few electric unicycle owners, and the laws regulating their use are rare. Hence, it is customary to have questions about the legality of these vehicles.

So, read this article to the end to learn about the legality of these vehicles and other related questions.

Electric unicycles are legal in most places, but various laws guide how to use them. Every rider must abide by these laws to protect themselves and others. Failure to follow the regulations and obey the rules can lead to arrest and prosecution. Hence, it is best to understand the electric unicycle laws in every region.

In this article, I will explain if it is legal to use electric unicycles, where it is illegal, and the laws covering the use of electric unicycles.

By the end, you’ll also know the things to consider before buying an electric unicycle.

Is It Legal to Use Electric Unicycles?

Are Electric Unicycles Legal

Electric unicycles are legal in most places in the US; however, there are a few where these vehicles are illegal.  

Generally, it is mandatory to wear a helmet while riding in most places to protect yourself. But every state has rules and regulations guiding the use of electric unicycles. 

Electric unicycles fall under the same law regulating electric bicycles in most states. Therefore, a rider may not need a license or reach a certain age to use the device.

Meanwhile, some states like Alaska or Alabama mandate having a special riding license to use electric vehicles.

Although the law doesn’t specifically focus on electric unicycles, the rider may have issues without a license.

At the same time, states like Hawaii make it a law to register an electric vehicle at the local city hall before using it.

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In addition, some states like Nebraska, Nevada, and Montana make it illegal to ride an electric unicycle over the speed limit of 20 mph.

However, while most states have regulations guiding the legal use of electric devices, some states are without regulations.

Places like this have more electric unicycle users because it is safest to ride electric vehicles without worrying about anything.

Some states forbid riding in pedestrian paths, but you can freely do so in biking lanes. 

Where Are Electric Unicycles Illegal?

Electric unicycles are illegal in places like California and New York City. The device is illegal in these places for safety reasons.

For example, New York City banned electric unicycles because navigating busy roads and streets is challenging.

New York is the center of activities, and a large crowd is always on the street. So you want to avoid exposing yourself and others to risk.

Although, the police hardly ever ticket people for riding the vehicle. It is best to refrain from taking your unicycle on the streets or parks of NYC.

It is hard to determine when you might get unlucky, and the police will arrest you.

Furthermore, California law forbids any personal electric vehicle (PEV) with a maximum speed of 20 mph or electric motor over 1,000 Watts.

Some electric unicycle models can have up to a maximum speed of 80 mph and motor power of up to 2,000 Watts or more.

Hence, it falls under the category of illegal PEVs in California. So, it is advisable to keep your vehicle off the streets.

Riding electric unicycles may have its advantages, but weighing them against the disadvantages is essential to understand why they are illegal in some places.

The table below outlines the pros and cons of electric unicycles.

They are useful for maneuvering through traffic congestion.They are too fast for some places.
They are Eco-friendly products.The battery may overheat and start a fire.
It is affordable to maintain them.They run out of battery.
They require low maintenance.Some weather conditions can damage them.
These devices are portable.It requires experience to maintain balance.

What Are the Laws Covering the Use of Electric Unicycles?

The laws covering the use of Electric Unicycles vary in different regions. Every state has its rules for using these vehicles.

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As the laws for using electric unicycles vary in different places, it depends on the government’s classification of electric vehicles as motor vehicles.

The common law in most places is to wear a helmet and extra protective gear while riding. Another essential regulation is to protect the interest of the public.

Hence, some laws prohibit riding electric unicycles in public places to prevent accidents that cause severe injuries and death.

However, it is advisable to understand the regulations for your region before going for a ride on your device.

You should also abide by the local traffic laws and follow some safety tips to avoid violating the rules so you don’t get arrested.

In addition, these tips will help ensure your safety and protect everyone around you from accidents.

Below are the safety tips:

  • Always try to ride at a slower and safer speed (below 20 mph).
  • It is best to wear a good-quality helmet to keep you safe.
  • You can wear additional protective gear like wrist guards, knee pads, gloves, and elbow pads to ensure safety.
  • Use superior and durable electric unicycles that can endure harsh weather conditions.
  • Always check and preserve your electric vehicle’s battery regularly.
  • Make sure your vehicle has safety features like speed control and tilt protection.
  • It is best to avoid riding on extremely sloppy tracks.
  • Avoid riding while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Always avoid crowded places and keep to bicycle paths.

Things to Consider Before Buying an Electric Unicycle

Buying an electric unicycle might seem like the best idea in some situations. But, it is essential to consider some factors before getting one.

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These factors will help determine the model of the vehicle you need and how to ride it. Also, consider these factors to avoid violating some laws.

Below are the things to consider before buying an electric unicycle.

#1. The Local Laws About Usage

You must know the laws and restrictions on using electric unicycles in your local area, region, or state.

There are 50 states in the United States, each of which makes individual laws to protect the citizens.

#2. Special Riding License and Registration

As part of the laws for using an electric unicycle, you must consider the need for a special riding license in your location.

Some states mandate having a special license to use motor-driven cycles. You must know if your device falls under this category before buying one.

At the same time, some places may require registering your vehicle after buying it. You must consider if you need registration and how stressful the process can be.

#3. Speed Limit

Although the common speed limit for electric unicycles is 20 mph, it may be lower in some states. So, knowing how fast you can go when you buy a vehicle is essential.

If you desire a vehicle that goes above the speed limit for your region, then an electric unicycle may not be ideal for you.

#4. Motor Power

Consider getting an electric unicycle whose motor power and top speed don’t exceed your state’s compulsory limit. 

There are vehicles with average speed and motor power that you can easily ride without violating any laws.

#5. Road conditions

It would be best to have a road that allows you to easily maneuver an electric unicycle without obstacles. It is vital to consider the level of potholes, bumps, and curves on the road.

Too many impacts and scratches can damage your vehicle. You may end up spending more on repair and maintenance.

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