Guide to the Laws about Riding Scooters in California
In general, a person using a motorized electric scooters (like Bird, Lime, etc) has many of the same rules and rights as car drivers in California. Here are some specific rules you should know for riding these scooters.1Vehicle Code 21220 – 21235
What happens if I get into an accident on or with a scooter?
It’s essentially the same as a car accident.
Are electric scooters banned anywhere?
Electric scooters are generally allowed in cities where they have not been specifically banned. So, in cities like Los Angeles and Santa Monica it is legal to rent and ride an electric scooter (but you must follow the rules below).
Do I need to wear a helmet while riding an electric scooter?
Yes.2Vehicle Code 21235
Is it illegal to be drunk or high while riding an electric scooter?
Yes you can get a DUI for being drunk on a scooter or high on a scooter.3Vehicle Code Sec 21221.5 The penalty is up to $250 fine.
Are there any streets I can’t ride on?
You can’t ride on any streets where the speed limit is over 25 miles per hour.4Vehicle Code Sec 21235
Am I allowed to ride a scooter on a sidewalk?
No.5Vehicle Code Sec 21235
Can I ride a scooter in a bike lane?
Yes.6Vehicle Code 21229
Do I need a license to operate a motor scooter?
Yes, you need a valid drivers license or an instruction permit.7CA Vehicle Code Sec 21235
Am I allowed to have passengers on my scooter?
No.8Vehicle Code Sec 21235
Is it legal to leave a scooter on a sidewalk?
Not if it blocks pedestrian traffic.9Vehicle Code Sec 21235
Am I allowed to ride on a scooter while being towed by another vehicle?
Nope.10Vehicle Code Sec 21235
Can children ride electric scooters?
You must be at least 16 years old to ride an electric scooter.11Vehicle Code
See options for getting legal help regarding scooters.