Electric motorcycles are becoming more and more popular, as people search for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on gas. But do you need a motorcycle license to drive one in Florida? In this blog post, we will answer that question.
No matter what kind of bike you ride, you have something in common with the attorneys at The Fran Haasch Law Group – we also love to ride. We also feel a special bond with our fellow riders, and want to make sure their rights are protected at every turn.
If you’ve been hurt due to the negligence of another motorist, please get in touch with us as soon as you can. We’ll work passionately to help you obtain the money you deserve. Contact us for a free evaluation to learn more.
What is an Electric Motorcycle?
This is becoming more of a complex question to answer than it used to be. For years, when people thought of an electric motorcycle, a moped probably came to mind. But as technology has advanced, the lines have blurred quite a bit.
An electric motorcycle, in a nutshell, is a motorcycle that runs on electricity rather than gasoline. It has an electric motor rather than an internal combustion engine. The energy source is a battery, not a tank full of gas. Other than that, there aren’t many differences between an electric bike and a “regular” one.
What Kind of License Do I Need for an Electric Motorcycle?
Basically, the type of license you’ll need will depend on the type of electric motorcycle you have. There are electric bikes out there that are just as powerful as traditional bikes. The Harley-Davidson LiveWire, for example, has a top speed of 95 mph and a 753cc engine. It can go from 0-60 mph in just three seconds. There are other models that have a top speed of more than 200 mph.
So, we’re definitely not just talking about mopeds or a motor scooter. Riding electric motorcycles can deliver an incredible rush.
But whether you have a high-powered motorcycle, a moped, or any other type of motor vehicle, you’re going to need a license if you plan to take it on any public road in Florida.
If you have an electric motorcycle, you’re going to need a valid Florida driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. If you have a vehicle with an engine displacement of less than 50cc, like a moped, you won’t need an endorsement.
By the way, if you have a motorized bicycle, you don’t need a license. But this only pertains to any type of electric bike that can’t go any faster than 20mph when on level ground. Motorized bicycles with more powerful engines can go as fast as 40-50 mph. If you happen to have an electric bicycle with that kind of power, then you probably will have to get a license.
What is a Florida Motorcycle Endorsement?
There are two ways to legally operate an electric motorcycle (or one with an internal combustion engine) on Florida public roads. One is to have what is known as an “endorsement” notated on your driver’s license. This notation shows that you can drive not only a four-wheel vehicle, but also a motorcycle.
How Do I Get One?
The requirements are different for bikes that have more than 50cc of engine displacement than those with less than that amount. Therefore, the following only applies to bikes more powerful than 50cc. We’ll cover less powerful vehicles later in this article.
First, you’ll need to have a valid driver license. Next, you’ll have to show that you’ve successfully completed a Basic Rider Course (BRC) or a Basic Rider Course updated (BRCu).
The BRC is a course that teaches basic skills for operating a motorcycle. Teachers, known as BRC Rider/Coaches, show new riders how to turn, shift, stop and ride in a straight line. They then move to the more advanced part of the course, teaching skills such as cornering, swerving, stopping quickly.
The main difference between the BRC and BRCu is that the BRCu gets deeper into some of the more challenging scenarios that riders may face. For example, coaches teach ways of manipulating basic controls, safety strategies when on the road, mental strategies, and more sophisticated methods of cornering and turning.
Once you’ve passed either course, you simply need to take your certificate of completion to your local driver’s license office. You’ll receive a new license with the endorsement notation. However, you have to do this within one year of completing your BRC or BRCu. If you don’t, you’ll have to take the course again.
What if I Don’t Plan on Driving a Car?
You can obtain a motorcycle-only license to ride an electric motorcycle. You’ll have to pass a written exam, the same one people seeking a driver’s license need to take. You also need to pass the BRC or BRCu. Just bring the certificate showing you completed the course, as well as proof of identification, to your local driver’s license office. Remember, though, that you’ll only be able to ride a motorcycle legally. You won’t be able to drive a car or anything else.
Mopeds and Licensing Requirements
If your moped is 50cc or less, then the state of Florida does not define it as a motorcycle. That’s the reason you won’t need a motorcycle endorsement to legally operate one on streets and other types of roadways, as we covered earlier. However, according to Florida law, mopeds fall under the same category as motor vehicles. As a result, you will have to be at least 16 years old and have either a valid Florida driver’s license or a motorcycle-only license.
If you’re wondering, electric scooters (or other types of motor scooters, for that matter) are grouped in the same category as motorcycles. If a motorized scooter is more powerful than 50cc, then you’ll need a motorcycle endorsement.
Turn to The Fran Haasch Law Group
No matter what types of electric vehicles you favor, we hope you do everything you can to always stay as safe as possible. Remember that The Fran Haasch Law Group will always be here for you if you’re ever hurt due to another’s negligence.