Michigan laws on electric bicycles

 

As of October 2017, state law in Michigan has recently changed with regards to electric bikes (aka eBikes). It’s much more clear where they are allowed on the roads and trails.

For the definitive regulations, see the legislation HB 4781, HB 4782, and HB 4783.

What is the definition of an electric bike? There are three classes based on their operation and speed. Generally speaking, all three are treated like bicycles but their use on trails is regulated based on the class.

 Class IClass IIClass III
Must have seat and operating bicycle pedalsYesYesYes
Maximum motor power750 watts750 watts750 watts
Motor only assists pedalingYesNoYes
Maximum speed for motor operation20 MPH20 MPH28 MPH
Minimum operator ageNoneNone14
Helmet requiredNoNoAges 14-18
Allowed on roadways, bike lanes, shoulders, and sidewalksYesYesYes
Allowed on linear paved/gravel trailsYes, but can be regulated or prohibitedNo, but can be authorizedNo, but can be authorized
Allowed on non-motorized natural surface trailNo, but can be authorizedNo, but can be authorizedNo, but can be authorized

Electric bicycle use on trails can be regulated by the local authority after holding a public meeting.

Electric bicycles are generally not allowed on Mackinaw Island.

Bicycles fitted with internal combustion motors are not electric bicycles.