Are Electric Scooters Legal in Florida?
Florida Electric Scooter Laws
According to Florida law, motorized scooters (or electric scooters) are considered motor vehicles. As such, they are not allowed on sidewalks or bike paths unless being propelled by human power alone. If you are caught using a motorized scooter on a sidewalk, you will be issued a citation, per Florida Statute 316.1995.
You can also receive a criminal citation for operating an unregistered motor vehicle, per Florida Statute 320.02. Because motorized scooters are considered motor vehicles, you can also be arrested for the misdemeanor, “Permitting an Unauthorized Minor to Drive,” if you allow your child to ride a motorized scooter on public sidewalks or roadways.
While mopeds and motorized bicycles are allowed on public streets with a license and registration, e-scooters are not. The only way to legally ride a motorized scooter in Florida is to do so on private property with permission from the owner of the property. People under 16 must also wear protective headgear.
What About Lime, Bird, Spin, and Jump?
The state of Florida recognizes the rising popularity of e-scooter rentals but has not yet allowed them in many cities. Last summer (June 2019), the city of Clearwater put a 6-month hold on electric scooters to allow time for planning. Some larger cities, like Tampa and Miami, on the other hand, have special ordinances to allow companies like Lime and Bird to rent scooters and do business.
So, Are E-Scooters Illegal or Not?
The answer to this question depends on where you are in Florida. Before you rent an e-scooter, take the time to understand the ordinances in your specific location. Some places allow riders on the sidewalk and not on the street, others allow the exact opposite. Further, certain cities require you to wear a helmet or have a drivers’ license if you want to operate an e-scooter at all.
- When in doubt, default to state law.
- Without local ordinances, e-scooters are illegal in the state of Florida.
What if I Am Injured on an E-Scooter?
Depending on the circumstances of your scooter accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Whether you were injured by a negligent driver, misled by company advertisements, or hurt by defective scooters or unsafe road conditions, you should discuss your case with an experienced attorney. At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Littky-Rubin & Whitman, our legal team has over 200 years of legal experience and a strong understanding of state laws and local ordinances regarding e-scooters.