California recently passed a law, AB-604, that makes it legal to own and operate electric skateboards in the state as long as the board fits a specific definition. This is different than the law from the 1970s that banned “motorized skateboards,” which was designed to target noisy and dangerous gasoline powered boards. AB-604 defines “electrically motorized skateboards” as the following:
- You must wear a helmet
- You must be 16 years of age or older
- You must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- If you ride on a road, the speed limit must be 35 mph or less
- You cannot ride on highways
- Your board must not be able to travel more than 20 mph
- Your board must have an average power of 1000 watts or fewer
- You cannot ride on public property at more than 15 mph
- At night, you must have a front white headlight, yellow reflectors on the side, and a red reflector on the rear. These items must be attached to the board or the rider.
If your electric skateboard does not fit all of these criteria, it falls under the old 1970s law defining “motorized skateboards,” and therefore is not legal to ride.
Many boards do not fit the legal definition of an “electrically motorized skateboards” due to their power or top speed. Excluding the headlight and reflector requirements, E-Skate Central has a list of boards that fit the definition of an electric skateboard as defined by AB-604.
Legal disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and this article is not to be construed as legal advice. Use common sense, and always check your local laws and ordinances to ensure you are in compliance. Neither E-Skate Central nor its authors are liable for incomplete or incorrect information.