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Guide to Philadelphia Electric Scooter Laws

Philadelphia Electric Scooter Laws

Electric scooters are a cool and convenient way to get around the city. But, they can also bring up challenges for riders, pedestrians, and other people on the road.

That’s why we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to Philadelphia electric scooter laws, covering everything from permits and licensing to riding safely and parking etiquette.

We’ll even check out answers to Philly’s common questions regarding electric scooters too. By the time you finish reading, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to ride your e-scooter the right way in the City of Brotherly Love.

Key Takeaways

Electric Scooter RegulationsElectric scooters follow motorcycle rules in Pennsylvania, requiring titles, registration, inspections, insurance, lights, signals, mirrors, brakes, and horns. Riders need a valid driver’s license.
Age RestrictionIn Philadelphia, riders must be 16 or older with a valid driver’s license to ride electric scooters. Certain areas are no-go zones for electric scooters.
Helmet RulesRiders under 21 or with less than two years of driving experience must wear helmets. Certain parts of Philly prohibit e-scooters.
Speed limitDon’t go faster than 25 mph or the posted speed limit. Be smart about your speed based on traffic and weather. And be careful when passing others, whether they’re on wheels or walking
Permits and LicensingRecent updates in 2023 include a permit requirement for e-scooter sharing companies and safety classes for riders.
Parking EtiquetteUse designated e-scooter zones or charging stations for parking. Avoid sidewalks, bike racks, and private property. Follow parking guidelines.
PenaltiesBreaking e-scooter rules can result in fines, jail time, or loss of license. Follow rules for riding, parking, and safety.
Differences from Pennsylvania LawsPhiladelphia has specific rules, like banning e-scooters in certain areas and requiring motorcycle-like regulations. Follow speed limits, traffic rules, and safety guidelines.
Guide to Philadelphia Electric Scooter Laws

What are Electric Scooter Regulations in Philadelphia?

As per Pennsylvania law, an electric scooter is like a “motor-driven cycle.” It can’t have more than 5 brake horsepower and can go up to 25 miles per hour.

But remember, this doesn’t include electric bicycles – they’re treated like regular bikes. And electric skateboards? Nope, they can’t be on public roads or sidewalks.

Electric scooters follow motorcycle rules in Pennsylvania. That means they need titles, registration, inspections, insurance, and the right lights, signals, mirrors, brakes, and horns. Riders also need a valid driver’s license (any type). If you’re under 21 or haven’t been driving for 2 years, wear a helmet.

Here’s the big difference: electric scooters can’t be on sidewalks in Pennsylvania. Stick to the road or bike lanes. Riding on sidewalks might cost you up to $300 or 90 days in jail.

Age Restriction According to Philadelphia Electric Scooter Laws

In Philadelphia, the age rule for electric scooters is clear, you must be 16 or older and have a valid driver’s license (any type) to ride one.

Just one person on an e-scooter at a time, and no passengers under 12. Also, don’t hitch your e-scooter to another vehicle or use anything that messes with your hearing or seeing.

Helmet Rules by Philadelphia Electric Scooter Laws

If you’re riding an electric scooter in Philadelphia, you need to wear a helmet if you’re under 21 or haven’t been driving for two years yet.

Be careful where you ride. No e-scooters in certain parts of Philly, like Center City and park trails. They want to keep things safe and not too crowded. Also, most e-scooter companies can’t operate in Philly, except for a test program in the Bronx since 2020.

Legal Landscape of Philadelphia Electric Scooter Laws

While Pennsylvania law lays out the basic rules for electric scooters, Philadelphia adds its own specific ones. Here’s what you need to know when you’re riding an e-scooter in Philly:

  1. Stay Out of Center City: You can’t ride electric scooters in the Center City District (CCD), the downtown area between the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers from Vine Street to South Street. This rule started in 2017 to avoid crowding and safety problems. Breaking this rule might mean a $75 fine or the Philly Parking Authority taking your e-scooter.
  2. No Parks or Trails: Don’t use electric scooters on trails or paths in city parks like Fairmount Park unless the Parks and Recreation Department says it’s okay. That means famous routes like Kelly Drive, Forbidden Drive, and others are off-limits.
  3. Follow the Road Rules: Electric scooters need to follow the same traffic rules as cars. That means stopping at lights and signs, letting pedestrians cross, and signaling turns and stops. No riding under the influence either.
  4. Stay Safe with Speed: Stick to 25 mph or the speed signs. Adjust for traffic and weather. Pass others cautiously, whether on wheels or walking.
Philadelphia Map

Philadelphia Electric Scooter Laws for Permits and Licensing

Unlike other city or state electric scooter laws, in Pennsylvania electric scooters need a bunch of paperwork. Let’s break it down:

Title: This paper proves you own your e-scooter. Apply for it at a PennDOT place or authorized agent. Hand in a form, proof you own it, your ID, insurance proof (keep reading), and pay ($53 plus $6 per lien). The title comes in the mail in 4-6 weeks.

Registration: Stick this on your E-scooter’s license plate. It lets you roll on public roads. Get it when you apply for the title. Hand in the same stuff and money. The card and sticker arrive in the mail in 10 days. Pay $9 every year to renew it.

Inspection: Your e-scooter gets a safety check every year at a certified place. Costs $8 plus maybe more for fixes. Get a sticker for your license plate.

Insurance: This covers damage or injuries you might cause while riding. Law says you need at least $15,000 for one person’s injuries, $30,000 for two or more, and $5,000 for stuff you might break. Show your proof to cops or PPA officers if they ask.

Driver’s License: You gotta have a valid driver’s license (any type) to ride an e-scooter in Pennsylvania. Keep it with you and show it to cops or PPA officers if they ask.

Parking Etiquette for Electric Scooters in Philadelphia

Parking your e-scooter in Philly can be tricky. Sidewalks are a no-go, and bike racks are off-limits too. You definitely don’t want to park on private property without permission. Here’s what you can do:

Use the special spots called e-scooter zones. These are part of the test we talked about earlier. You can see them on a map or in an app from the e-scooter company you use.

Some places have charging stations for e-scooters. You can plug in your e-scooter and charge it while you’re away. These stations are on a map or in an app too.

Recent Updates on Electric Scooter Laws in Philadelphia

As electric scooters become more popular in Philly, the city is making new rules to fit them. Here’s what’s changed in 2023:

In January 2023: City Council said e-scooter sharing companies can work here, but they need a permit from the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (OTIS). They pay $0.15 for each ride to the city, give usage and safety info to OTIS, and follow all the laws. The companies can only put out 2,500 e-scooters and they should be spread out fairly in different neighborhoods.

In March 2023: OTIS started a test run called a “pilot program”. They picked certain spots in Philly where e-scooters can be parked without messing up sidewalks or blocking buildings. These spots are marked by signs or paint on the ground. They’re close to transit stops and cool places. The idea is to see if this helps keep things neater and safer.

In May 2023: OTIS came up with an idea to get e-scooter riders to learn about safety. They’re offering classes taught by certified instructors. The classes talk about road rules, riding skills, taking care of the e-scooter, and what to do in an emergency. If you finish the class, you might get discounts or freebies from e-scooter companies or insurance folks.

Penalties in Philadelphia Electric Scooter Laws

Penalties in Philadelphia Electric Scooter Laws

If you’re riding an e-scooter in Philly, it’s up to you to follow the rules. If you don’t, you might get in trouble with the Philly Police, Parking Authority, or Transportation Office.

Here’s what could happen if you break the e-scooter rules:

  • If you ride on a sidewalk, you might get a $300 fine or up to 90 days in jail from the Police.
  • If you’re in Center City District (CCD), you might pay a $75 fine or have your e-scooter taken by the Parking Authority.
  • No title, registration, insurance, or license? That could mean a $500 fine or losing your e-scooter to the Police.
  • Forget your helmet, lights, signals, and other stuff you need. You might get a $25 fine from the Police.
  • Riding drunk or high? That’s a DUI and you could lose your license, pay fines, or do community service.
  • If you’re reckless or cause an accident and hurt someone, you might face serious charges, fines, or even lose your license.
  • Bad parking? If you’re in a bad spot, you might pay a $75 fine or lose your e-scooter to the Parking Authority.
  • At an e-scooter zone or charging station, don’t hog the spot or block others. OTIS might hit you with a $25 fine.

Difference between Pennsylvania and Philadelphia electric scooter laws

Here’s a simpler take on the differences between Philly’s and Pennsylvania’s e-scooter laws:

Philadelphia banned e-scooters in Center City District (CCD), a downtown area. They did this in 2017 to keep things safe and uncluttered. If you break this, you might pay $75 or lose your e-scooter to the Parking Authority.

Philly Law says no to e-scooters on park trails, like in Fairmount Park. They need special permission from the Parks and Recreation Department. So, famous routes like Kelly Drive are a no-go.

Electric scooters in Philadelphia need to play by motorcycle rules. That means titles, registration, insurance, inspections, and the whole package. Plus, you need a license and a helmet if you’re under 21 or have less than two years of driving experience.

E-scooters must follow regular traffic rules, like stopping at lights and signs, giving way to pedestrians, and not riding drunk or high.

Only one person at a time on an e-scooter, and no kids under 12. Don’t attach your e-scooter to another vehicle or mess up your hearing or vision.

E-scooters belong on the road or bike lanes. Riding on sidewalks could cost you up to $300 or 90 days in jail.

Use special e-scooter zones or charging stations to park. You might get a $75 fine if you park in the wrong spots.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I rent an electric scooter from a sharing company in Philadelphia?

Yes, you can rent an electric scooter from a sharing company in Philadelphia since January 2023. However, you must use an app provided by the company to locate, unlock, and pay for the e-scooter.

How much does it cost to rent an electric scooter from a sharing company in Philadelphia?

Typically, you will pay a base fee (usually $1) plus a per-minute fee (usually $0.15 to $0.35). You may also pay extra fees for unlocking, parking or canceling the e-scooter.

Where can I park my electric scooter when I finish my ride?

You can park your electric scooter at one of the designated e-scooter zones or charging stations that are available in some locations in Philadelphia. You can also park your electric scooter at any legal parking spot on the road or bike lane.


Electric scooters are a great way to enjoy Philadelphia’s sights and sounds, but they also come with responsibilities and obligations. As an e-scooter rider, you must be aware of and comply with the laws and regulations that govern their use in the city.

You must also ride safely and respectfully, and park properly and courteously. By doing so, you will not only avoid fines and penalties but also ensure your safety and the safety of others. You will also help promote a positive image and reputation for yourself and the electric scooter community.

Jhonn Guiral
Jhonn Guiral


Hey there, this is Jhonn, the enthusiastic founder of Top Electric Scooter! With boundless energy and an unquenchable passion for electric scooters, I've created a platform that radiates joy and excitement. At Top Electric Scooter, we're all about unleashing the thrill of zipping through the city streets on an eco-friendly ride. My mission is simple: to bring you the most electrifying scooters, expert advice, and a dash of contagious enthusiasm.

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