Bill legalizing ebikes in Missouri passed by Missouri legislature, headed to Governor for signature

As ebikes exploded in popularity in Missouri and across the U.S., their legal status in Missouri has been something of a mystery.  The ebike industry in Missouri has made it a top priority to get legislation in place that matches the national standard, allowing ebike use on roads and trails, and creating three classes of ebikes.

Ebikes of all types are becoming more popular across Missouri and the U.S.
Ebikes of all types are becoming more popular across Missouri and the U.S. (Image courtesy Pedego)

Recently, their work paid off as the ebike legislation was passed by both the Missouri House and Senate.  The bill, SB 176, now goes to Governor Parson for his signature.  The bill is not particularly controversial and we expect Governor Parson to sign it.

What is in the ebike bill?

What is in the bill?

  • Ebikes are considered a new class of vehicle.  They are not considered a bicycle, a motorized bicycle, a motor vehicle, or an off-road vehicle.
     
  • On the road, operators of ebikes are given the same rights and responsibilities as operators of bicycles - the same rules and regulations that MoBikeFed was able to pass back 1996 and update in 2005.
     
  • Ebikes are defined in three classes, matching the three federally designed ebike classes found in every state with ebike legislation so far:
    • Class 1 ebike: Assists with pedaling only while the operator is pedaling, pedal-assist must cut out at 20mph.
      Senator Mike Bernskoetter was sponsor of the bike bill in the Senate
      Senator Mike Bernskoetter of Jefferson City was sponsor of the bike bill in the Senate, and has emerged as one of the biggest supporters of trails and bicycle issues in the General Assembly

       
    • Class 2 ebike: Includes a throttle, which can assist with pedaling but also can operate when the operator is not pedaling; motor limited to 20 mph.
       
    • Class 3 ebike: Assists with pedalin only while the operator is pedaling, but pedal-assist continues up to 28mph. Users must be 16 years or older to operate a Class 3 ebike.
       
  • Ebikes are allowed to operate on roads and highways on the same basis as bicycles. For the purpose of road laws and regulations, the ebike is generally considered the same as a bicycle.
     
  • Ebikes are allowed on multi-use trails by default.  However, the trail owner can prohibit ebikes on certain multi-use trails after going through a process.
     
  • For natural surface trails, like single-track trails and mountain bike trails, the trail owner is allowed to set their own policy--allowing or disallowing ebikes or various classes of ebikes as needed.
     

Representative Aaron Greisheimer of Washington was sponsor of the ebike bill in
Representative Aaron Greisheimer of Washington was sponsor of the ebike bill in the House.
The ebike bill began as SB 38, sponsored by Senator Mike Bernskoetter, and HB 307, sponsorsed by Representative Aaron Greisheimer. Both bills moved well through their respective committees and chambers.  As is often the case, for final passage the bill was amended to another bill that was poised to move through both chambers. In this case, it was SB 176, sponsored by Senator Lincoln Hough of Springfield.

Find out more about the ebike bill, SB 176, including full text of the bill as finally passed, on its bill page at the Missouri Senate.