South Dakota State Electric Bike Laws

If you want to buy an electric bicycle for yourself or others, you should first get to know all regulations are rules that apply to your state. The United States of America has not issued a general, universal set of rules, which means you have to follow guidelines that are specific to your location. Today we talk about South Dakota state electric bike laws.

How does the state of South Dakota declares what an electric bike is. 


The state of South Dakota defines an electric bicycle as an electrically assisted bicycle equipped with a seat, pedals, and a motor that does not exceed 750 Watts of power.

There are three classes of bikes:

  • class 1 electric bikes assist you only when you pedal, but the assistance can only help you reach about 20 miles per hour
  • class 2 electric bicycles assist even when you don't pedal, and the maximum speed you can reach is also 20 miles per hour
  • class 3 electric bikes are a bit different, and they provide assistance when you pedal but are able to reach up to 28 miles per hour


How powerful can my bike be? If you want to legally ride your bike in the state of South Dakota, you must make sure it is under 750 Watts of power. If not, it is deemed unsafe.

Do I need a license or insurance? There are no licenses, registrations, or insurance policies that you need to be aware of when you get your electric bicycle.

Do I need to wear a helmet? Laws on helmets in South Dakota are quite confusing – some say that everyone under the age of 18 needs a helmet, while others say that only passengers and riders of class three bikes need them. We'd contact the local authorities if we were you, better safe than sorry. 

Are there age restrictions to look out for?  If you are under the age of 16, you cannot ride a class three bicycle. You cannot even be a passenger, so keep that in mind.

Can I ride on the road? Unless prohibited by local authorities in certain parts of the state, you can ride class one and two bikes on paths for bikes and multi-use paths. Class three bikes are not allowed there, but they can ride on the road.

Do I ride in the same direction as traffic? If you want to make sure that you are always visible to others, ride in the same direction as everyone else, and make sure to ride as far right as possible.

Do bike riders need to obey all the traffic signs? Yes, it is always advised that you do so. These precautions make sure that you are safe and that everyone is well taken care of.

What about electric mountain bikes? The South Dakota Division of Parks and Recreation has allowed electric mountain bikes where regular bikes are allowed, but it's not a bad idea to contact your local authorities for more guidelines. Some of the best rides you can check out in South Dakota include the Centennial Trail – Boxelder Creek to Pilot Knob, as well as the Mickelson Trail.


Electric bicycles are a great way to stay fit, but make sure to follow guidelines and respect the authorities nearby. For more up-to-date information, make sure to contact the local police department.


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