Alternative Vehicles Information

This information is not comprehensive, but is to be used for general guidelines only.  Please consult the California Vehicle Code and the City of Newport Beach Municipal Code directly for complete information.


Motorized Scooters
407.5(a)(b) CVC


Motorized scooters (electric or gas-powered) may be operated on public roadways without registration or insurance as long as they are either in a marked bike lane or on a street with a speed limit of 25 MPH of slower.

Laws and Regulations
  • DUI Regulations apply to motorized scooters
    21221.5 CVC

  • Lights are required during darkness
    21223(a)(1), (2), or (3) CVC

  • Required use of marked Bike Lane
    21229(a) CVC

  • Restricted to streets limited to 25 MPH or slower
    21235(b) CVC

  • Bicycle helmet required
    21235(c) CVC

  • Valid Driver's License or Permit required
    21235(d) CVC

  • May not ride on sidewalk
    21235(g) CVC

  • May not exceed 15 MPH
    22411 CVC

  • May not operate on Boardwalk
    12.54.025 NBMC


Pocket Bikes
473(a) CVC

Pocket bikes have their own definition in the Vehicle Code and are not allowed on public roadways, bikeways, equestrian trails, or any public lands open to off-highway motor vehicle use.

Laws and Regulations
  • Operation Prohibited in listed areas
    21720 CVC

  • May be impounded for 48 hours due to misuse
    21721(a) CVC

  • Operation prohibited within the City
    12.64.030(a), (b), or (c) NBMC


Motor Driven Cycles
405 CVC

A "Motor Driven Cycle" is simply a motorcycle that has an engine with less than 150cc's. A motor-driven cycle does not include a motorized bicycle, as defined in Section 406 CVC.

Laws and Regulations
  • Prohibited on Freeways
    21960(a) CVC


Golf Carts
345 CVC

Golf Carts are considered motor vehicles, as defined in Section 415(a) CVC. Golf carts may be operated on public roadways, as long as the driver is licensed and the cart is registered and insured, but only one passenger is allowed. Golf Carts are restricted to streets with a speed limit of 25 MPH or slower.

Laws and Regulations
  • Driver must be licensed
    12500(a) CVC

  • Insurance required
    16028(a) CVC

  • Must abide by lawful riding position (driver/passenger)
    21712(a) or (b) CVC

  • Restricted to streets with a limit of 25 MPH or slower
    21716 CVC

  • Operation prohibited within the City
    12.64.030(a), (b), or (c) NBMC


Low Speed Vehicles
385.5 CVC

Low Speed Vehicles are motor vehicles, as defined in Section 415(a) CVC. Almost everything that applies to the equipment and operation of motor vehicles also applies to Low Speed Vehicles.

Laws and Regulations
  • Restricted to streets with a limit of 35 MPH or slower
    21260(a) CVC


Mopeds and Motorized Bicycles
406(a) CVC

This definition applies to gas powered bicycles with working pedals and electric bicycles without pedals which are capable of traveling at a maximum speed of 30 MPH. These Mopeds are required to be registered and insured, and the operator must possess a Class M2 motorcycle license. Mopeds may be ridden in bike lanes, but the rider must ride in a manner that does not endanger the safety of bicyclists (21209(b) CVC).

Laws and Regulations
  • Special DMV plate required
    5030 CVC

  • M2 license required
    12500(b) CVC

  • Insurance required
    16028(a) CVC

  • Motorcycle helmet required
    27803(b) CVC

  • Lighting and Equipment requirements
    24015(a) or (b) CVC

  • Bike path or Bikeway prohibited
    21207.5 CVC

  • Operation prohibited within the City
    12.64.030(a), (b), or (c) NBMC



Electric Bicycles
312.5(a) CVC
 

        
This definition applies to electric bikes with functional pedals ONLY with an output of less than 750 watts.  Electric bicycles must follow the same rules of the road as bicycles [21200 CVC].  Only Class 1 and Class 2 electric bicycles may be ridden in Class 2 Bikeways and the rider must not endanger the safety of bicyclists [21209(b) CVC].

Electric bicycles have now been divided into three different categories: Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3:

Class 1: Pedal assisted only
            Maximum speed of 20 MPH

Class 2: Throttle assisted only
            Maximum speed of 20 MPH

Class 3: Pedal assisted only
            Maximum speed of 28 MPH
            Must have a speedometer

Laws and Regulations
  • Bikeways (bike path & bike lane) prohibited.
    21207.5(a) CVC

  • Must be 16 years old but NO DL required
    21213(a) CVC

  • Bicycle helmet required (includes passengers)
    21213(b) CVC


Electrically Motorized Board
313.5 CVC

 
This device is commonly known as a Hoverboard and can be operated almost anywhere a pedestrian can walk, unless prohibited by local ordinance.  Hoverboards may be operated in a Class 2 or Class 4 Bikeway.

Laws and Regulations
  • Must be 16 years old but NO DL required
    21291 CVC

  • Bicycle helmet required
    21292 CVC

  • Required equipment during darkness
    21293(a), (b), (c) or (d) CVC

  • Restricted to 35 MPH streets or slower
    21294(a) CVC  

  • Speeding (15MPH maximum)
    21294(b) CVC

  • DUI on an Electrically Motorized Board
    21296(a) CVC


Motorized Skateboards

Motorized Skateboards are not allowed on any public roadway, sidewalk, or pathway, regardless of operator's age or safety equipment.

Laws and Regulations
  • Prohibited operation
    21968 CVC


Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices
313(a) CVC

This devices is commonly known as a "SEGWAY" and can be operated almost anywhere a pedestrian can walk, unless prohibited by local ordinance. As of January 2008, Segways may be operated wherever pedestrians are allowed to walk within the City of Newport Beach (e.g. on the boardwalk, sidewalks, and piers).

Laws and Regulations
  • Equipment requirements
    21281(a), (b), (c), or (d) CVC

  • Unsafe operation, unsafe speed, wanton disregard, yield right of way
    21281.5(a), (b), (c), or (d) CVC



Motorized Quadricycles and Tricycles
407 CVC

These devices are commonly used by the Elderly or someone who is an Invalid. These devices may be operated on public sidewalks. The Vehicle Code requires the operator to have a physical disability.

 



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