Electric scooters: get to know the new regulations

By Andreas KreuzerAugust 23, 2022

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Electric scooters are legal in Germany. However several restrictions and regulations apply.

In larger cities electric scooters belong to the cityscape. In Germany the regulations for e-scooters are way different than in the United States. The German rules also apply on-post.

Can I buy any scooter?
No — Only certain types of scooters approved by the Kraftfahrt Bundesamt, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, are allowed on public streets. Double check before you buy a scooter. You can find more information here: www.kba.de.

Do I need an insurance?
Yes  — An insurance sticker is mandatory. This sticker is available at German insurance companies. The price is about 15 to 30 euros per year.

How fast can I drive?
The maximum speed of scooters is allowed which is 20 kilometers per hour (12.4 miles per hour).

What are the traffic regulations? Do I need a drivers’ license?
There is no license required to drive the scooters, but there is a minimum age of 14 years. Drivers younger than the age of 14 are not allowed to ride e-scooters on public streets.

Where can I drive?
E-scooters can be operated in designated bike lanes and bike paths. Just in case these options aren’t available, the usage of regular streets is allowed. E-scooters are strictly prohibited on German highways (Autobahn). Pedestrian streets and sidewalks are also not allowed for e-scooter driving but it can be pushed or carried. Scooters must be equipped with lights since lights are mandatory at night times.

Is a helmet mandatory?
On German streets helmets are not mandatory but highly recommended. However, on Garrison installations the wearing of a helmet is required.

How can I indicate my direction?
If your scooter isn’t equipped with a turn signal you need to indicate the direction with your arms, similar to bicycle rules.

Can I bring it on buses and trains?
Most transportation companies in Germany agreed to transport street approved e-scooters. Scooters that can be folded can be transported for free. Scooters that can’t be folded are handled similar to bikes and an extra ticket must be bought.

What are the DUI rules?
The same DUI rules apply as driving a car. High fines and car driving bans can be issued by the police if violated.

What are the fines?

  • Driving on the Autobahn: 20 euros
  • Driving without insurance sticker: 40 euros
  • Driving without type approval: 70 euros
  • Driving side-by-side: 15 – 30 euros
  • Driving with two passengers: 10 euros
  • Don’t indicate turning direction: 10 – 25 euros
  • Driving on sidewalk: 55 – 100 euros
  • DUIs: 250 – 1.500 euros

What about Segways, air wheels, hoverboards and e-skateboards, pedelecs and s-pedelecs?

  • Segways need to be insured like a small motorcycle. A driver’s license is necessary.
  • Airwheels, hoverboards and e-skateboards are generally not allowed to drive on public roads.
  • Pedelecs (bicycles with an electric motor up to 25 kilometers per hour) are allowed on public streets and don’t require a license or insurance sticker.
  • S-Pedelecs (bicycles with an electric motor up to 45 kilometers per hour) are allowed with insurance plate and a moped license “AM”. A regular car license “B” also covers S-Pedelecs.

Are there specific regulations on-post?

The same German wide rules apply on-post. Non-compliance to the listed rules and regulations will be prosecuted on German roads and on-post:

In addition, please be in aware of following on-post:

  • It’s prohibited to drive on the One Community Road with an e-scooter.
  • E-scooter Drivers are required to wear a helmet on USAG-Installations.