Laws for Electric Scooters in Australia

Adult electric scooters have risen in popularity as a reasonable and sustainable alternative to larger, fossil-fueled forms of transportation. However, they are not legal to use throughout all states in Australia. Follow this guide to learn more about Australian scooter laws – and always research where you’ll be riding to ensure you’re not breaking any rules. 

Where Can You Legally Ride Electric Scooters in Australia?

Electric scooters, privately owned or rental, are street legal (max 50 kph top speed) in Western Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, and select areas of Australian Capital Territory (ACT). They are generally restricted to a max top speed with some other restrictions by state. Keep reading for specifics on each.

On the other hand,privately owned electric scooters are not street legal in Northern Territory, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and most areas of ACT. Although personally owned scooters are not legal to ride on public roads, you can ride them on private roads. Separately, some regions are running trials, so riding shared scooters is permitted in those areas with some restrictions.

As you’ll find, most of the safety restrictions and guidelines for electric scooters provided by each state in Australia overlap slightly, like the age limit, helmet requirement, and necessity for a bell and lights. With expansion and development of e-scooter trials across the country and the benefit of nearly year-round scooter-riding weather, we hope that Australia will allow a larger range of electric scooters to be used on public and private roads. 

Like in South Australia, riding private electric scooters on public roads is prohibited across New South Wales (NSW) and is only allowed on private property

It is legal to ride shared electric scooters on public roadways given that riders follow the safety precautions provided. E-scooter trials with Neuron Mobility are running in Lake Macquarie, Western Sydney Parklands, and the Australian Botanic Gardens Mount Annan. These trials continue to inform the rules the state has set for e-scooter riders.  

Here are some of the restrictions in NSW: 

  • Rider must be 16 years or older, must wear an approved bicycle helmet, use e-scooter lights when riding in low-light conditions, and drive on designated shared pathways only
  • Riders must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and must not ride tandem with others (fines will apply) 
  • Riders must not exceed 10 kph on shared paths and should be aware and show courtesy to others on the road

Unlike scooter laws regulating rental programs in the United States, a valid driver’s licence is not required in NSW to drive a scooter. Read more about electric scooter laws in New South Wales here

In South Australia, it is illegal to ride private electric scooters on public roads. However, you can ride personal e-scooters on private property, and rental scooters in areas where programs are active. These trial programs are helping legislators understand the benefits of personal electric vehicles.  

As there are active e-scooter rental programs running, most of the laws currently apply to shared scooter use only. The scooter trials are in Adelaide and North Adelaide, along the Coastal Park Trail, within the City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters and in the City of Unley

During the trials, the city will monitor the programs they’ve approved with Beam and Neuron Mobility, evaluate their impact, and determine if they plan to make them a permanent part of the infrastructure in this state. Through this assessment, the council will be able to develop regulations for other electric scooters and other personal mobility devices (PMD)

Currently, the law in South Australia categorises electric scooters as motorised vehicles, but they cannot be registered because they do not reach Australian safety standards. Hopefully, the trial programs will demonstrate which laws keep the public safe, and how to incorporate private scooter riding on public roads.  

You can review South Australia scooter laws here

Queensland was one of the first states in Australia to enact laws specifically designed to legalize use of PMDs, including electric scooters. By their specification, PMDs include e-scooters, e-skateboards, and electric unicycles (EUCs). 

In Queensland, there’s a set of rules for the scooter rider as well as restrictions for the scooter they’re using. If you do not comply, you may be subject to fines. The PMD must be designed for single-person use, not exceed specific dimensions, not exceed 60 kg without a load, be powered by an electric motor, and have one or more wheels. They do not consider non-motorised vehicles PMDs, so bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, and foot scooters are not included. 

The laws in Queensland state that you must be at least 12 years of age and under adult supervision or 16 years of age. You must wear an Australian Standard (AS) approved helmet for bicycles or motorcycles and keep it securely fastened. Your PMD must have effective brakes, a working bell or horn, a front white light, a rear red light, and a rear red reflector for visibility at night or in poor weather conditions. 

There are fairly liberal rules to where you can ride a scooter in Queensland. E-scooters can be ridden on footpaths, bicycle and shared paths, bike lanes, and local streets. Each type of roadway has different restrictions for maximum speed. You must not ride e-scooters anywhere in Queensland where there are signs displaying that their use is prohibited. 

Some illegal and/or dangerous actions include:

  • Riding while holding or using your mobile phone
  • Riding tandem with another on the scooter
  • Children riding (under 12 years of age) 
  • Towing children without a helmet
  • Being towed by another vehicle
  • Not using hand or electronic turn signals
  • Riding in the opposite direction path on roads, crossings, or paths
  • Carrying a load that’s not properly secured

Read more specifics about electric scooter laws in Queensland here

Just like in South Australia and New South Wales (NSW), privately owned electric scooters can only be ridden on private property in Northern Territory. Rental scooters can be used in areas where they are permitted given that you follow the city’s rules. 

In the City of Darwin, Neuron Mobility is running an e-scooter trial. Many of the rules and restrictions that apply to scooter rental programs in NSW also apply in Northern Territory, like the 18-year-old age restriction, helmet requirement, and 15 kph top speed. In addition to not riding tandem and not operating it while intoxicated, you also cannot bring rental scooters on public transportation. 

If you are caught riding your own e-scooter on roads, footpaths, or public spaces on public property, you may be fined for driving an unregistered motor vehicle. Also, although you do not need a driver’s licence to operate an adult electric scooter, you may have all vehicle driving privileges revoked should you be caught committing offences while riding a scooter. 

Find more information about e-scooter laws in Northern Territory, Australia here

As is the practise across most states in Australia, electric scooters that are privately owned are restricted to private property in Victoria and the scooter itself must not exceed certain restrictions. On the other hand, rental scooters may be ridden on public roads where permitted. 

In Victoria, owning your own scooter comes with quite a few restrictions. Privately owned scooters cannot have an electric motor that has a power output greater than 200W or a top speed over 10 kph. It also cannot have a petrol motor. 

If caught riding on a footpath, Victoria Police can issue fines immediately if you are committing an offence. Some offences include riding without a licence, an unregistered motor vehicle, not wearing a helmet, using your phone while riding, and appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The police can even cite you for riding carelessly. 

There are multiple e-scooter trials currently running throughout the state in Yarra, Port Philip, Melbourne, and Ballarat. Both Lime and Neuron Mobility have contracts with Victoria to operate scooter rental programs. As mentioned on the VicRoads site about scooter laws, “the Victorian Government recognises there are potential benefits to allowing higher-power e-scooters in public areas” and that the e-trials are helping inform how faster scooters can be incorporated into the infrastructure.

For more information on scooter laws in Victoria, visit VicRoads here. 

Similar to the scooter laws in Queensland, Western Australia permits both privately owned scooters and rental scooters on most roadways with some restrictions on the scooter’s size, weight, speed, and features

Western Australia terms electric scooters as ‘eRideables’ that must be smaller than 125 cm long, 70 cm wide, and 135 cm tall. E-scooters shouldn’t be more than 25 kg or a speed in excess of 25 kph. Additionally, they should be outfitted with a bell, lights and reflectors for safety. As throughout most of the country, the legal riding age is 16, and you should not ride with another person, use your phone, or ride without a helmet on an electric scooter.  

There is an e-scooter trial in Sterling City, and where you can ride rental scooters is restricted to the surrounding area by the provider, Neuron Mobility. You should also abide by the same laws that apply to all eRideables. 

In Western Australia, it’s illegal to ride on roads with a dividing line, roads where the speed exceeds 50 kph, a path that is marked ‘no wheeled devices’ or ‘no bicycle’. When riding on a separated path, it’s also illegal to ride in the side designated for pedestrians.

For more information on eRideables or laws for scooters in Western Australia, visit here

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has unique laws for electric scooters, in that they allow privately owned electric scooters to be ridden where rental scooter trials are active

Scooter riders, regardless of owned or rented, must abide by the same rules, which are very similar to other states in Australia. In ACT, it’s illegal for two people to ride on one scooter, to ride without a helmet, to ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol, to ride on roads, and to ride over the speed limit. On shared paths and bike paths, the limit is 25 kph; on footpaths 15 kph; and at a street crossing 10 kph. If caught committing these offences, you are subject to fines. 

As e-scooter trials with Beam and Neuron Mobility are active in Canberra and Belconnen, privately owned scooters can also be ridden in these cities. There are plans to expand the trial area, which would give scooter riders in ACT more pathways they can legally ride around the state. 

For all the specific rules that riders must follow based on ACT scooter laws, go here

It is legal to ride both privately owned and shared electric scooters throughout Tasmania on shared paths, footpaths, and bicycle paths as well as roads with a speed limit lower than 50 kph. 

In Tasmania, the rider must abide by very similar rules to those set in Queensland, however, with no restrictions on the size or max motor power for the device, referred to in this state as a personal mobility device (PMD). You should not exceed 15 kph on footpaths or 25 kph on shared paths, bicycle paths, or roads, and can receive fines if you are caught riding irresponsibly. However, it’s legal to ride on public or private property on rental or owned scooters. By the way, electric scooters do not need to be registered or insured in Tasmania. 

For more on the scooter laws from the Tasmanian transport services department, go here