Are electric skateboards legal in Illinois?

Electric skaeboards are a recent trend, it is expected to make law sshould be managing their use in public places. As such, many American states made updates to their traffic laws with regards to these devices.

For the residents of Illinois or those visiting the state, you’ll want to know what the law says on the matter. So, the million-dollar question is, ‘are electric skateboards legal in Illinois?’

It is illegal to ride an electric skateboard on a sidewalk or road in the business district. Let’s translate this and see how it applies to real-life electric skateboarders. This means you can ride your electric skateboard on roads and sidewalks as long as it’s not in the business district . Luckily for electric skateboard riders, there are signs to help guide you. The roads and paths where you aren’t allowed to ride an electric skateboard are well signed. So, you don’t have to worry too much about breaching the law, simply obey the signs!

Where can I ride my electric skateboard in Illinois?

As the law states where you can’t ride your electric skateboard, it can leave you searching for a place to ride. To help make the decision easier, here are some of the most common places electric skateboarders use.

Bike lanes

Bike lanes aren’t available everywhere but where they are, it is a great place to ride your electric skateboard. Bike lanes have lower speed restrictions than roads so they are safer for electric skateboard riders. Where bike lanes exist, they are the best option for you to ride your electric skateboard and should be your first choice.


There is no shortage of roadways across the city offering ample riding ground for electric skateboards. The only problem is that not all roadways allow the use of electric skateboards. Make sure to watch out for the signage on any road before using it. It is however worth noting that speed limits on roads are higher than that allowed for electric skateboards. Hence, the roads may be a little unsafe for you, so please apply the necessary caution!

Skate parks

Skate parks offer the best option for electric skateboarders as they are designed specifically for them. They are the most recommended place for electric skateboarders. There is also the added benefit of other electric skateboarders being present. Skateparks are closed off and thus, there are few or no pedestrians. As a result, you can operate freely without too much worry of hurting anyone!

Laws for electric skateboard riders

There are laws that you are expected to obey on the road. While normal traffic rules and ‘common sense’ are expected to be obeyed, there are other laws as well. The law is similar to those of electric scooters and you can read a more comprehensive version hereOpens in a new tab.. The main highlights of the law include:

Age requirement

The minimum age requirement for an electric skateboard rider is 16 years. This law was created for electric scooters but also applies to electric skateboards. In addition to this, the rider may be required to have a permit. A valid state ID card may suffice in this capacity. This law only applies when the electric skateboard rider is in public, so those under 16 may ride in skate parks.

Nighttime use

In the interest of public safety, electric skateboard riders need to meet certain criteria to operate at night. You are expected to have lights and reflective surfaces to help you be visible to other riders. With such measures, accident levels are reduced and public safety is maintained. As electric skateboards may not have lights by default, you may have to buy them specially. If you cannot attach the lights to your electric skateboard, you can attach it or hang it on yourself.

Speed limit

Speed limits are a common feature for all road-worthy vehicles and electric skateboards are no exception. The expected speed limit for electric skateboards is 20mph (32km/hr) on a paved surface. This includes roads, bike lanes, and sidewalks (where applicable). Skate parks don’t necessarily qualify as paved surfaces and thus, the limit doesn’t apply. You are still expected to ride at reasonable speeds to prevent any hazards.

Safety requirements

This is kind of an unwritten law but you still need to obey it. The rules of the road and traffic signs exist and you are expected to obey them. While the traffic signals weren’t created for electric skateboards, they have been adapted to accommodate it. In addition to this, you are expected to always wear a helmet when operating in public. It isn’t a legal requirement, but you are still advised to wear one.

Can we ride on the sidewalk?

The law explicitly prohibits this, but only in the business districts. Outside the business districts, on the other hand, you can ride on the sidewalk. You should however watch out for signs prohibiting the use of electric skateboards. Some sidewalks may prohibit the use of electric skateboards outside the business districts. You will also have to give precedence to pedestrians when they are present on the sidewalk.

Do we need a license?

Yes, you need a license to operate an electric skateboard in Illinois (source). However, there isn’t a special license for electric skateboard riders. The license required isn’t to determine competence or expertise, rather, it is for identification purposes. As a result, you can have any form of valid identification to serve this requirement. Some of the licenses that can serve in this capacity include a driver’s license and state identification. This rule was introduced for electric scooters, but electric skateboards follow similar laws. So, when riding an electric skateboard, ensure you have a valid form of identification on you.

Do we need insurance?

No, you don’t legally need to insure your electric skateboard before you can operate it in public in Illinois. In keeping with this, you may not be able to insure your electric skateboard in the state. With that being said, collisions involving electric skateboards are possible. In such a situation medical bills and damage to property are involved. This makes insurance a major need, but it still isn’t available as of yet. There may be ways to get around this as medical insurance can cover any medical expenses. Property and damage insurance may also be able to protect the electric skateboard in case of damage. Thus, while there is no official insurance for electric skateboards, there are things you can do.


The use of electric skateboards is increasing daily and it seems like a fun activity. The authorities respect the need but must protect lives and property, hence, the laws. To ensure their continued use in the state, you should obey all the set laws. While ‘common sense’ is a broad term, you are expected to apply it when riding. By obeying all the set laws, you can ride safely while promoting the safety of pedestrians. Before you start riding your electric skateboard in public, ensure you familiarize yourself with the law. You can contact local law enforcement for information or interpretation of unclear laws. If necessary, seek legal advice to ensure you obey the law the right way.


Electrical engineer, I have a passion for technology in general and modern urban mobility in particular. Do not hesitate to contact us or comment our blog posts if you have any questions

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