‘Do I need to register my electric kick scooter?’ and other common questions, answered

Short answer: It depends
by TopGear.com.ph | Jun 15, 2022
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PHOTO: Shutterstock

There’s much talk about the use of small electric-powered mobility devices lately, with more people switching to these alternative modes of transport due to the rising prices of fuel. Reports seem to indicate a higher number of road incidents involving users of these devices, though, and a lot of confusion as to whether users are required to register their units or have a driver’s license.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) Administrative Order No. 2021-039, or the Consolidated Guidelines in the Classification, Registration, and Operation of All Types of Electric Motor Vehicles, attempts to provide the answer to all the common questions about the use of electric-powered vehicles in the Philippines. But first, you need to know the following: What type of unit do you have, what is its power output, and what is its maximum speed? Because the type of helmet you need, the roads you can go on, and whether you need a license or not depends on the answers to these questions.

Continue reading below ↓

1) Personal mobility scooter

This is classified by the LTO as “a two-, three-, or four-wheeled vehicle, with our without pdeals, powered by electric energy with less than 300 wattage.”

  • Category: Electric mobility scooter (EMS)
  • Maximum speed: 12.5kph
  • Road operation: Limited to private roads, pedestrian lanes, bike lanes, and other similar lanes
  • Required protective gear/helmet: helmet similar to those designed for bicycles
  • Registration: no registration requirement
  • Driver’s license: no license required for operation
Continue reading below ↓
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2) Electric kick scooter

This is classified by the LTO as “a two-, three-, or four-wheeled vehicle, with or without pedals, powered by electric energy with less than 300 wattage.”

  • Category: Electric mobility scooter (EMS)
  • Maximum speed: 12.5kph
  • Road operation: Limited to barangay roads, bike lanes, and other similar lanes
  • Required protective gear/helmet: helmet similar to those designed for motorcycles
  • Registration: no registration requirement
  • Driver’s license: no license required for operation
Continue reading below ↓

3) E-bicycle and e-moped with two wheels (L1a)

This is classified by the LTO as “a two-wheeled vehicle, with or without pedals, powered by electric energy capable of propelling the unit up to a maximum speed of 50kph (L1a and L1b).”

  • Category: L1a
  • Maximum speed: 25kph
  • Road operation: Limited to barangay roads, bike lanes, and other similar lanes; allowed to cross national roads or by other roads when barangays are separated by it
  • Required protective gear/helmet: helmet similar to those designed for bicycles
  • Registration: no registration requirement
  • Driver’s license: no license required for operation

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4) Light e-scooter and e-moped with two wheels (L1b)

This is classified by the LTO as “a two-wheeled vehicle, with or without pedals, powered by electrical energy capable of propelling the unit up to a maximum speed of 50kph (L1a and L1b).”

  • Category: L1b
  • Maximum speed: 26-50kph
  • Road operation: Allowed to go beyond barangay roads to cover other local roads, provided that it will take the outermost part of the road adjacent to the sidewalk. It can pass main thoroughfares and national roads for purposes of crossing roads that have been divided by the aforementioned thoroughfares, but they should yield the right of way to incoming traffic.
  • Required protective gear/helmet: motor protective helmet
  • Registration: no registration requirement
  • Driver’s license: no license required for operation
Continue reading below ↓

5) E-scooter and e-moped with three wheels (L2a)

This is classified by the LTO as “a three-wheeled vehicle, with or without pedals, powered by electric energy capable of propelling the unit up to a maximum speed of 50kph (L2a and L2b).”

  • Category: L2a
  • Maximum speed: 25kph
  • Road operation: Limited within or along private roads and barangay roads. It can be operated within bike lanes considering their speed limit, and can also pass main thoroughfares, national roads, and other types of roads for purposes of crossing roads that have been divided by the aforementioned thoroughfares, but they shall yield the right of way to incoming traffic.
  • Required protective gear/helmet: helmet similar to those designed for bicycles
  • Registration: no registration requirement
  • Driver’s license: no license required for operation

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Continue reading below ↓

6) E-scooter and e-moped with three wheels (L2b)

This is classified by the LTO as “a three-wheeled vehicle, with or without pedals, powered by electric energy capable of propelling the unit up to a maximum speed of 50kph (L2a and L2b).”

  • Category: L2b
  • Maximum speed: 26-50kph
  • Road operation: Allowed to go beyond barangay roads to cover other local roads, provided that it will take the outermost part of the road adjacent to the sidewalk. It can pass main thoroughfares and national roads for purposes of crossing roads that have been divided by the aforementioned thoroughfares, but they shall yield the right of way to incoming traffic.
  • Required protective gear/helmet: motorcycle protective helmet
  • Registration: required, with fees similar to motorcycle without sidecar
  • Driver’s license requirement: required

7) E-motorcycle

This is classified by the LTO as “a two-wheeled vehicle powered solely by electrical energy capable of propelling the unit to more than 50kph.”

Continue reading below ↓
  • Category: L3
  • Maximum speed: Can exceed 50kph
  • Road operation: Allowed to operate in all types of roads except in limited-access highways that require minimum speed ratings. It may be used as public transportation subject to existing laws and regulations.
  • Required protective gear/helmet: motorcycle standard helmet as defined by law (with ICC sticker)
  • Registration: required, with fees similar to motorcycle without sidecar
  • Driver’s license requirement: required

7) E-trike or electric three-wheeled vehicle

This is classified by the LTO as “a three-wheeled vehicle powered solely by electrical energy with minimum rated power of 1,000 watts, capable of propelling the unit not more than 50kph, with maximum curb weight of 600kg and designed to carry goods, cargo, and passengers.”

  • Category: L4 and L5
  • Maximum speed: 50kph
  • Road operation: Allowed to go beyond barangay roads to cover other local roads and tertiary national roads provided that the driver has a driver’s license. It can pass main thoroughfares and national roads for purposes of crossing roads that have been divided by the aforementioned thoroughfares, but they shall yield the right of way to incoming traffic. Local government units may also authorize this type of vehicle, whether private or for hire, to traverse national highways or main thoroughfares through the enactment of an ordinance, provided that it shall be limited to the outermost lane of the highways.
  • Required protective gear/helmet: none
  • Registration: required, with fees similar to motorcycle with sidecar (L4) or light cars (L5)
  • Driver’s license requirement: required
Continue reading below ↓

7) E-quad

This is classified by the LTO as “a four-wheeled microcar with limited weight, power, and speed.” L6 classification is given to light quadricycles “with unladen mass of not more than 350kg and powered by electrical energy up to 4,000 watts.” L7 classification is given to heavy quadricycles “with unladen mass of not more than 550kg and powered by electrical energy up to 15,000 watts.”

  • Category: L6 and L7
  • Maximum speed: 50kph
  • Road operation: Allowed to go beyond barangay roads to cover other local roads and tertiary national roads provided that the driver has a driver’s license. It can pass main thoroughfares and national roads for purposes of crossing roads that have been divided by the aforementioned thoroughfares, but they shall yield the right of way to incoming traffic. Local government units may also authorize this type of vehicle, whether private or for hire, to traverse national highways or main thoroughfares through the enactment of an ordinance, provided that it shall be limited to the outermost lane of the highways.
  • Required protective gear/helmet: none
  • Registration: required, with fees similar to light cars
  • Driver’s license requirement: required
Continue reading below ↓

The MMDA has also listed the usual penalties that users of these electric personal mobility devices and electric vehicles may face if they fail to follow the requirements. Check them out below:

Penalties

  1. Not wearing a helmet (driver, rider, or backrider): P1,500
  2. Failure to carry OR/CR: P1,000
  3. Operation on restricted roads (obstruction): P1,000
  4. Unregistered or expired registration: P10,000

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