Is it Illegal to Ride a Hoverboard in Public in California?

Hoverboards were highly popular when they first came out a few years back. Unfortunately, the spate of accidents and injuries has caused legitimate concerns. Incidents of hoverboards exploding have prompted state and local authorities to restrict their use, especially in public areas and streets. People in the Golden State are now wondering if it’s illegal to ride a hoverboard in public in California.

Last year, the state of California enacted a law regarding the use of hoverboards in public. The good news is people can still use the hoverboard outside their homes. But they can only drive them in certain areas and conditions.

It’s not down to any specific model. Doesn’t matter about wheel size or safety to the rider (although specific wheel sizes do make a difference to the safety for the rider). It is just a matter of safety for all that these legislations are in place and law I California.

Places Where the Hoverboard is Allowed

According to the California hoverboard law, owners can drive them on the highways, bike lanes, sidewalks and other public pathways. This practically means the hoverboard can travel to almost anywhere the driver wants to go. California is probably kinder and generous to hoverboard drivers compared to other states. Cities like New York have stricter laws with regard to these self-balancing scooters traveling on the streets.

California Hoverboard Law Has Conditions

It’s true that hoverboard drivers can travel almost anywhere in California but there are conditions.

  1. Kids and anyone under 16 years of age are not allowed to drive the hoverboard at least, in public.
  2. Hoverboard drivers can only travel on streets or roads where the speed limit does not exceed 35 mph.
  3. At the same time, the hoverboard cannot go faster than 15 mph while traveling on public roads and paths.
  4. Hoverboard drivers must always make sure that they are wearing helmets and if possible, other safety gears while traveling in public.
  5. Drivers should see to it that their hoverboards have lights and safety reflectors should they travel at night.
  6. It also goes without saying that the police will arrest any hoverboard drivers traveling under the influence of liquor, drugs or both.

Anyone caught violating one or several of these conditions can expect to pay a fine of $250.

Places Where Hoverboards are Not Welcome

While hoverboards can travel on public roads and streets, they are not welcome in certain areas. Despite the law, establishments have the right to ban their use or even their presence.

  1. Most airlines do not permit the boarding of hoverboards inside their planes. The incidents of these balancing scooters bursting into flames have made them wary.
  2. Many universities and colleges still do not allow hoverboards from using the streets and roads inside their campus.
  3. Metrolink also doesn’t allow hoverboards inside the trains probably for the same reasons given by the airlines.

Responsibility of Hoverboard Drivers

Hoverboard drivers in California are allowed more freedom to travel. But they are not only responsible for themselves but for other people around them. Once they travel in public, hoverboard drivers should make sure that they will not endanger themselves or other people and vehicles nearby. This means that they should refrain from performing tricks and turns while traveling on public roads and streets.

Compensation Policy on Hoverboard Use

Interestingly, California workers who got injured while using the hoverboard at work can file claims for compensation. Workers can receive payment for their medical expenses and partial return of their salaries lost as a result of the injury. People in such a situation should always seek competent legal advice in filing compensation claims.

California Highway Patrol Position on Hoverboards

The California Highway Patrol will soon release its official position on whether the self-balancing scooter is endangering public safety or not. Owners must keep it in mind that their freedom to travel can be taken away if they prove to be a nuisance to everybody else. The exact date of the report’s release has not been given. All we know is that the report is going to come out before 2021.


Yes, it’s perfectly legal to use hoverboards in public when you are California. But they are not allowed in certain establishments like schools, train stations, and airlines. Safety gears like helmets and lights are also required especially when riding at night. Hoverboard owners are also responsible for the safety of other people and vehicles which means they should not drive while intoxicated. If they violate the conditions, they may have to pay a fine or worse, go to jail.

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Jovany Maxwell