NYS Autocycle Legislation

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions NYS Autocycle Legislation

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions NYS Autocycle Legislation

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  • NYS Autocycle Legislation

  • Noah Blumenthal

    September 22, 2021 at 9:37 am

    For anyone interested, below is a status update on the NYS legislation to allow people with standard driver’s licenses to operate autocycles (instead of requiring motorcycle licenses).

    Good Morning,

    I am writing regarding your email requesting information on A7192 relating to auto-cycles. As you may be aware, this bill passed both the Assembly and Senate during the 2020 and 2021 legislative sessions in Albany. Last session, Governor Cuomo vetoed the bill citing issues with the definition of “auto-cycle.” It is also known that Governor Cuomo had personal experiences on auto-cycles and he didn’t agree with the premise of the bill. For your review, I have included the veto message at the bottom of this email.

    I contacted the sponsor’s office, Assemblywoman Lupardo. Staff explained the bill was amended to reflect the language issues mentioned in the veto memo from 2020. During Governor Hochul’s transition to office the amount of bills being sent to the Governor’s office, for signature, have significantly slowed down. However, the sponsor’s office is hopeful Governor Hochul will positively analyze the bill and support the amendments.

    I would be happy to notify you when the Governor takes action on this bill.


    VETO MESSAGE – No. 59


    I am returning herewith, without my approval, the following bill:

    Assembly Bill Number 5390-B, entitled:

    “AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the
    operation of a three-wheeled vehicle”


    This bill would allow for the operation of an autocycle by a person
    holding a Class D license. A Class D license allows a holder to operate
    a standard automobile. Currently, to operate an autocycle in this State,
    a person must hold a Class M license, which allows for the operation of
    a motorcycle.

    In the bill, an “autocycle” is defined as a “three-wheeled vehicle”
    without reference to the placement of the wheels. As such, the bill
    fails to make a proper distinction between a standard autocycle, with
    two wheels situated in the front and one wheel in the rear, and a three-
    wheeled motorcycle, with one wheel situated in the front and two in the
    rear. This flaw would allow persons operating three-wheeled motorcycles
    to do so with a Class D automobile license, rather than the more appro-
    priate Class M motorcycle license.

    Furthermore, an autocycle is inherently less safe to operate, and its
    open air design provides far less crash protection, than a standard
    automobile. Forty-eight other states require a motorcycle license or
    special endorsement to operate because an autocycle does not handle like
    an automobile. An operator would benefit from the increased instruction
    and testing necessary to pass a driver’s test for a Class M motorcycle

    For the foregoing reasons, and to maintain the current level of safety
    on our State’s roads, I am constrained to veto this bill.

    The bill is disapproved. (signed) ANDREW M. CUOMO

  • kerbe2705

    September 22, 2021 at 9:43 am

    This is, potentially, good news…

    • Noah Blumenthal

      September 22, 2021 at 10:01 am

      It does seem promising. Will update when there is new info.

  • Len Marinaccio

    September 27, 2021 at 12:51 am

    Having had a prior life in politics, I am quite interested in this topic. Every political problem has a solution and this one is not that tough – but it does require a wee bit of a lobbying effort.

    At the heart of the problem is the language of the original bill which considers that all autocycles are roughly equal in terms of safety. The amended version is pretty good because it makes further distinctions. It is important to realize that a law will NOT contain a list of approved models that are exempt from Class M but it would allow such a list to be defined by administrative action (an action or rule adopted by someone like MVD using the law as a guide). In that case, Aptera will want to reach out to states with permissible laws to demonstrate the safety of its car and get positive placement on such lists.

    Where states do not have friendlier laws, it’s a matter of creating a “boiler plate” version and soliciting representatives for sponsorship. Common. A look at any applicable federal law would be advisable. If my distant memory serves me, Elio (while dead from the start) was working on getting new vehicle classification at a federal level. I’ve lost track of it though.

    • Noah Blumenthal

      September 27, 2021 at 4:36 am

      Agreed that this issue doesn’t seem that tough. Admittedly I was not a big fan of Cuomo and had already set in my mind that his veto last year was some insider special interest action. Upon reading the veto memo I was pleasantly surprised that I very much agreed with the rationale. It was a good reminder that while a lot of politics is shady, a lot of it is also on the up and up and just takes a lot of work (and iterations) to get right. I think this version gets it right and am really looking forward to hearing that it has been signed into law.

  • Joshua Rosen

    September 27, 2021 at 6:46 am

    In MA the last action on S2360, which is similar legislation, occurred on March 29th when it was referred to committee. I just wrote the sponsor of the bill to see what’s happening but I fear that it’s died in committee because it’s been six months.

    • Noah Blumenthal

      September 27, 2021 at 10:03 am

      Please do post here when you hear back. As a NYer with family in MA I am very interested in the legislation in both states. Thanks!

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