Hoverboards are real, like the one Lexus unveiled several months ago, but given their limitations, they’re not exactly available for commercial purchase or use yet. Instead the closest thing we’ve gotten are those self-balancing scooters that we’ve seen many people riding around the streets and in videos, which even though not technically a hoverboard has been referred to as such.
That being said, it looks like over in New York City, these devices are now considered to be illegal. According to a report from Gothamist, the NYPD 26th Precinct recently tweeted a statement declaring its illegal status, but was deleted shortly. However in the tweet, it mentions Code 19-176.2.
Based on the code, it seems to suggest that these self-balancing motorized scooters are legal. It reads, “For purposes of this section, the term ‘motorized scooter’ shall mean any wheeled device that has handlebars…” It also mentions, “For the purposes of this section, the term ‘motorized scooter’ shall not include electric powered devices not capable of exceeding fifteen miles per hour…”
This would suggest that they ARE legal, but before you get too excited (and confused), the NYC Department of Transportation has confirmed to Gothamist that they are illegal. This is simply because they are considered motor vehicles that cannot be registered with the DMV, thus resulting in them being prohibited. This means if you are caught on one in NYC, expect to be slapped with a fine of up to $500.