There are various requirements necessary for making an ATV street legal, starting with understanding your local laws. Some states impose age-based restrictions, while others provide specific rules on crossing highways.
Step two is to equip yourself with the appropriate safety equipment, such as muffler, headlights and more.
What is an ATV?
An ATV, more commonly referred to as a quad or four wheeler, is a motor vehicle designed for off-road use. These four-wheeled vehicles typically feature four wheels with straddle seats and handlebars for steering; designed for any terrain from rough paths to mud tracks and steep inclines.
Riding an ATV can be both thrilling and satisfying, but it is essential that you understand its rules before venturing out on the trail. Always ensure you have an approved USDOT helmet, protective gear such as long pants, face shield/goggles/gloves/over-the-ankle boots as well as first aid supplies available should an accident arise.
Additionally, ATV use should only ever be done when specifically designated and posted for such use – this includes sections of highway that connect off-highway trails. When riding on private land owners’ properties, please follow any special requests or restrictions; riding recklessly could result in losing permission altogether.
What are the Rules of the Road for ATVs?
Riding an ATV on public roads is both illegal and hazardous, with laws at state, county and municipal levels that regulate ATV usage. Furthermore, certain roads or trails should only be used as designated ATV trails as this could constitute trespassing on property you do not own.
On most highways, county, or township roads you must possess both a valid driver’s license and be directly supervised by someone 18 or over in order to ride an ATV on its shoulder berm or shoulder lane. Furthermore, it’s a requirement that both you and any passengers wear helmets when operating an ATV on these surfaces.
You may use an ATV on the paved portion of a road or highway if necessary to cross it in order to travel from one area of a trail to the next. When doing so, however, you’ll require a license, be in good standing with your insurance provider, and your ATV must be equipped with headlights and taillights in order to legally operate on these roadways.
Do I Need a License to Ride an ATV on the Road?
Laws vary between states, but generally speaking to operate an ATV on public roads, you need a license. Additionally, you should register and insure your ATV and undergo safety inspections as part of this process.
ATVs, or all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), are motorized vehicles designed specifically for off-road use, typically featuring four large balloon-style tires with treaded tread. Their center seat allows the operator to straddle it while steering with handlebars – ideal for solo operations as well as ones which accommodate multiple passengers at once.
Kids under age 16 should only ride ATVs if they have taken an ATV safety course and are capable of operating them correctly. Helmets and eye protection must always be worn when riding at speed on designated trails, and it is wise to have an emergency first aid kit on board that includes bandages, antibiotic ointment, gauze pads and band-aids ready for injuries that might arise. A winch can also come in handy should things go sideways.
Do I Need Insurance to Ride an ATV on the Road?
Riding an ATV is an enjoyable and effective way to stay active outdoors, and makes for an ideal family activity that builds stronger bonds. Riding can also serve as a fantastic cardio workout; research has demonstrated its benefits by strengthening both musculoskeletal systems and cardiovascular systems.
ATVs feature a high center of gravity and no roll bars or safety cages to help ensure riders remain safe; without these protections in place, ATVs may tip easily or even roll over completely onto riders, leading them to be noisy and require more muscle power for maneuverability than dirt bikes.
Adults 18 or over may operate an ATV while children under 16 must only ride those designed specifically to suit them in terms of size and age. All riders should wear USDOT-approved helmets, eye protection, gloves and long pants with long sleeved shirt/jacket or jacket as well as over-the-ankle boots to maximize comfort and protection – always opt for the right-fitting helmets!
Chris is a passionate learner and writer. When he’s not working on his blog or learning something new, he’s a full-time systems administrator and father of two beautiful girls. Chris loves spending time with his family, reading, writing, and playing hockey.