Guide to the ATV and UTV Laws in Delaware

Continuing in our series of articles analyzing the ATV laws in every state, which stemmed from this article, we are addressing the ATV laws in Delaware in this article.  It should also be noted that, while I am an attorney, I am not your attorney and am not giving legal advice.  If you have questions, you should consult a local attorney.

Are you Required to Register your ATV or UTV in Delaware?

You must register your ATV or UTV before riding in Delaware. You can register your ATV or UTV at any Division of Motor Vehicles office.

You must provide a description of the ATV or UTV (make, year and serial number) and you must either be 18 years of age or be accompanied by at least one parent or legal guardian who provides written consent on the application. The fee for a three-year registration is just $6.00.

While you must be able to present your registration upon demand, but Delaware allows you up to 24 hours to produce the registration, as long as you had legal registration prior to the demand.

Should your ATV or UTV be destroyed, abandoned, stolen or sold, you must notify the Department within 15 days. The notice shall consist of the required surrender of registration certificate. You must file the same certificate if you move to a new address; however, in this situation, you will receive a replacement registration rather than the registration being cancelled.

If you are not a resident of Connecticut and plan on riding your ATV or UTV there, you are not required to register the ATV or UTV so long as you have a valid registration in your own state and are not within Connecticut for more than 15 consecutive days. If your state does not register ATVs, you must obtain a one-year non-resident registration in Connecticut.

What Equipment is Required for Riding in Delaware?

Delaware has various equipment requirements, including the following:

  • The ATV or UTV must have an operable brake system.
  • The ATV or UTV must be equipped with a muffler that reduces the noise levels by 60 percent.
  • The ATV or UTV must be equipped with a spark arrester.
  • If your ATV or UTV is operated during the period after sunset until sunrise, it must be equipped with an illuminated headlight and taillight.

Regulations for Youth Riding ATVs or UTVs in Delaware

  • The operator of an ATV or UTV, and all passengers, must wear a protective helmet with a chinstrap fastened if they are under the age of 18. If you need a new helmet, you should read this!
  • An operator of an ATV or UTV who is under the age of 18 may not carry any passengers, regardless of whether the ATV or UTV is designed to carry said passengers.
  • A youth under the age of 12 may only operate an ATV or UTV if under the direct supervision of an adult OR if operating on private land owned by the youth’s parent or guardian.

Where are you Permitted to Ride in Delaware?

You may not operate an ATV or UTV on public streets or highways in Delaware. There are only two “exceptions” to this rule:

  • You may push an ATV or UTV along a public street so long as the vehicle is in neutral.
  • You may operate an ATV or UTV on a public street for a special event of limited duration with a permit.

Before riding on private property, you must have the permission of the property owner.

What to do if you are in an ATV or UTV Accident in Delaware

If you are involved in an ATV or UTV accident resulting in an injury to another person or in a death you are required to immediately report such accident, by the quickest available means of communication, to a State Police officer or the local law-enforcement officer for the municipality wherein the accident occurred. You must also remain at the scene of the accident and render reasonable assistance in securing medical aid or transportation for the injured person(s).

If you are involved in an ATV or UTV accident resulting in damage to private property, except that of the operator, you are required to notify the owner of said property within 48 hours of the occurrence of such accident.

Accidents resulting only in injury to the operator and/or damage to the operator’s personal equipment need not be reported.

Other Regulations:

  • If you are selling an ATV or UTV, Delaware requires that you furnish the buyer a bill of sale.
  • It is unlawful to possess an ATV or UTV with an intentionally altered, defaced, or obliterated vehicle identification number.
  • It is unlawful to operate an ATV or UTV at a rate of speed which cannot be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance.
  • It is unlawful, on public or private land, to operate an ATV or UTV under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • It is unlawful to operate an ATV or UTV in a manner to cause excessive damages or disturbances of the land, wildlife or vegetative resources, or endanger, disturb or annoy other persons or property. Disturbance or annoyance of other persons shall be presumed if the operator has received either verbally or in written form notice of such annoyance or disturbance from the complaining party.

Brent Huntley

Brent Huntley is the owner of ATV Man and is responsible for almost all the material on the website. He also runs and loves to travel and ride ATVs with his family. When he isn't playing, his day job consists of owning Huntley Law.

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