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 Georgia in this article. Unfortunately, Georgia doesn’t have much in the way of ATV and UTV laws, but what they do have, is listed below. 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.
How does George Define ATV?
Georgia defines an “all-terrain vehicle” as any motorized vehicle designed for off-road use which is equipped with four low-pressure tires, a seat designed to be straddled by the operator, and handlebars for steering. Georgia further separates ATVs into three classes.
A class I all-terrain vehicle is an ATV that is 50 inches or less in width with a dry weight of 1,200 pounds or less that travels on three or more non-highway tires.
A class II all-terrain vehicle is an ATV larger than a class I ATV, but which is 65 inches or less in width with a dry weight of 2,000 pounds or less that travels on four or more non-highway tires.
A class III all-terrain vehicle is an ATV larger than a class II ATV, but which weighs less than 8,000 pounds and is actually being operated off a highway.
Both ATVs and UTVs are included within Georgia’s definition of an off-road vehicle.
What Equipment is Required on an ATV or UTV in Georgia?
Georgia requires each ATV and UTV be equipped with the following:
- operative brake system;
- operative and effective spark arrester;
- working head and tail lights if operating an ATV or UTV from one half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.
Where can you Operate an ATV or UTV in Georgia?
It is unlawful to operate an ATV or UTV on private property in Georgia unless you have the express written permission of the owner.
On public lands, the towns, cities, counties and state agencies are permitted to create their own rules regarding the operation of off-road vehicles. While that requires you to check local regulations, generally an ATV or UTV in Georgia must remain on designated roads, trails or in designated areas marked specifically for off road vehicle use.
There are specific areas in Georgia where riders are permitted to operate an ATV or UTV without a driver’s license. These areas are specially designated and the driver must be accompanied by a licensed adult. Outside of these areas, you must have a valid driver’s license to operate an ATV or UTV on public land in Georgia.
You are not permitted to operate ATVs or UTVs on public streets in Georgia.
You are also not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV within any perennial stream, except when directly crossing such stream. Georgia defines “perennial stream” as a stream
(A) That under normal circumstances has water flowing year round;
(B) That has the channel located below the ground-water table most of the year;
(C) For which ground water is the primary source of water; and
(D) For which runoff from rainfall is a supplemental source of water flow.
Other ATV and UTV Regulations in Georgia
- An ATV or UTV may not be operated in a manner which damages or unreasonably disturbs the land, wildlife, or vegetation.
- You may not operate an ATV or UTV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.