Guide to the ATV and UTV Laws in Hawaii

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 Hawaii 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.

Where are you Permitted to Operate ATVs and UTVs in Hawaii?

The operation of ATVs and UTVs in Hawaii is limited to off road operation as ATV and UTV use on public streets generally prohibited.  There are a handful of exceptions to the rule where operation of an ATV or UTV is permitted on a public street during daylight hours.  They are as follows:

  • Where the ATV or UTV is being used as farm equipment;
  • Where the ATV or UTV operated by a person who holds a current category (3) driver’s license under section 286-102 or a commercial driver’s license under part XIII;
  • Where the ATV or UTV is driven on streets that are no more than two lanes, with posted speed limits of no more than thirty-five miles per hour;
  • Where the ATV or UTV is used to travel between properties zoned for agriculture;
  • Where the ATV or UTV  is being operated by a city, county, or state worker while acting within the scope of that person’s official duties to travel between properties under the jurisdiction of the city, county, or state; or
  • Where the ATV or UTV is being used in counties with populations of less than five hundred thousand residents.

ATV and UTV use is also prohibited on beach parks and state shorelines.

What that really leaves is the use of ATVs and UTVs is permitted in Hawaii on private property, with the approval of the owner, and ATV parks.

Safety Regulations

Any operator and passenger of an ATV or UTV is required to wear a safety helmet with a securely fastened chin strap.  This might be new for someone coming from a different jurisdiction that doesn’t require helmets.  If you need a new helmet and aren’t sure what to get, we have already done the research and testing for you, and recommend this helmet as a great combination of quality and value.

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

The driver of any ATV or UTV that is involved in an accident resulting in injury or death of any person or damage to any property shall immediately stop the  at the scene of the accident or as close thereto as possible and remain at the scene of the accident. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.

At the scene of the accident, you are required to give your name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle you are driving.  Upon request, you must exhibit your driver’s license or permit to any person injured in the accident or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in the accident or to any police officer at the scene of the accident or who is investigating the accident.

You are also required to render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying, or the making of arrangements for the carrying, of the person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary, or if such carrying is requested by the injured person.

In the event you collide with or are involved in an accident with any vehicle or other property which is unattended and that results in any damage to the other vehicle or property, you must immediately stop and either locate and notify the operator or owner of such vehicle or other property of the your name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle you are driving.  In the alternative, you may attach securely in a conspicuous place in or on such vehicle or other property a written notice giving the the same information.  The law also requires you, without unnecessary delay, to notify the nearest police office.

Likewise, if you are involved in an accident resulting in injury or death of any person or total damage to all property to an apparent extent of $3,000 or more, you are required to immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice of the accident to the nearest police office.

Hunting and ATVs/UTVs

Generally, it is not permissible to use an ATV or UTV when hunting in Hawaii.  There are some ares where the use of ATVs or UTVs is permitted for hunting, but it is controlled locally and you would need to check before hand.

The other exception for this is those who qualify for and obtain a Special Interim Permit Allowing Disabled Hunters to Hunt and take Game from  a Vehicle on Public Hunting Areas.  To obtain this specialty permit, you must have a physician certify that you suffer from one of the following conditions:

  • a permanent mobility impairment which requires the use of an assistive device (cane, crutches, prosthesis, walker, wheel chair, etc.) to aid mobility;
  • are permanently blind or visually impaired to a point where the person’s central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses; or whose visual acuity is greater that 20/200, but is accompanied by a limitation in the field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees;
  • have permanently lost the use of one or both upper limbs or portion(s) thereof;
  • have permanently lost the use of one or both lower limbs or portion(s) thereof;
  • are restricted by lung disease to such an extent that the person’s forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than sixty mm/hg on room air at rest;
  • have a cardiac condition to the extent that the person’s functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to the standards set by the American Heart Association.

If you meet one of the above conditions and obtain the special permit, it will permit you to discharge a firearm or bow from within or on an ATV or UTV.

When hunting from an ATV or UTV with a special permit, you must follow these conditions:

  • Your ATV or UTV shall have a 12 inch by 12 in blaze-orange flag attached to an antenna at least three feet above the top of the vehicle to identify that at least one of its occupants is a disabled hunter;
  • You must be accompanied by a licensed, non-hunting assistant, who is physically capable of carrying, loading and discharging the disabled hunter’s hunting implement and assisting in the retrieval of game;
  • You may not shoot across any public highway;
  • You may not carry a firearm on your ATV or UTV with a round chambered in a firearm; and
  • If you are hunting with a crossbow, the bolts must remain in the quiver until the act of shooting begins.

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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