When you buy a new ATV, you can’t always just hit the road right away. First, you have to know what laws to follow in your state. For example, do you have to register your ATV, do you need safety equipment and where can you ride it. Because these questions are so important, we are working on a more in-depth guide for the ATV laws in every state, building off the short guide we did for all the states.
To help out with my home state of Nevada, I reached out to Travis at my favorite local dealer, Yamaha of Las Vegas. If you are in Las Vegas, be sure to check them out. They are super helpful and really know their stuff. Travis helped immensely with this guide to help you know the laws of Nevada so you don’t get yourself in trouble.
Are you required to title your ATV in Nevada?
Yes, with a new law that passed a few years ago, you are now required to get a title to your new ATV in Nevada. While this might seem like a pain, it is a huge benefit when it comes to buying a used ATV and not getting stuck with a stolen quad. Check out some of our other tips for avoiding a stolen ATV if you are shopping for a used ATV.
Are you required to register your ATV?
Yes, the new laws in Nevada also required registration of all ATVs and Side by Sides in Nevada. Unfortunately, the state legislature felt this was necessary to cut back on the tax evasion that was apparently prevalent among new ATV purchasers in the state.
Are you required to insure your ATV?
No, you are not required to insure your ATV or other off-highway vehicle in Nevada. Travis points out that ATVs are not street legal in Nevada so they do not fall under the motor vehicle insurance requirements. While that may be true, anyone financing an ATV in Nevada will likely be required by the lending institution to insure the vehicle. If you are looking to finance your four wheeler, be sure to read our guide to ATV financing for some helpful advice.
Is there a minimum age to operate an ATV in Nevada?
Yes. To operate a full-size ATV, you must be 16 years old. Travis explains the minimum age requirements are actually based on a Federal law, which changed a number of years ago and made it a bit confusing. For children under 16, it used to be a tiered system linking the age of the operator to the cc size of the ATV. Now, the age limits are based upon certain restricted speeds, which do not align equally among different models of ATVs in the same size class. Because of this, you have to look at the age restriction for your specific ATV. Because this is based on Federal law, the ATV manufacturers usually put it on a tag so it is easy to find. If you want some more guidance in picking out an ATV for your kids, check out this helpful guide.
Are you required to wear a helmet while operating an ATV?
In Nevada, the operator of an ATV or UTV is required to wear a helmet on the highway, which is defined as the entire width between the boundary lines of every public way maintained by a public agency. This has been interpreted by the BLM to apply to apply to any trails they maintain. there is no legal requirement to wear a helmet if you are not the operator of the ATV. Even with no legal requirement, we always recommend you wear a helmet for your safety, and have a great budget-friendly helmet we recommend. Travis also points out that there are certain popular areas in Nevada for four wheeling that are privately owned and do require that all riders where helmets, so you should be sure to check out the restrictions if you are riding on a privately-owned riding area.
Where are you permitted to ride in Nevada?
There is a lot of desert in Nevada that you are free to ride in. Travis says some of the most popular riding areas near Las Vegas are in the Apex area north of town or Duck Creek. There is a lot of Federal land around Las Vegas so you should be sure to check out our guide to riding on Federal land. Finally, the biggest restriction is that you generally cannot operate an ATV on public streets in Nevada. Travis pointed out this restriction extends even to gravel roads. There are some exceptions; however, in certain areas where the governing agency permits ATV or UTV use on roads by licensed drivers. A good place to start is this map, but you should check for details with the local agency or municipality to see where you are permitted to ride as well as the registration and licensing requirements.
Do you need a driver’s license to operate an ATV?
No. Once again, because you cannot drive your quad on a street, you do not need to have a driver’s license. As mentioned above, you do need to be at least 16 years of age, regardless of whether you have a driver’s license, to operate a full-size ATV in Nevada.
Do you have to operate an ATV with any special accessories?
Travis said he is not aware of any special accessories you must have on your ATV when you are operating it. This makes sense because requirements are usually associated with equipping an ATV to be operated on a street with cars. Since that isn’t permitted in Nevada, there aren’t any of those accessories you need to worry about.
One thing you will need if you are riding at the Dumont Dunes is a flag. That is pretty standard for most locations in the sand.
Are you required to take a safety course to operate an ATV in Nevada?
No. You are not required to take any kind of safety course before you are permitted to operate an ATV or UTV in Nevada. While a safety course is not required, Travis recommends the course offered by the ATV Safety Institute. If you buy a new ATV, the manufacturer will actually pay for the class, either directly or through a reimbursement, and some will even pay you $100 for taking the class.
Are there maximum speed limits for ATVs or UTVs?
There are no general speed restrictions for the operation of an ATV or UTV in Nevada. Because you can’t drive your ATV on the streets, you don’t have to worry about those speed limits. Just hit the sand and ride away, at a safe speed of course.
Are there any restricted modifications for an ATV in Nevada?
Travis said he isn’t aware of any restricted modifications per se. While I am sure you could do something stupid, like remove the spark arrestor, and make your ATV illegal, Travis said a shop like his is only going to have accessories and modifications that are completely legal and nothing you would ever have to worry about.