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 Ohio 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.
How does Ohio Define an ATV?
Ohio lumps ATVs in a much broader description of all-purpose vehicles. Ohio defines an “All-purpose vehicle” as “any self-propelled vehicle designed primarily for cross-country travel on land and water, or on more than one type of terrain, and steered by wheels or caterpillar treads, or any combination thereof, including vehicles that operate on a cushion of air, vehicles commonly known as all-terrain vehicles, all-season vehicles, mini-bikes, and trail bikes.”
Are you Required to Register your ATV or UTV in Ohio?
You may not operate an ATV or UTV within the state of Ohio unless you have first had the same registered and numbered.
You can file an application for registration, and the fee, with the registrar of motor vehicles or a deputy registrar, on blanks furnished by the registrar for that purpose and containing all of the following information:
- A brief description of the ATV or UTV, including the year, make, model, and the vehicle identification number;
- The name, residence, and business address of the owner;
- A statement that the ATV or UTV is equipped all the required equipment discussed below. The statement shall include a check list of the required equipment items in the form the registrar shall prescribe.
You will receive a license plate and a decal registration sticker. They must be placed on your ATV or UTV, and they must remain clearly visible.
There is an exception to the registration requirements for ATVs and UTVs used exclusively for agricultural purposes such that they qualify for a current agricultural use valuation tax credit.
This exception is only available if the ATV or UTV is not to be used on any public land, trail, or right-of-way, except when traveling from one farm to another
There is also no registration requirement for ATVs and UTVs operated on an island in Lake Erie between the first day of November and the thirtieth day of April.
In the event your ATV or UTV is lost, destroyed or otherwise disposed of, you must return the certificate of registration within 15 days. The certificate of title must also be returned to the clerk of the court that issued the title.
You must also submit a certificate of registration within 15 days of a change of address, and you will received an updated certificate displaying the new address.
A non-resident may obtain a temporary operating permit, good for up to one year, for $11.25. The permit must be displayed upon request.
What Equipment is Required on an ATV or UTV in Ohio?
- At least one headlight having a minimum candlepower of sufficient intensity to reveal persons and objects at a distance of at least one hundred feet ahead under normal atmospheric conditions during hours of darkness;
- At least one red tail light having a minimum candlepower of sufficient intensity to be plainly visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear under normal atmospheric conditions during hours of darkness;
- Adequate brakes; and
- A muffler system capable of precluding the emission of excessive smoke or exhaust fumes, and of limiting the engine noise of vehicles.
Where are you Permitted to Ride an ATV or UTV in Ohio?
You are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV in Ohio on any state highway, including a limited access highway or freeway or the right-of-way thereof, except for emergency travel as designated by the Director of Public Safety.
You are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV on any private property, or in any nursery or planting area, in Ohio without the permission of the owner or other person having the right to possession of the property;
Unless permission is posted by sign, you are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV on any land controlled by the state.
You are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV on any operable railroad tracks in Ohio.
Okay, enough of where you can’t ride. Here is where you are able to ride an ATV or UTV in Ohio:
- To cross a highway where it can be done so safely. You must yield the right of way in such a crossing.
- On highways in the county or township road systems whenever the local authority having jurisdiction over such highways so permits.
- Alongside a street or highway for a limited distance to reach a legal riding area.
- On state highways located on an island in Lake Erie between the first day of November and the thirtieth day of April, provided that the operator have a valid driver’s license, obeys all traffic rules and regulations and maintains proof of financial responsibility, i.e. insurance, on the ATV or UTV.
- On any state land where permission for All-Purpose Vehicles is specifically posted by sign.
Are you Permitted to use an ATV or UTV to Hunt in Ohio?
The short answer is no, you are not permitted to hunt with an ATV or UTV in Ohio. You are prohibited from transporting any firearm, bow or other implement for hunting on an ATV or UTV unless it is unloaded and securely encased.
You are also prohibited from using an ATV or UTV for the purpose of chasing, pursuing, capturing, or killing any animal or wildfowl.
Are Youth Permitted to Operate an ATV or UTV in Ohio?
- Generally, you are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV on any state land, street or highway unless you possess a valid driver’s license.
- On designated public land, youth under the age of 16 may operate an ATV or UTV when accompanied by an adult that possesses a valid driver’s license.
- Youth under 16 may only operate an ATV or UTV without supervision on land owned by their parent or guardian.
- No person under the age of 12 is permitted to operate an ATV or UTV in Ohio, with or without supervision.
- No person under the age of 18 is permitted to purchase, sell, own an interest in or obtain title to an ATV or UTV in Ohio.
What to do if you are in an ATV or UTV Accident in Ohio
If you are involved in an ATV or UV accident in Ohio that results in bodily injury to or death of any person, or damage to the property of any person in excess of one hundred dollars, you must report the accident within forty-eight hours to the state highway patrol, the sheriff of the county within which the accident occurred, or the chief of police.
Within thirty days of the accident, you must also file a written report of the accident to the registrar of motor vehicles on a form prescribed by the registrar.
If you are physically incapable of making the reports and there is another participant in the accident not so incapacitated, the participant shall make the reports. In the event there is no other participant, and you are not the owner, the owner, within the prescribed periods of time, shall make the reports.
- An ATV or UTV, including used machines, may not be sold by a dealer without a certificate of title. If a non-dealer is selling an ATV or UTV, they must include the title if they have one.
- You must wear both a helmet and goggles when operating an ATV or UTV on any state trails. If you want a great recommendation for a good value helmet or goggles, check here.
- It is unlawful to operate an ATV or UTV under the influence of drugs or alcohol.