Riding an ATV/UTV on the Road? State-by-State Legal Guide


The question we get more often than anything else is whether and how you can ride an ATV or UTV on public roads and streets.  Unfortunately, there is not a clear answer that applies in every location.  Not only are the laws different in each state, the laws don’t apply uniformly in all locations and all types of streets within a state.

We have spent the better part of a year researching statutes, guides, announcements and interviewing ATV dealers and law enforcement in every state.  Given all this research, we think we have the best and most accurate information for every state about whether you can and what you need to do to be able to operate your ATV or UTV on the public roads and streets in each state.

Below is a state-by-state guide with the rules for riding on public roads and a link to our state legal guides for each state so all your questions can hopefully be answered.  In the event you become aware of a law change, please let us know so we can keep this updated with the best information!

Alabama

Operation of an ATV or UTV on public streets in Alabama is strictly prohibited.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Alabama, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Alabama.

Alaska

Alaska, somewhat surprisingly does not permit ATV or UTV use on public streets, except under the following conditions:

  • when crossing the roadway,;
  • if snow/ice conditions are such that other motor vehicles cannot use the road;
  • if the highway is posted or otherwise designated as being open to off-highway vehicles; and
  • if you are driving outside the shoulder of a non-controlled access highway in the same direction as traffic on the right side of the highway.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Alaska, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Alaska.

Arizona

Arizona is one of the easiest states to get a street-legal ATV or UTV.  Once you make the necessary changes to your vehicle, you can register it for on-highway use and obtain a license plate with the letters MC instead of RV.

In addition to equipping the ATV or UTV with a license plate light and a horn, the rider of a street-legal ATV or UTV must carry proof of liability insurance and the ATV or UTV must have passed an emissions test.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Arizona, including more details about the required equipment, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Arizona.

Arkansas

Arkansas has a general prohibition against the operation of ATVs or UTVs on public streets.  Such use is permitted in the following circumstances.

  • The road is outside city limits and doesn’t qualify as a state or interstate highway.
  • The ATV or UTV is used for farming or hunting purposes.
  • You are crossing a public street or highway.
  • The ATV or UTV is used as a means of transportation if a person has a serious walking disability or has lost one or both legs above the ankle.
  • When the operator is an emergency or utility personnel engaged in official business.
  • The road is used to get from an off-road trail to another off-road trail or from the operator’s private property to an off- road trail or other tract of private property and the distance of travel is three miles or less.

There are a few more things you should know about how these exceptions actually play out that are detailed further in our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Arkansas.

California

Unlike neighboring Arizona, California has strict rules prohibited the operation of ATVs and UTVs on public street.  There are only a few situations where you are permitted to operate an ATV or UTV on public streets in California.

  • Crossing a two-lane street at an angle of approximately 90 degrees;
  • Crossing a street greater than two lanes where such crossing is permitted by appropriate signage;
  • On any street where the appropriate authority has designated the street for ATV travel under the following conditions: it is not dark out, the street has an operational stoplight, the ATV has rubber tires, and you have a driver’s license.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in California, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in California.

Colorado

While Colorado generally prohibits the use of ATVs and UTVs on public streets, many local jurisdictions have opened up their streets to ATVs and UTVs.  You will want to check with the local DMV or police to see if it is permitted where you are.

Other than where a local authority has authorized ATV use, you may operate an ATV or UTV on public streets in Colorado under the following circumstances.

  • Where the street is designated for ATV use;
  • When crossing a the street;
  • When traversing a bridge or culvert;
  • During special events as conducted by local authorities;
  • During emergency conditions declared by state or local authority; or
  • When being used for Agricultural Purposes.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Colorado, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Colorado.

Connecticut

Connecticut does not allow ATV or UTV operation on any public street.  The only exception is that an operator with a valid driver’s license may cross a street on an ATV or UTV so long as the street is not a limited-access highway.  You must cross at a 90-degree angle after coming to a complete stop and yielding to oncoming traffic.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Connecticut, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Connecticut.

Delaware

You are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV on a public street in Delaware.  You may only push the ATV or UTV alongside the road in neutral.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Delaware, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Delaware.

Florida

In Florida, you may not operate an ATV or UTV on any public street.  You may, however, operate an ATV during daytime (but not a UTV unless authorized by local authority) on an unpaved public roadway that has a posted speed limit less than 35 m.p.h.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Florida, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Florida.

Georgia

You are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV on public streets in Georgia.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Georgia, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Georgia.

Hawaii

Hawaii generally prohibits the operation of an ATV or UTV on public streets in Hawaii except in the following circumstances.

  • Where the ATV or UTV is being used as farm equipment;
  • Where the ATV or UTV is 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 operated on streets that are no more than two lanes and have 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 official; or
  • Where the ATV or UTV is operated in counties with populations of less than five hundred thousand residents.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Hawaii, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Hawaii.

Idaho

Unlike most states, Idaho has defaulted to the roads being open to ATV or UTV operation unless it is a federal or state highway or has been closed by the local jurisdiction.  The biggest example is all streets in Boise have been closed to ATV and UTV use.

To operate an ATV or UTV on public roads in Idaho, you must possess a valid restricted license plate, a valid IDPR OHV registration, a valid driver’s license, and liability insurance.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Idaho, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Idaho.

Illinois

In Illinois, you may not operate an ATV or UTV on public streets unless they have been opened up by the local jurisdiction.

You may cross a an Illinois street at an angle of approximately 90 degrees if quick and safe crossing is available.  Before crossing a street, you must come to a complete stop and yield the right of way to any pedestrian or vehicle.

Finally, you may only cross a divided highway, you may only cross at an intersection.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Illinois, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Illinois.

Indiana

Indiana’s general rules is that you may not generally operate an ATV or UTV on public streets in Indiana.  There are a lot of exceptions to this rule though.

For example, you may operate on the right-of-way adjacent to a public highway, except a limited access highway, so long as there is sufficient room to do so without endangering life or property.

You may also cross a public highway, other than a limited access highway, at a 90-degree angle to get from one riding area to another.  You must first come to a complete stop and yield to all traffic.

The biggest exception is where an Indiana city, town or county has passed a law permitting the use of ATVs or UTVs on the public streets in their jurisdiction.

There are a lot of these laws so you should check before you ride, but here is a list updated as of 2019 of the local jurisdictions that permit ATV and UTV operation on at least some roads:

  • Adams;
  • Carrol;
  • Cass;
  • Crawford;
  • Daviess:
  • Dearborn;
  • Decatur;
  • Dubois;
  • Fountain;
  • Gibson;
  • Greene;
  • Harrison;
  • Huntington;
  • Jefferson;
  • Jennings;
  • Knox;
  • Kosciusko;
  • LaGrange;
  • Lawrence;
  • Marshall;
  • Martin;
  • Miami;
  • Noble;
  • Ohio;
  • Orange;
  • Parke;
  • Perry;
  • Pike;
  • Posey:
  • Putnam;
  • Ripley;
  • Rush;
  • Scott;
  • Spencer;
  • Sullivan;
  • Switzerland;
  • Tipton;
  • Vermillion;
  • Warren;
  • Washington;
  • Wells; and
  • Whitley.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Indiana, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Indiana.

Iowa

Unless a local county, city or other governing body has opened up a public street to ATV and UTV use, you generally may not operate an ATV or UTV on public streets in Iowa.  Where it is legal to operate on a public street, the ATV or UTV must be covered by insurance.

You may also cross a public street on an ATV or UTV as long as you meet the following conditions:

  • the crossing is made at an approximately 90 degree angle;
  • there is no obstruction which prevents a quick and safe crossing;
  • you come to a complete stop before crossing;
  • you yield the right of way to oncoming traffic;
  • the crossing is made at an intersection if crossing a divided highway; and
  • you are crossing from a trail where you are legally riding the ATV or UTV.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Iowa, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Iowa.

Kansas

In Kansas you may operate an ATV or UTV on certain public streets if you possess a driver’s license and have registered the vehicle.  If you are riding a three-wheeler, it should be registered as a motorcycle; A four-wheeler should be registered as a passenger car.

The streets where you can legally ride in Kansas include county and township roads and city roads where the city has less than 15,000 residents.  You can ride during the day or, if your ATV or UTV is equipped with lights, at night.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Kansas, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Kansas.

Kentucky

Unless a road has been opened to ATV use by the Transportation Cabinet or a city/county government, Kentucky generally prohibits the operation of ATVs and UTVs on public streets.

The only state-wide permissive operation of an ATV or UTV on Kentucky’s public streets is in the following circumstances:

  • Crossing a street at a 90 degree angle where the crossing is safe and practical;
  • On a two-lane highway for farming or agricultural purposes;
  • On a two-lane highway for construction or road maintenance; or
  • On a two-lane highway for snow removal purposes.

Where operation is permitted on a public street the ATV or UTV operator must have a valid driver’s license and comply with all traffic regulations.  The ATV or UTV must also be equipped with a headlight and two taillights that are illuminated while in operation.  Despite this requirement, operation is only permitted during daylight hours unless you are performing snow removal or emergency road repairs.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Kentucky, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Kentucky.

Louisiana

In general, ATV and UTV use is not permitted on public streets, however there are a number of exceptions to this rule.  Unlike most states, Louisiana actually has different rules for ATVs and UTVs.

For ATVs, you may ride on the shoulders of all public roads or highways, except interstate highways and those located in Orleans Parish, during daylight hours starting thirty minutes after sunrise and ending thirty minutes before sunset. You may also cross public roads or highways as needed.

For UTVs, Louisiana has the following set of regulations:

  • You may only operate a UTV upon a parish road or municipal street that has been designated by a municipality for use by a utility terrain vehicle.
  • You may cross any divided highway, roadway or street with a posted speed limit in excess of thirty-five miles per hour only at an intersection.
  • Any UTV operated on a public street must be equipped with the following:
    • headlamps;
    • front and rear turn signal lamps;
    • tail lamps;
    • stop lamps;
    • reflex reflectors on each side of the UTV as far to the rear as practicable;
    • a red reflector on the rear of the UTV;
    • an exterior mirror mounted on the driver’s side of the UTV or an interior mirror;
    • a parking brake;
    • an adequate windshield;
    • a windshield wiper;
    • a speedometer;
    • an odometer;
    • A braking system that brakes each wheel;
    • a seat belt assembly installed at each designated seating position; and
    • a vehicle identification or serial number.
  • The UTV should be registered as an off-road vehicle and shall display a decal issued by the office of motor vehicles.
  • You must be at least twenty-one years of age to ride a UTV on a public street.
  • You must possess a valid driver’s license to operate a UTV on a public street.
  • You must have liability insurance with the same minimum limits as required by the provisions of R.S. 32:900(B) to operate a UTV on a public street.
  • Passengers may not ride in a UTV’s open bed unless there is an emergency situation.
  • You may not have more passengers than the number of available seat belts.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Louisiana, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Louisiana.

Maine

In Maine, you may operate an ATV or UTV on a public street in the following circumstances:

  • When crossing a controlled access highway via a bridge over or road under those highways or by use of a road crossing controlled access highways at grade;
  • When crossing a controlled access highway where the Commissioner of Transportation has issued a special permit to do so;
  • When you operate a registered ATV or UTV within the right-of-way limits of a controlled access highway on a trail segment approved by the Commissioner of Transportation or the board of directors of the Maine Turnpike Authority, as applicable;
  • When traveling a necessary distance, but in no case to exceed 500 yards, on the extreme right of the street for the purpose of crossing, as directly as possible, a public way, bridge, overpass, underpass, sidewalk or culvert as long as that operation can be made safely and does not interfere with traffic approaching from either direction;
  • When you are on a public way that is not maintained or used for the operation of conventional motor vehicles, except that operation on the left side of the street is prohibited during the hours from sunset to sunrise;
  • During a declared period of emergency when travel by conventional motor vehicles is not practicable;
  • During special events of limited duration conducted according to a prearranged schedule under a permit from the governmental unit having jurisdiction;
  • When the ATV or UTV is operated on the extreme right of the traveled way by a law enforcement officer for the sole purpose of traveling between the place where the ATV is usually stored and an area to be patrolled by the law enforcement officer; and
  • When the ATV or UTV is operated on the extreme right of a public way, or as directed by the appropriate governmental unit within the public way, of a municipality or an unorganized or unincorporated township if the appropriate governmental unit has designated the public way as an ATV-access route designated by highly visible signs at regular intervals.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Maine, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Maine.

Maryland

ATV and UTV use is generally prohibited on all roads in Maryland unless they have been specifically designated as an ATV trail.

For a full list of the designated trails and to read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Maryland, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Maryland.

Massachusetts

As you might expect, Massachusetts is not a great place if you want places to ride an ATV or UTV.  You definitely are not permitted to ride on public streets in Massachusetts.

There are some designated areas we discuss plus more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Massachusetts in our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Massachusetts.

Michigan

In Michigan, you are able to register your ATV or UTV as a motor vehicle, which would allow street use, but I couldn’t find much in the way of practical information.  Even for ATVs and UTVs not registered as motor vehicles, several locations in Michigan have local ordinances that permit you to operate them on the roads.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Michigan, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Michigan.

Minnesota

In Minnesota, you may operate a street-legal ATV or UTV on the following roads:

  • the median of a four-lane highway;
  • within the right-of-way on any interstate highway or freeway;
  • on the right-of-way between opposing lanes of traffic;
  • on grant-in-aid snowmobile trails;
  • on trails designated as non-motorized;
  • at airports; and
  • on any roads designated closed to ATVs by local ordinance.

To operate on a public street, you must possess a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement or, if you are aged 12-15, you must have a valid safety certificate and be accompanied by a parent or guardian on a separate ATV or UTV.  You must also be wearing a helmet and goggles.

To be street legal, your ATV must be equipped with brakes, a head light and tail light.

It should also be noted that ATV operation is prohibited on public roads, other than grant-in-aid trails, in the agricultural zone from April 1 to August 1 unless they are registered exclusively for agricultural use.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Minnesota, including where the agricultural zone is located, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Minnesota.

Mississippi

Unfortunately, Mississippi laws don’t provide much guidance about the ability to operate an ATV or UTV on public streets.  From our research, it appears it is controlled locally, where some cities or counties will let you register your ATV or UTV to be operated on the streets and some cities or counties will not.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Mississippi, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Mississippi.

Missouri

The general rule prohibits the use of ATVs and UTVs on the public streets in Missouri unless permission is granted through a local ordinance or regulation.  The other exception is for government-owned vehicles or vehicles operated between sunrise and sunset for agricultural purposes.

Where operation of an ATV or UTV is legal on the streets, the operator must have a valid driver’s license and stay at 30 mph or lower.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Missouri, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Missouri.

Montana

In Montana, you can ride in the streets if you have made your ATV or UTV street legal.  To make an ATV or UTV street legal, your ATV or UTV must be equipped with a mirror, horn, headlight, and brake lights and it must be registered as a motor vehicle and display a proper license plate.  The operator must also have a valid driver’s license of course.

You may not carry a passenger on the street unless it is designed to carry said passenger.  Anyone under the age of 18 must also wear a helmet.

IMPORTANT NOTE- BLM roads are not classified as public roads in Montana and ATV and UTV use is permitted on BLM Roads regardless of whether they are street legal.  The operator is also not required to have a license.

ANOTHER NOTE– If you are not a resident of Montana, you may operate your ATV or UTV on the public streets of Montana for up to thirty consecutive days only if it is licensed in your home state.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Montana, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Montana.

Nebraska

In Nebraska, an ATV or UTV may not be operated on any road or highway with more than two marked traffic lanes.  If a road has two or less traffic lanes, you are permitted to ride your ATV or UTV on it under the following circumstances:

  • The road is outside the corporate limits of a city, village, or unincorporated village if incidental to the vehicle’s use for agricultural purposes;
  • Within the corporate limits of a city or village if authorized by the city or village by ordinance adopted in accordance with this section; or
  • Within an unincorporated village if authorized by the county board of the county in which the unincorporated village is located by resolution in accordance with this section.

The number of cities and counties that have authorized ATV and UTV use is surprisingly large, but you will have to check with the local police or sheriff department for confirmation.

Where ATV or UTV is permitted on the street, the following regulations apply.

  • ATVs and UTVs may only be operated between the hours of sunrise and sunset.
  • You must have a valid Class O operator’s license or a farm permit.
  • You must have liability insurance coverage for the ATV or UTV.
  • You cannot operate the ATV or UTV at a speed in excess of thirty miles per hour.
  • You must have an illuminated headlight and taillight of the ATV and UTV.
  • Your ATV and UTV must be equipped with a bicycle safety flag which extends not less than five feet above ground and which is attached to the rear of such vehicle. The bicycle safety flag shall be triangular in shape with an area of not less than thirty square inches and shall be day-glow in color.
  • Your ATV or UTV may not have been modified with after-market parts.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Nebraska, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Nebraska.

Nevada

Nevada is strict about ATV and UTV use.  Unless a local agency permits ATV or UTV use, the state rule prohibits ATV and UTV use on public roads, including gravel roads.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Nevada, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Nevada.

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, the operation of ATVs and UTVs on public roads is prohibited except where the road has been specifically posted as open for OHRV use.

Other than posted roads, ATV and UTV use is permitted on public road crossings and trail connectors, but you cannot exceed 10 MPH and you must stay to the extreme right of the public road.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in New Hampshire, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in New Hampshire.

New Jersey

As one would expect in such an urban state, you are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV in New Jersey on the public roads.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in New Jersey, including where you can ride your ATV or UTV, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in New Jersey.

New Mexico

There is some ability to ride your ATV or UTV on public roads in New Mexico, but the locations are not easy to find out.

The only state-wide rule is that you are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV on any highway or freeway.   Unless use is permitted on a given road, you may only ride next to a highway to get to or from an OHV area. You may also cross a paved road after coming to a stop and yielding to oncoming traffic.

Outside of this general rule, local cities and counties permit ATV and UTV use on certain paved roads with a valid driver’s license, insurance, any required permits, an OHV safety permit, a paved road use decal or license plate and goggles or other eye protection.

Below is a list of where you can find the rules for street use of ATVs and UTVs in various counties or cities in New Mexico.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in New Mexico, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in New Mexico.

New York

As one would expect, you aren’t able to operate ATVs or UTVs on public roads in New York except in extremely limited circumstances.  Those circumstances are roads posted open to ATV use and limited crossings.

Roads posted open to crossing usually consist only of small portions of roads that connect two ATV trails.

For crossing a public street on an ATV or UTV, you must comply with the following:

  • You cross the highway at an angle of approximately 90 degrees, at a place where there are no obstructions;
  • You come to a complete stop and yield the right-of-way to traffic on the highway before crossing;
  • If it is a divided highway, you cross only where it intersects with another street or highway;
  • The highway you intend to cross is not an interstate highway or any controlled-access highway, such as the Thruway or a parkway at any time.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in New York, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in New York.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, you may not operate an ATV or UTV on any interstate or highway or on any other public street, road, or highway except for purposes of crossing that street, road, or highway.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in North Carolina, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in North Carolina.

North Dakota

In North Dakota, it is possible to have your ATV or UTV registered as a street-legal vehicle.  Registration permits you to operate an ATV or UTV on a paved highway or street that has a posted speed limit of 65 mph or less.

You must possess a valid driver’s license and your ATV or UTV must be able to attain a speed limit of 35 mph on a level driving surface.

If your ATV or UTV is not street-legal in North Dakota, you are not permitted to ride it on the roadway, shoulder, or inside bank or slope of any road, street, or highway in North Dakota unless it is in an emergency situation.  However, you are generally permitted to operate an ATV or UTV on gravel, dirt, or loose surface roadways.

In addition, you may cross a street at a ninety-degree angle so long as you can cross quickly and safely.  You must come to a complete stop and yield to oncoming traffic  before making the crossing.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in North Dakota, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in North Dakota.

Ohio

Except for a few exceptions, you are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV on any public street in Ohio.  The exceptions are as follows:

  • Emergency travel as designated by the Director of Public Safety.
  • Crossing a street where it can be done so safely after yielding to oncoming traffic.
  • On streets in the county or township road systems where the local authority having jurisdiction over such highways has designated streets open for ATV or UTV use.
  • Along the side of 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 insurance.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Ohio, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Ohio.

Oklahoma

Like most states, Oklahoma doesn’t generally allow street-legal ATVs and UTVs, but it does have a decent amount of situations where you are permitted to ride on the street.  You may operate an ATV or UTV in the following situations:

  • the street is located within a state park;
  • the street is within a municipality that has passed an ordinance permitting UTV operation;
  • the street is within a county where the county commissioners have approved the use of UTV operation; or
  • the street is in an unincorporated area, has a maximum speed limit of 25 m.p.h. or less and has signage posted warning drivers of golf cart or UTV usage.

In addition to those situations, you may cross a public street at a 90-degree angle during daylight hours when traveling from one riding trail to another provided you come to a complete stop and yield to oncoming traffic.  You must also have a driver’s license to even cross a public road.  Finally, you may not cross a divided highway or street with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or higher where you are crossing.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Oklahoma, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Oklahoma.

Oregon

Unfortunately, you cannot make your ATV or UTV street legal in Oregon.  Public roads, including two-lane gravel roads, are generally closed to ATVs unless specifically posted otherwise.

The biggest exception is that most gravel roads that are one and one-half lane wide or less are generally open to ATV and UTV use as long as it is not located in U.S. Forest Service lands, where all roads are closed to ATVs and UTVs unless posted otherwise.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Oregon, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Oregon.

Pennsylvania

You are not able to register your ATV or UTV as a street-legal vehicle in Pennsylvania.  Operating on the public streets is limited to designated roads, crossing a bridge, crossing a street or during a declared emergency.

You may operate an ATV or UTV on roads that have been designated as ATV or Snowmobile roads.  These roads are designed by a green sign with a white ATV silhouette.   You must be at least 16 years old to operate an ATV or UTV on designated roads.

You may legally cross a street on an ATV or UTV in Pennsylvania where you safely cross at a 90-degree angle after coming to a complete stop and yielding to oncoming traffic.

If you cross a divided highway, you must cross at an intersection with another street.  You must also be at least 16 years old or be in possession of a safety certificate and under the direct supervision of an adult.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Pennsylvania, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island laws prohibit the use of ATVs and UTVs on paved roads, including the shoulders of or slopes next to any roads.

The only exception is when you are crossing a public street at a 90-degree angle where there is no obstruction after you come to a complete stop and yield to oncoming traffic.

In addition, you may only cross a divided highway where it intersects with another street, you must have headlights and tail lights illuminated if there is reduced visibility and you must be 18 or have a valid motor vehicle operator’s license.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Rhode Island, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Rhode Island.

South Carolina

We haven’t been able to find any laws in South Carolina that permit you to register an ATV or UTV for street use.  It unfortunately looks like there is no option for riding your ATV or UTV on public roads in South Carolina.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in South Carolina, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in South Carolina.

South Dakota

South Dakota is one of the states where you can register an ATV to be street legal. To do so, you must license the ATV as a motorcycle, which is only an option if your ATV has four or more wheels and has as engine of 200 cc or more.

In addition to the above, your ATV must be equipped with the following to be street legal:

  • at least one and not more than two headlamps;
  • at least one tail lamp, which when lighted shall emit a red light plainly visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear;
  • a registration plate that is illuminated by either the rear lamps or a separate lamp with a white light that renders it clearly legible from a distance of fifty feet to the rear;
  • a red reflector located at the extreme rear of the vehicle at a height not to exceed sixty inches above the ground upon which the vehicle stands, which reflector is so designed and maintained as to be visible at night from all distances within three hundred feet to fifty feet;
  • operable brakes;
  • a rearview mirror that will reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least two hundred feet to the rear;
  • a horn capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of at least two hundred feet;
  • directional turn signals; and
  • an exhaust system and a muffler, both in good working condition and in constant operation.

You should also be aware of the following rules that apply when you are operating an ATV on the street:

  • You  must wear a helmet if you are under the age of 18 (We recommend this great helmet).
  • Unless your ATV has a windshield, you must wear eye protection.  The eye protection (read goggles) may not be tinted if worn at a time where lights are illuminated (we love these goggles from Oakley).
  • If you have a passenger, they must be in a regular and permanent seat that does not interfere with the control of the ATV or the view of the operator.
  • You must face forward and keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
  • You may not carry anything in your hands that prevents both hands from being on the handlebars.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in South Dakota, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in South Dakota.

Tennessee

Tennessee is one of the few states that has separate laws for ATVs and UTVs.  ATV use is much more restricted.

For ATVs, you may only ride on a public road if the road has been designated open for ATV use, if you are using the ATV for agricultural purposes or if you are crossing the street at a ninety-degree angle (note, you may only cross at a designate ATV crossing if the road has more than two lanes).

Unlike ATVs, you can register your UTV or use on public roadways, not including state and interstate highways.  The operator in this case must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license and have proof of liability insurance meeting the minimum requirements for motor vehicles.

Additionally, the UTV must be capable of exceeding 35 miles per hour and be equipped with the following:

  • working brakes;
  • tail lights;
  • stop lights;
  • head lights;
  • horn;
  • roll bar;
  • seat belts for each seat;
  • spark arrester; and
  • muffler.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Tennessee, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Tennessee.

Texas

Unfortunately, and somewhat surprisingly, Texas does not permit street-legal ATVs and UTVs.  The only ATVs and UTVs permitted on public roads in Texas are those belonging to (1) a farmer or rancher travelling less than 25 miles; (2) a public utility worker; or (3) a law enforcement officer.

Those that are able to operate an ATV or UTV on the street in Texas must keep headlights and tail lights illuminated and affix a triangular orange flag atop an eight foot pole attached to the back of the ATV.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Texas, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Texas.

Utah

The general rule in Utah is that an ATV or UTV may not be operated on a public street except for crossing the street (at 90-degree angle, after coming to a stop and yielding to oncoming traffic).  However, you can make your ATV or UTV street legal in Utah so that it is not considered an off-road vehicle.

Even with a street-legal ATV or UTV, you are not permitted to operate it on any of the following surfaces:

  • an interstate freeway;
  • a highway in a first-class county;
  • a highway that is near a grade-separated portion of the highway;
  • a highway with a posted speed limit of 50 miles per hour or greater (on such a street, the ATV must be operated on the extreme right hand side of the street); and
  • a highway that has been closed to street-legal ATV use.

On roads where you are permitted to operate a street-legal ATV or UTV, you may not exceed 50 mph (or the posted speed limit if under 50 mph), and you must operate on the extreme right of the roadway.

Initial Requirements

To operate an ATV or UTV on the road in Utah, you must comply with the motorcycle requirements for titling, odometer statement, vehicle identification, license plates, registration and emissions inspection.

Note-You must follow the traffic rules for a motorcycle when riding an ATV or UTV on the street.

In addition to the motorcycle requirements, you must comply with motor vehicle requirements for insurance and safety inspections, and the operator must have a valid driver’s license.

Equipment Requirements

Utah is one of the few states that has actually recognized the huge differences between ATVs and UTVs in the equipment they need.  Utah has a separate list of required equipment for an ATV versus a UTV.

ATV Equipment Requirements

  • one or more headlamps;
  • a lamp that illuminates the registration plate with a white light;
  • a red rear reflector;
  • a rear stop lamp;
  • amber or red electric turn signals on each side in the front and rear fo the ATV or UTV;
  • a braking system;
  • a horn or other warning device;
  • a muffler;
  • rearview mirrors on each side;
  • a windshield, unless the operator wears goggles (our favorites!);
  • an illuminated speedometer;
  • reflective tape on front and rear;
  • if the ATV is designed for a passenger, the passenger seat must have a footrest and handhold; and
  • tires that are not larger than the tires made available by the manufacturer and that have at least 2/32 inches of tire treat.  You should consult this guide to ATV tires before buying new ones.

UTV Equipment Requirements

  • two headlamps;
  • two tail lamps;
  • a white light illuminating the registration plate;
  • a rear reflector;
  • two stop lamps in the rear;
  • amber or red electric turn signals  on each side of the front and rear;
  • a braking system;
  • a horn or other warning device
  • a muffler;
  • rearview mirrors on each side;
  • a windshield, unless the operator wears goggles (our favorites!);
  • an illuminated speedometer;
  • a seatbelt for each occupant;
  • wheel covers, mudguards, flaps or splash aprons;
  • reflective tape on front and rear;
  • seats that are between 20-40 inches high when measured at the forward edge of the seat bottom; and
  • tires that do not exceed 44 inches in height and have at least 2/32 inches of tread.

To read more about all the ATV and UTV laws in Utah, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Utah.

Vermont

Vermont does not allow you to operate an ATV or UTV on public streets unless one of the following circumstances applies:

  • the street is not being maintained during winter;
  • the street is designated and posted as open for all-terrain vehicle travel;
  • the ATV or UTV is at least 3 feet from lane of traffic while being used for agricultural purposes within the confines of a farm; or
  • the ATV or UTV is being operated for utility purposes by an employee or agent of an electric transmission or distribution company.

While you may not be able to travel on the road in your ATV or UTV, you may cross a public street at a ninety-degree angle under the following circumstances:

  • you cross at a place where you can make a quick and safe crossing;
  • you come to a complete stop before entering the traveled portion of the highway;
  • you yield the right-of-way to vehicles and pedestrians;
  • you are over the age 15 or aged 12-15 and under the direct supervision of an adult.

To read more about all the ATV laws in Vermont, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Vermont.

Virginia

For the most part, you are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV on the public streets in Virginia.

To read more about all the ATV laws in Virginia, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Virginia.

Washington

It is possible to get a street-legal ATV or UTV in Washington that allows you to ride on streets as permitted by each city and county.  Typically, the roads you can ride on are those where the speed limit is 35 mph or less.

In order to operate an ATV or UTV on a public street in Washington, you must obtain both an on-road and off-road tag when you register.  You must also have a valid driver’s license of course.

To obtain an on-road tag, you must have your ATV and UTV inspected by a Washington-licensed WATV dealer or repair shop, who will ensure you have the following equipment on your ATV or UTV:

  • Head lamp (must be illuminated if you are driving on the road);
  • Tail lamp (2 are required for a UTV);
  • Stop lamps;
  • Reflectors;
  • Turn signals;
  • Brakes;
  • Mirror (2 are required for a UTV);
  • Horn or warning device;
  • Muffler and spark arrester;
  • Windshield (unless you are wearing goggles, these are our favorite goggles); and
  • Seatbelts (only required for UTVs).

To read more about all the ATV laws in Washington, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Washington.

West Virginia

Generally, you may not operate an ATV or UTV in West Virginia on any road that has a center line or more than two lanes.  This means you can likely ride them in your neighborhood or on small country roads.

The restrictions can be changed by any municipality, county or HOA so you will want to take precaution to learn the local rules before riding.

If you are going from one legal riding area to another, you may ride along the shoulder of a street for up to 10 miles as long as you keep your ATV or UTV under 25 miles per hour.

Finally, you may cross a public street in West Virginia at a ninety-degree angle if it is equipped with illuminated headlights and tail lights and you come to a complete stop and yield to oncoming traffic.

To read more about all the ATV laws in West Virginia, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in West Virginia.

Wisconsin

Unless a road or street has been designated as an ATV route, you may not generally operate an ATV or UTV on it.  In addition to designated ATV Routes, you may operate an ATV or UTV on public roads for agricultural purposes and on roads which are not being maintained for roadway use.

You may also use an ATV or UV to cross a road, bridge culvert or railroad right-of-way when on a designated route or marked trail so long as the crossing is safe, you come to a complete stop and yield to oncoming traffic.

You may also operate an ATV or UTV on an unimproved right-of-way or ditch so long as it is not along an interstate highway in the following circumstances:

  • On town roads where it has been designated as an ATV trail or route;
  • On town roads where the right-of-way or ditch is on private permission and you have permission from the land owner;
  • On a county or state highway that has been designated as an ATV trail or route;
  • On a trail adjacent to a county or state highway;
  • On a county or state highway if you are riding at least 10 feed from the roadway;

In those situations where driving on a public road is permissible, you must stay to the extreme right side of the roadway surface, keep your headlights and tail lights on and ride single file.

Additionally, children under 12 may never operate an ATV or UTV on a public road and children aged 12-15 must be accompanied by an adult, even if they have a safety certificate, unless it is a crossing or agricultural use.

To read more about all the ATV laws in Wisconsin, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Wisconsin.

Wyoming

You can legally operate an ATV or UTV in Wyoming on public roads (excluding interstates) if you obtain an MPV Permit.  To obtain an MPV permit, you must  have a current license plate, a valid driver’s license (or permit) with an M or MR endorsement and proof of liability insurance.

To legally operate on public streets in Wyoming, your ATV or UTV must also be equipped with the following equipment:

  • Headlamp
  • Tail light
  • Brake light
  • Red rear reflector
  • Horn
  • Left hand rear view mirror

If you are under the age of 18 and riding an ATV or UTV in Wyoming, you should be aware that you also must be wearing a helmet. If you want an awesome helmet that won’t break the bank, check out our Recommended Gear.

If you cannot qualify for an MPV permit, you can obtain an ORV permit, which will allow you to ride your ATV or UTV on roads within the designated Wyoming ORV program.

It should also be noted if you cannot maintain the maximum posted speed while operating your ATV or UTV, you must ride on the extreme right side of the road. In this situation, your ATV or UTV must also be equipped with a reflectorized flag or slow moving vehicle emblem.

Finally, there are exceptions to these requirements for state-owned vehicles and for those used for agricultural purposes.

To read more about all the ATV laws in Wyoming, read our guide to the ATV and UTV laws in Wyoming.

Brent Huntley

Brent Huntley is the owner of ATV Man and is responsible for almost all the material on the website. He also runs photographyandtravel.com 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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