Guide to ATV and UTV Laws of Virginia

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 Virginia 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.

There are not a whole lot of ATV laws in Virginia so lets just jump in.

How does Virginia Define ATV?

Virginia defines an ATV or all-terrain vehicle as a three-wheeled or four-wheeled motor vehicle, generally characterized by large, low-pressure tires, a seat designed to be straddled by the operator, and handlebars for steering, which is intended for off-road use by an individual rider on various types of non-paved terrain.

The rules and laws described herein do not apply if you are riding on your own private land, or if the ATV is used for farming activities.

Are you Required to Title or Register your ATV/UTV in Virginia?

Any new ATV over 50cc must be titled in Virginia. You may also request a title for a used ATV if you need one to secure a loan or otherwise provide proof of ownership. To title your ATV, take the following steps:

  • Complete an Application for Certificate of Title and Registration. Note that you are not required to provide the odometer reading for an ATV.
  • Make sure you have a manufacturer’s certificate of origin or manufacturer’s statement of origin, a title signed over to you from the previous owner, a bill of sale of the previous owner, and your proof of address.
  • Pay the $15 titling fee and any applicable taxes.
  • Determine whether you want a paper title or an electronic title. Personally, we recommend going electronic to keep one thing you don’t have to worry about.

You are not required to register your ATV or UTV in Virginia.

Where are you Permitted to Operate an ATV or UTV in Virginia?

Generally, you are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV in Virginia on any public highway, or other public property, unless it has been authorized by the proper authorities.

You may not operate an ATV or UTV on the private land of another unless you have written permission from the owner.

Buchanan County has some exceptions to the normal restrictions in Virginia. You may operate an ATV or UTV on the highways in Buchanan County where the following conditions are met:

  • the operation occurs along the Pocahontas Trail on Bill Young Mountain or across Virginia Route 635;
  • there are posted signs warning motorists that ATVs may be operating on the highway;
  • it is during daylight hours;
  • you are on the highway for no more than one mile between two trails;
  • you are following all the rules of the road applicable to other motor vehicles; and
  • your maximum speed limit is 25 mph

Youth ATV/UTV Requirements in Virginia

A full size ATV may not be operated in Virginia by an person under the age of 16. Youth-sized ATVs 90cc and under may be operated by youth aged 12 and older. Children under 12 are limited to 70cc ATVs.

ATV/UTV Equipment Requirements in Virginia

  • Any person operating an ATV or UTV in Virginia must wear a helmet. We love this helmet from O’Neal because it has all our must-have features for under $100.
  • If you are riding with a passenger on an ATV, the ATV must be equipped and designed to be operated with more than one rider.

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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