Each state out west is a bit different in what you need to be legal with your OHV. It is smart to check out each state’s regulations before you go there to see if they accept what you already have or if you will need to purchase an OHV sticker for that specific state. At the time this article was written, the following states do not have an OHV registration or use fee: Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
A great way to know where you are and what trails and roads are legal for your equipment is with the onX Off Road Maps. You can download these maps through the app. Make sure you download the maps in the location you will be riding before you lose service.
A new off-highway vehicle decal is required to be purchased each year for operation of any vehicle operated on unimproved roads, trails, and approved use areas not suitable for conventional two-wheel-drive vehicular travel. Examples include All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), trail motorcycles, and dirt bikes. Your OHV/ATV must have an Arizona Certificate of Title in your name if you are a resident.
Forest roads with vertically-numbered route markers mean you can ride with an RV plate and decal or MC plate and OHV decal. Forest roads with horizontally-numbered route markers mean you have to be “street legal” (MC plate and OHV decal). The non-resident OHV decal costs $25 plus a processing fee and is valid for one year from the date of purchase. This decal can only be purchased online through an Arizona Game and Fish Department Portal account. The decal will not be sold at AZGFD offices. Non-residents with multiple machines must purchase additional decals; each OHV must have its own decal. Non-residents must display the decal on the left rear quarter panel of OHVs with three or more wheels or on the left fork leg on two-wheeled vehicles. The OHV decal will be mailed within two to three weeks from the date of purchase. Purchasers can show their receipt or a screenshot of it for up to 30 days as proof of decal purchase. Owners/riders must have the receipt readily available if requested by law enforcement or until they receive their decal(s).
All vehicles operated off-highway on public lands in California are required to be street licensed or registered as an off-highway vehicle (OHV). Purchase of a California non-resident permit is required. If you purchase your California OHV permit online, you will see a $1.95 online service fee added. California has a list of vendors on the non-resident OHV use permit website. If you are visiting California from another state and your vehicle does not have a current registration from your home state, you must purchase a California non-resident OHV use permit before you recreate on public lands.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife will no longer provide a bright green temporary registration by mail for new registrations or renewals. Instead, customers can now use their emailed confirmation receipt (valid for 60 days) as their temporary registration until they receive their registration card and decals in the mail. The emailed confirmation receipt will be sent to the email address you have on file. You can also buy this OHV permit at all local dealers.
Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) include:
· Dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles (ATV), utility vehicles (UTV), side-by-sides (SxS), three-wheelers, buggies, plated, street- legal vehicles, full-size 4x4s, or plated motorcycles when operating on public lands and/or OHV designated trails
All OHVs must have either a current/valid Colorado Registration Card and two decals or one Colorado OHV permit to operate in Colorado. This includes while in route, in staging areas, and on public land roads and OHV designated trails. Regardless of when they are purchased, both OHV registrations and permits are valid from April 1st through March 31st each year and are required annually. They are non-refundable and non-transferable. The purchase fee for new OHV registration or renewing an existing registration in Colorado is $25.25.
Contact each public land management agency for their current motor vehicle use rules, regulations, closures, and agency maps. The “Stay the Trail” website and the free Colorado Trail Explorer trails app are additional resources for finding places to ride in Colorado.
OHV and snowmobile permits may be purchased online at idahostateparks.reserveamerica.com, by phone at 1-888-922- 6743, or in person at any of the vendors found on the Registration & Permits page on Idaho’s website. Any non-resident owner or applicant of a non-commercial off- highway vehicle is required to obtain a non- resident OHV user certificate. A fee of $12 is imposed for the issuance of a non-resident OHV user certificate.
If you wish to ride your OHV on public land or trails, it must be registered. You will be issued a decal for off-road use that must be displayed in a conspicuous location on your OHV. A certificate of title is proof of ownership and is required to license and register your OHV in Montana. If you have an older OHV or if your OHV was purchased from a state that does not title them, you may apply to obtain a replacement document from the Motor Vehicle Division. The Non- Resident Temporary Use Permit costs $35 and allows OHV use on trails only. OHVs must be street legal to be ridden on public roads.
An off-highway vehicle (OHV) is defined as a self-propelled vehicle used for recreation on public roads, trails, easements, lakes, rivers, or streams. This includes motorcycles, ATVS, ROVS or side-by-sides, dune buggies, amphibious vehicles, and air cushion vehicles.
In Nevada, registration applications are accepted and decals are issued by mail only. If you are not a resident of Nevada and plan to ride your out-of-state ATV within the state, you are able to do so without applying for a Nevada OHV registration if the ATV is properly registered in your home state. The cost for an annual registration is $20. There are no driver’s license or minimum age requirements for OHVs operated off- highway in Nevada.
ATVs and ROVs intended to be operated on authorized paved roads must display a special OHV paved road use decal or plate in addition to the OHV registration decal. At this time, non-residents may purchase the OHV paved road decal through the New Mexico Game and Fish online licensing system. Non-residents whose ATVs and/or ROVs that comply with New Mexico’s paved road use requirements and displays a valid paved road use decal or plate from their home state are not required to purchase a New Mexico non-resident paved road use decal or plate. New Mexico residents must obtain decals or plates for their OHVs by contacting their local Motor Vehicle Division. Decals must be displayed as follows:
· Motorcycle – Left fork leg, either horizontal or vertical, visible from the left
· ATV – Left rear quadrant on permanent plastic or metal frame members visible to outside inspection
· UTV/ROV – On the left front quarter panel of a recreational off-highway vehicle
· Snowmobile – Left quadrant of the metal frame visible to the rear
Non-resident permits are required for OHVs prior to using them on any public lands in New Mexico and permits must be displayed. If a non-resident is from a state that has not established OHV registration or a user fee, then the non-resident must purchase New Mexico’s Off-Highway User permit.
All OHV riders from out of state require a permit on public lands and must display a validation decal. Non-resident permits can only be purchased online with a Visa or MasterCard. New Mexico permits cost $18 for a 90-day permit or $48 for a two-year permit. A non-resident with an OHV from one of the states without a registration program and no use fee must purchase either the two-year non-registered permit sticker or the 90-day permit prior to operating on New Mexico’s public lands. A non-resident from the remaining states need not purchase New Mexico ‘s permit as long as they can provide valid proof that they have a current registration, user fee, or something similar for their off-highway vehicle. If a person cannot provide valid proof of possessing such a document, then they must purchase the two-year non-resident permit sticker or the 90-day permit sticker.
An off-highway vehicle permit is required by the Oregon if you want to operate your motorized vehicle on public land. The State establishes and administers OHV permits and regulations. Oregon offers two ways to purchase your permit. You can buy it online or find a local dealer. Oregon has four types of ATVs – Class I (quads), II (4x4s), III (motorcycles), and IV (side-by- sides). There are rider requirements for each type of vehicle. Out-of-state residents can purchase an Oregon permit for $10, which is valid for two years. An ATV/OHV operating permit that is issued in another state shall be honored in Oregon if the issuing state also honors an Oregon ATV operating permit.
There are 19 states Oregon has reciprocity with. If someone has a current permit from one of these States, it is accepted in Oregon and Oregon’s ATV permit is accepted in their state. These 19 states are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Vermont.
Beginning January 1, 2023, all OHV operators are required to complete the free Utah Off-Highway Vehicle Education Course. Operators under the age of 18 must possess a youth OHV education certificate in order to operate an OHV on public land, road, or trail. Operators who are 18 years of age or older may operate an OHV if they possess an approved adult OHV education certificate. The once-in-a-lifetime course is expected to take less than 30 minutes to complete. You can take the course online at recreation.utah.gov. Make sure you print or save the certificate for proof of course completion.
Owners of any off-highway vehicles (ATV or UTV), off-highway motorcycles, or snowmobiles brought into Utah by non- residents must obtain a non-resident permit in order to operate on public land. To obtain a non-resident OHV permit, you must provide proof of out-of-state residency and that the OHV is not owned by a Utah resident. The non-resident OHV permit cost is $30 and is good for 12 months from the time of purchase. Permits must be purchased online. The Division encourages operators to check with their state’s DMV, OHV program, or land managing agency to see if they reciprocate with Utah in regard to street legality. States and land managing agencies are constantly changing their laws and rules. It is up to the owner to be aware of changes taking place in the state where their machine is registered. Utah has an estimated 80,000 miles of public trails designated for OHV use. It is your responsibility to know where you can legally ride before you go out on your adventure. Remember, ride on designated routes and all trails are considered closed unless posted open by a sign or map approved by the land managing agency.
Listed below are a few map resources:
· Avenza Maps
· BFGoodrich Ontrail
· Gaia GPS
· onX Offroad
· Outsiders Utah
· Polaris Ride Command
· Statwide ATV Day Rides Interactive Maps
· Statewide Interactive Snowmobile Maps
Washington has some amazing trails to explore, but before you go riding around, make sure you are legal. If you are not a resident of Washington, you can ride your out-of-state ATV in the state with either a valid ATV registration in a state that has reciprocity with Washington’s ATV registration, a Washington ATV registration, or a temporary ORV use permit.
A WATV is a motorized, non-highway vehicle with handlebars or a utility-type vehicle designed for and capable of travel over designated roads. For more in-depth information about what constitutes a WATV, see Washington’s website. Dune buggies, snowmobiles, and golf carts do not qualify as wheeled all-terrain vehicles. You have the option to purchase a temporary use permit if you don’t want to license your vehicle for a full year. Non- residents may also get a permit. It’s not a requirement that the non-resident’s WATV registration be current to purchase this permit. The permit is valid for 60 days from the date it’s issued. The permit isn’t transferable and is not for road use. An ORV may be titled without being currently registered to get this permit. The fee for a temporary ORV use permit is $15.75.
A Wyoming ORV permit is required for all enrolled roads, routes, and 50" or less trails designated for ORV use. See the maps section at www.wyoparks.wyo.gov for all Wyoming National Forest areas enrolled in the program. There is no reciprocity for ORV or OHV out-of-state registrations; non- residents must purchase a Wyoming ORV permit. Street legal ORVs are only required to purchase a Wyoming ORV permit if operating on a 50" or less trail. Enrolled roads and routes are open to street legal ORVs or ORVs with an ORV permit. Operators who do not have a driver’s license or permit can operate an ORV only on enrolled trails, designated riding areas, and private property with permission. Operators over the age of 15 years with a permit or driver’s license can ride on roads, routes, and trails that are designated for ORV travel and non- designated roads if the ORV is street legal.
The owner of an off-road vehicle that will be operated on designated ORV trails and areas within Wyoming must purchase an annual registration user fee at a cost of $15. The permit is valid for a calendar year.