Is It Legal to Drive an ATV On the Road? Everything You Need to Know About

Thousands of customers from Virginia have saved an average of $7,000+ .

Is It Legal to Drive an ATV On the Road

You’re probably heard of all-terrain vehicles or ATVs. These vehicles are designed to drive on private property (off-road), and most people think they can also be used to go on public roads. But is it legal to drive an ATV on the road?

Through this article, we’ll take a look at the laws for driving ATVs on the road in different states. We’ll also discuss some safety measures associated with driving ATVs on the road. 

What Is ATV?

ATVs also known as all-terrain vehicles, four-wheelers, or quads are popular for off-road riding and getting around the outdoors.

Although mostly utilized for recreational activities like trail riding and racing, they also have practical use in industries, construction, snow removal, and agriculture.

Utility vehicles, or UTVs, are available with gas or electric motors and in sizes ranging from 50cc for kids all the way up to 1000cc for extreme off-roading. They are divided into two categories: sport ATVs and utility ATVs.

Sport all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have a lightweight chassis, powerful engines, and agile handling to facilitate racing and high-speed riding. In contrast, utility all-terrain conventional motor vehicles (UTVs) are designed to be functional in the workplace, with features like cargo racks, towing capacities, and powerful engines that can handle big loads.

The popularity of ATVs has grown steadily over time. Although they have been widely used, their use has been controversial because of safety and environmental implications. Accidents involving ATVs are not uncommon, and some studies have connected their usage to environmental degradation.

ATV usage is regulated by rules and regulations in many states to allay these worries. These regulations often include a minimum age at which riders may use a permit to operate an ATV, a prohibition on riding in some areas, and the need for riders to wear helmets at all times while driving.

Is It Legal to Drive an ATV On the Road?

ATVs are not allowed to drive on any public limited access highways. But there are some exceptions such as an  ATV being allowed to drive on 2-lane public highways. Also, it is allowed when its operator is engaged in farming or agricultural activities, road maintenance, or construction.

The operator must have a valid driver’s license and liability insurance to operate its ATV on public roads, and also meet all the safety requirements. However, driving ATVs on private land doesn’t require a license.

Features Of An ATV:

Sitting Capacity: 

ATV has only one person seating capacity. 


ATVs have four wheels, that’s why they are known as a four-wheeler.


It is usually an open off-road vehicle, but a cabin enclosure is also available.


Most ATVs have a maximum speed of 85 mph.

Street-Legal Kits for ATVs

Great news for all those who have ATVs and want to drive on public roads/controlled access highway, there are street-legal kits that can be very helpful to make your ATV street-legal. Of course, these street legal kits will differ based on the rules and legislation in your state. But in general, they include things like turn signals, road-worthy indicators, and high-beam and low-beam headlights.

For making ATVs street-legal, you should also have a tag and motor vehicle registration. You might also need to add reflectors or safety flags, mirrors, horns, and even mufflers if you’re planning on riding in noisy places.

Before going to purchase and install a street-legal kit, check your local DMV’s law regarding ATVs to be legally driven on public streets since different states have different laws, and every state has different requirements for operating ATVs on public roads/limited access highway. 

Rules And Regulation For ATV Riding

ATVs aren’t exactly similar to cars, and it means they don’t fall under the same group of rules when it comes to public roads. Most of the time, ATV operation (usage) on public roads is acceptable. There are a few limitations, though, that you should be aware of.

First of all, ATVs must be registered and insured in the same manner as a car. You should have followed the same traffic rules and regulations, including wearing a helmet and driving on the right side of the road.

If your ATV is driving on a road that isn’t maintained (like a dirt road), you should have to follow all the same traffic laws as if you were driving on a paved road.

Similar to cars, ATVs are not allowed to drive through water more than 18 inches deep. It is prohibited to operate an off-highway vehicle (ATV) in a bicycle lane or on a sidewalk.

As mentioned above, all states have their own regulations when it comes to driving off road vehicles (ATVs) on public roads (interstate highways). And although most states permit it, some do not. In general, though, it’s legal to drive an ATV on the road as long as you’re following the specific regulations of your state.

For example, in the state of Texas, it’s legal to drive an ATV on the road as long as it’s 49 inches or less in width and less than 1,500 pounds in weight. You can also visit the DMV website to read more details about the specific rules and regulations for each state.

Safety Tips To Ride ATV

Once all the legal requirements are completed for making your ATV legally driven on public streets. Now you should have to consider some safety factors.

You must always use safety equipment, such as

  • Helmet 
  • knee pads
  • Elbow pads
  •  And eye protection

Before enjoying a ride with your ATV you must keep in mind the safety measures. Prior to using your ATV, you should confirm that it is in good functioning order. Make sure that the brakes, tires, and lights are all in good working order and that the tires don’t have any damage or bald spots.

Here’s How 5 Star Registration Can Help You to Make ATV Street Legal

5 Star Registration

There are several things to do to make ATV street legal. For an inexperienced person, making ATV street legal can be daunting. It’s recommended to get expert help.

Getting help from 5 Star Registration can be a big relief for you. Experts at 5 Star Registration can help you to make ATV street legal. Their affordable and fast service will save you both time and money. They will handle the paperwork and procedures required so that you can legally ride your dirt bike on the road.

Email or call the experts at 5 Star Registration to start the process of making your ATV street legal. 

Is It Legal to Drive an ATV On the Road: Conclusion

ATVs are allowed to drive on public streets in some states, while other states have specific laws that prohibit street-legal ATV use on the road. It’s necessary to know the local law in your state before you hit the road with your ATV.

Before taking to the roads on an all-terrain vehicle, drivers should familiarize themselves with the local ATV laws and rules. Drivers of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) should always put safety first, and that includes doing things like donning protective gear, stopping at red lights, and respecting the posted speed limit while driving. Responsible and safe driving techniques are vital for the safety of the driver and others on the road, regardless of the rules and regulations regarding ATV usage.   

Read our other helpful guides here

How to Make UTV Street Legal

How to Get a Title for a Motorcycle

How to Make a Humvee Street Legal  

Calculate Your Savings

State Sales Tax Rate: $0%

Your Current Registration Cost:

5 Star Registration Cost:$1049

You'd save:

Financing your vehicle? Not a problem.
43% of registrations are financed.


5 stars - 7327 reviews

Scroll to Top