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Polaris Ranger driven through a plain field with mountains in the back
Riding Tips November 01, 2021

ATV/Side-by-Side UTV Laws by State

Just like other types of recreation, off-roading has its share of state laws and regulations. These rules are designed to keep riders safe, as well as to minimize negative social and environmental impacts of four-wheeling or driving a side-by-side. While many off-road vehicle laws look generally the same from state to state, there can be variations at the county and local levels. Before riding, consult the laws and regulations in your riding area.

Common ATV/UTV Laws

State and local ATV/SxS UTV laws can dictate registration requirements, speed limits, open and prohibited trails, trail or riding area restrictions, and other rules of the trail when it comes to your ATV or SxS/UTV.


As with any vehicle, states impose special rules regarding youth operation of off-road vehicles. Depending on the size of the vehicle, there may be different age requirements associated. Although four-wheeler riders under 18 must wear helmets, it’s important for drivers of any age to do so. Even if not required by law, your safety is top priority. Some states require that people under a certain age must have completed state-approved safety courses before operating an ATV or SxS UTV.


All states prohibit operating off-road vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


To help you track down the pertinent UTV and ATV laws by state, we’ve rounded up links to ATV/UTV regulations for all 50 states below and divided them up by geographic region.

Northeast Region

Midwest Region

South Region

West Region

Know the Rules Before You Start Up Your SxS or Quad

Take the understanding of UTV/ATV regulations in any location you'll be using your rig seriously. Following these rules is part of being a conscientious ORV operator, and doing so will not only help you stay safe but also allow you and others to continue to enjoy off-roading.

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