Street Legal ATVby J. Harris
I posted an image of a street legal ATV called Hayabuquad in Dec of 2007 that was essentially a Hayabusa Motorcycle with an ATV conversion kit installed. You can see what it looks like here – Hayabuquad – It’s truly a work of art. Since then I’ve heard the question Where can I buy a street legal ATV? and Is there such thing as a street legal ATV? A hundred times so I’m elaborating on the answer here.
The short answer is yes, street legal ATVs do exist, there are street legal ATVs in many places including Europe, Canada and the United States. Most, if not all, of the locations in which it is legal to ride an ATV on the road also have strict regulations on the manner in which you ride the ATV and on the ATV itself. My personal opinion is – why would you want to ride a 400lb ATV in traffic with much faster 3000lb vehicles anyway – but I digress.
Here is what you need to know – THE FACTS:
- Laws vary from state to state, ONLY your local DMV can give you definitive information. Your first stop should be your local department of motor vehicles.
- Street legal ATV riding will also have limits on how and where you can ride on the road. Being Street Legal doesn’t mean Ride Anywhere at Anytime.
- A street legal ATV would need to be road worthy including turn signals, headlights, brake lights and a rear view mirror. A minimum ride height may also be required.
- Proper licensing, registration, insurance and paperwork is not optional for ATV’s. In fact obtaining an insurance quote may prove to be a frustrating experience.
- Special rules – In some states it is only legal to ride street ATVs on the road at an angle of approximately 90 degrees to the direction of the highway. In such places you may hear it is legal to ride an ATV on the road but the specifics may not be what you think they are. Crossing the road doesn’t mean street legal.
Finding YOUR state’s DMV website (don’t get fooled by 3rd party sites): Every State in the US, and province in Canada, has it’s own DMV website to reflect the individual laws of each State and Province. Many websites exist on the internet that have borrowed copies of content from official DMV websites and they have re-printed the information for your use. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK because it may be out of date.
The URL for your local DMV website will have your states abbreviation in it and will finish with either .gov or .us. An example, California’s DMV website is http://dmv.ca.gov/ and NY States DMV website is http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/. Notice the state abbreviation government TLD (top level domain, ie:.com, .net etc) are included and that they are Government websites, not .com’s. Major search engines such as Google and Yahoo also do an excellent job of returning the official government sites first in search results.
I’m taking the time to explain the importance of not accepting what you read on 3rd party sites or forums as fact because only an official government DMV website will have information you can trust available. Too many people are getting hurt already, a little accurate knowledge can go a long way to preventing injuries. If you need help finding the DMV information you need in your area ask ATVStyle on Twitter for help.