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Arizona ATV/OHV Laws

April 22, 2021Personal Injury

Operating an ATV can be an exhilarating experience. These vehicles are particularly useful when trying to reach off-road locations. ATVs have been increasing in popularity throughout Arizona. Unfortunately, accidents involving ATVs often result in severe injuries for riders and passengers. Even when ATV riders are wearing helmets and other protective gear, they are incredibly vulnerable to collisions and rollovers. Here, our Phoenix ATV accident lawyers want to discuss the laws in Arizona surrounding ATV usage. It is crucial for any ATV user to follow the laws of this state in order to remain safe both on and off the road.

What is an Off-Highway Vehicle in Arizona?

Arizona defines off-highway vehicles (OHV) as any motorized vehicle that is used to primarily operate on land, water, snow, or other natural terrain. This can include two, three, and four-wheel vehicles, and ATVs are included in the definition of OHVs.

Are Titles Required for ATVs in Arizona?

An ATV in Arizona is required to have a certificate of title in order to comply with the laws regarding an OHV decal. Titles have been required for most types of OHVs in this state since 1985. A law change in 2009 required that all OHVs have a certificate of title.

Do ATV Users Need a License?

In most circumstances, a person does have to have a driver’s license to operate in a TV in Arizona, including on city, county, and state roads and highways. Additionally, a license is typically needed to operate on Forest Service roads or BML-maintained roads across the state.

Do You Need an OHV Decal in Arizona?

An OHV decal is required for any vehicle designed by the manufacturer:

  • To be primarily used over unimproved roads or off-road, and
  • Weigh 1,800 pounds or less, and
  • Have an engine power greater than 49cc

Do Arizona ATV Riders Need a Helmet?

ATV riders in Arizona do not have to wear a helmet if they are 18 years of age or older. However, please understand that wearing a helmet can save a life. All too often, ATV accidents result in collisions with fixed objects or rollovers that result in a rider’s head sustaining an impact. This can lead to significant skull fractures or traumatic brain injuries that lead to permanent damage. Helmets save lives in these situations, and we strongly encourage all ATV riders to wear them. Any person under the age of 18 must wear a helmet when they are operating or riding on an a TV.

Are ATVs Street Legal in Arizona?

It is possible to make an ATV street legal in this state. However, they have to be registered for on-highway use. In order for an ATV to be able to be legally operated on regular roadways, it must be equipped with specific equipment, and the driver must have liability insurance. Some of the types of equipment that are necessary to make an ATV street legal in this state include the following:

  • A license plate light. In addition to having a license plate clearly visible on the rear of the ATV, it must have a light as well.
  • A horn. A street-legal ATV must have a horn that is audible from a distance of at least 200 feet.
  • Emissions control. There are certain areas in Arizona that require a person to have their emissions tested. It is crucial to check with the DMV in the area where you are getting your ATV registered to determine whether or not you will need to implement various emissions control standards.

Liability insurance. Any person who drives a street-legal ATV in Arizona must ensure that they have liability insurance. This insurance must be at the same levels as traditional vehicle insurance in Arizona.

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