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Avoid a Ticket: ATV Etiquette

For work or play, ATVs are a blast to drive. While they can be a fun toy and a useful tool, it's important to recognize that driving a power vehicle requires responsibility. It's your duty to know the laws in your riding area and abide by them. We've put together a list of ways to avoid getting a ticket on your ATV. 

Before You Go

Planning ahead is important for safety and prevention of fines, accidents, or arrest. Take a map, plan your course, check your registration and be familiar with laws in the area you'll ride. 

Don't Drink and Drive

It's reckless, dangerous and poses an unnecessary risk to you and others. Save the beer for when you return safely home. Just like a car or boat, you can get a ticket for driving an ATV while intoxicated. Don't do it. 

Helmets On

Everyone should ride with a helmet; kids especially. Make sure minors have safety training certification, are of legal age to operate an ATV and have an OHV-approved helmet. 

Stick to the Trail

Respect the land. ATV riders can get a bad rap for not caring about the environment they ride in. The community wants to be part of nature, not take over it. Stick to the trails and make sure you're courteous of the land. 


Know the differences in types of registration and when you need to update yours. If your four-wheeler has been granted registration exemption for use with animal husbandry, do not use it for recreational purposes. This is an abuse of permission. Most states require non-resident registration or permits if you're visiting. If your ATV is non-compliant, you may be subject to a check of your driving registration, as well. 

Spark Arrester

Make sure your ATV is outfitted with one where necessary. These reduce the chances of wildfires. 

Street Legal

Ensure your vehicle is street legal if applicable. Things like a rearview mirror, horn, turn signals and lights, license plate, windshield, speedometer and ATV hard surface tires are among those on the list. See local law for exhaustive list of street-legal requirements. 


Communities and campgrounds generally have ordinances in place to address noise concerns. ATVs can receive tickets for excessive noise. Consider a stealth exhaust accessory if you'll be in residential areas. 

Take the time to learn the laws. Compliance prevents conflict. Be safe. Roll on. 

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