Arizona is the next state to be conquered in our continuing series of articles analyzing the ATV laws in every state, which stemmed from this article. Arizona is one of the most popular states for street-legal ATVs and UTVs given their relaxed laws so there is a lot to look at here.
It should also be noted that, while I am an attorney, I am not your attorney and am not giving legal advice. If you have questions, you should consult a local attorney.
What is considered an Off-Highway Vehicle in Arizona?
Arizona defines an off-highway vehicle as a motorized vehicle that is operated primarily on land, water, snow, ice or other natural terrain. It includes two, three and four-wheel vehicles, and specifically identifies ATVs, UTVs, side by sides, RZRs, ROVs, motorcycles, mopeds and snowmobiles.
Are you Required to have a Title for your ATV/UTV in Arizona?
An ATV or UTV is required to have a certificate of title in order to comply with the mandatory OHV Decal law. Titles have been required on most OHVs in Arizona since 1985, but in 2009, the law was expanded to require a certificate of title for all OHVs.
Is a driver’s license required to operate an ATV or UTV in Arizona?
A driver’s license is required to operate an ATV or UTV in Arizona on city, county, and state roads and highways, some Forest Service road and BLM-maintained roadways.
What is an OHV Decal and do you need one in Arizona?
An OHV Decal is required in Arizona for any vehicle designed by its manufacturer to primarily be used for travel over unimproved roads, having an unladen weight of 1,800 pounds or less (how much does an ATV weigh?) and an engine greater than 49cc.
You should make sure to get your OHV Decal before you register your ATV or UTV. If you are primarily using it offroad, you will get a discount on the registration if you have an OHV Decal.
What Steps do you Follow to Comply with Arizona’s OHV Decal law?
Complying with Arizona’s decal law is pretty simple, just follow these steps:
- Determine if your ATV or UTV qualifies for the OHV Decal.
- Obtain a Certificate of Title for the ATV or UTV.
- Obtain a license plate for your ATV or UTV.
- Purchase your OHV Decal.
- Affix the OHV Decal to the upper left-hand corner of your license plate.
- If you wish to ride on Arizona roads, purchase the street legal registration.
What are the exceptions to needing an OHV Decal in Arizona?
There are certain exceptions where you do not need an OHV Decal to operate your ATV in Arizona. They include the following:
- When you are participating in an off-highway special event.
- When you are operating your ATV/UTV on private land.
- When you are loading or unloading your ATV from a vehicle.
- When you are operating your ATV/UTV during a period of emergency, or as directed by a peace officer or public safety officer.
Do you need an OHV Decal if you are a non-resident operating an ATV in Arizona?
In Arizona, a non-resident is not required to have an OHV Decal as long as the non-resident meets all the following conditions.
- The person operating the ATV or side by side is not a resident of Arizona.
- The person owns the ATV they are operating.
- The ATV displays a current OHV Decal or registration from the person’s home state.
- The ATV or UTV is not present in Arizona for more than thirty consecutive days.
What is the money used for when you buy your OHV Decal?
Thirty percent of the funds go to the Highway User Revenue Fund, which is distributed to the counties and cities throughout Arizona for use on road and highway maintenance.
The remaining seventy percent is dedicated to to the state’s OHV program, including the following:
- to the Arizona State Parks for grants and agreements, trail construction, development and maintenance, signage and maps.
- to the Arizona Game and Fish Departments for enforcement, education and outreach.
- to the Arizona State Land Department for mitigation, signage and enforcement.
What ATV Equipment is Required in Arizona?
- Spark Arrestor. Your ATV must have a spark arrestor approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- Goggles. For any ATV or UTV not equipped with a windshield, Arizona law requires the operator to wear eye protection. If you need a awesome set from Oakley at a killer price, check out our Recommended Gear.
- Muffler. Your ATV must be equipped with a muffler that prevents sounds above 96 decibels.
- Lights.If you are operating an ATV after dusk or before dawn, you will need both headlights and tail lights.
- Brake Light. Your ATV must have at least one red brake light.
- License Plate. A license plate must be securely fastened to the rear of your ATV, and must remain clearly visible at all times.
- Rearview Mirror.
- Seat. The operator and each passenger must have their own seat.
- Footrests. The operator and each passenger must have their own footrests.
- Safety Flag. If you are operating an ATV on sand dunes or other areas designated by the land management agency, you are required to have a safety flag attached to your ATV that is at least six inches by 12 inches. The flag must fly at least eight feet above the ground.
- Helmet.A helmet is not actually required for an ATV operator over the age of 18, but they are strongly encouraged. Based on what we have heard and experienced, you are much less likely to be pulled over for some actual violation if you are wearing a helmet. So if you don’t want to be a target for the policy, and you want to protect that thing that holds your brain and keeps you alive, you should probably wear a helmet.
Can you get a Street-Legal ATV in Arizona?
You can make your ATV or UTV street-legal in Arizona by registering them for on-highway use. To be street legal, your ATV must be equipped with specific equipment and carry proof of liability insurance.
You must also display the registration sticker on the upper right corner of your license plate.
It is easy to tell a street-legal ATV from a non-street legal ATV in Arizona. A street-legal ATV will have the letters MC on the left side of its license plate, while a non-street legal ATV will have the letters RV on the left side of its license plate.
What Additional Equipment do you need to add to your ATV to make it Street Legal in Arizona?
While most of the equipment that is normally required to make an ATV street legal is required for all ATVs, as discussed above, there are few additional requirements if you want to be street legal in Arizona.
- License Plate Light.In addition to having your license plate displayed in a clearly visible manner on the rear of your ATV, you must have it lighted as well.
- Horn. The horn must be audible from a distance of at least 200 feet. I am not sure how strict they are on this, or how they test it, but most add-on ATV horns should do the trick.
- Liability Insurance. While not technically equipment I guess, you do need to make sure you have liability insurance on your ATV or side by side that matches the minimum requirements for a car. This makes sense as you will be driving it like a car in theory.
- Emissions.Another non-equipment requirement I am listing with the equipment. Certain areas in Arizona also require you to have your emissions tested. Just check with the DMV where you are getting your ATV or UTV registered.
What Rules are there for Youth Riders in Arizona?
- All riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet. The helmet must be DOT approved and properly fitted and fastened. Check out our Recommended Gear if you need advice on a good helmet.
- Children under 16 must be supervised by an adult.
- Children must ride an appropriately-sized ATV.
What Regulations are there on the Operation of ATVs and UTVs in Arizona?
In an effort to maintain safe operation of ATVs, and to protect the natural resources of the state, Arizona has adopted a number of operating regulations.
These regulations apply to all off-highway vehicles operated in Arizona, including all ATVs and UTVs.
- You may not operate an OHV with reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property.
- You may not operate an OHV off an existing road, trail or route in a manner that causes damage to wildlife habitat, riparian areas, cultural or natural resources or property or improvements.
- You may not operate an OHV on closed roads, trails, routes or areas unless you are a hunter retrieving an animal in a designated area in accordance with land management agency rules.
- You may not operate an OHV over unimproved roads, trails, routes or areas unless driving on roads, trails, routes or areas is allowed by rule or regulation.
- You may not operate an OHV in a manner that causes damage to the environment.
- You may not ride double on an ATV in Arizona unless the ATV is designed to carry more than one passenger. In that situation, you may only carry the number of passengers on your ATV or UTV as recommended by the manufacturer. It is important to note Arizona only recognizes the number recommended by the manufacturer, which means the addition of after-market seats or foot pegs does not lawfully increase the seating capacity on your ATV.
- You may not operate an OHV while impaired. In this regard, an ATV or UTV is treated the same as any other vehicle, and you can be stopped by the police, arrested and charged with a DUI if you are operating an OHV on any street or public lands under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- You may not chase or harass wildlife while on an ATV or UTV in Arizona.
Generally, your use of an ATV or UTV is limited to roads, trails, routes or areas designated by the applicable land management agency. Unless you are sure, you should check with the appropriate agency before you ride anywhere that is not marked open for OHV use.
Hunting and ATV/UTV use in Arizona
The use of ATVs and UTVs is becoming more popular for hunters in Arizona. Because of that, the following regulations have been implementing.
- You may not discharge a firearm from, across or into a roadway. Because of that, you need to be very aware of where you are shooting from if you are using an ATV while hunting. The exception to this is someone with a Challenged Hunter Access Mobility Permit (CHAMP), which can be obtained from the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
- You may not trespass over private property. As such, make sure to obtain owner approval if you are going to be riding your ATV through private property.
- You may not operate your ATV or UTV off the road or trail unless you are retrieving big game animals in specific areas. If you have questions, you should consult the applicable land management agency for the area you will be hunting to make sure you know the current rules and regulations for that area.
Can you operate an ATV on State Trust Land in Arizona?
If your ATV or UTV has a valid OHV Decal, you may cross State Trust Land on designated or open roads and trails. You may not enter any closed areas. If you plan to do anything other than cross over the land, like camping or a picnic, you must purchase a recreation permit.
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.Do you have to register a UTV in Arizona? ›
Requirements for Decal, Title, License Plate & Registration
Your OHV/ATV must have an Arizona Certificate of Title in your name. If the vehicle is not titled in your name or you have an out-of-state title, you will need to visit an MVD Office or Authorized Third Party Provider to obtain an Arizona Certificate of Title.
What equipment is required to operate my OHV in Arizona? Helmet: the best equipment for preventing a brain injury. A properly fitted and fastened DOT approved helmet is required for those under 18 who operate or ride an OHV. Helmets are strongly recommended for OHV operators and riders over 18.Can you drive an OHV on the street in Arizona? ›
Those wanting to ride on improved and maintained roads (streets, highways or Forest Service roads) your OHV can be registered for “street legal” use in Arizona. Your vehicle will first need to be titled and needs to meet all on-highway equipment requirements.How much does it cost to register a side by side in Arizona? ›
The initial decal may be purchased at the same time your OHV is titled and registered. The fee for the decal is $25 per year.Do I need an OHV sticker in Arizona? ›
All off-highway vehicles (OHVs) designed by the manufacturer primarily for use over unimproved terrain and that weigh 2,500 pounds or less are required by law to display a valid OHV decal to operate on public and state trust lands in Arizona.Do you need a license to drive an ATV in Arizona? ›
Then, you must register your vehicle with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and affix a license plate to the rear of your ATV, along with a license plate light. You need a driver's license to operate an ATV on public roads and highways. Finally, you will need a certificate of title and an OHV decal.Do I need an OHV sticker for my jeep in Arizona? ›
Off-Highway Vehicle Decals. All OHV's designed by the manufacturer primarily for use over unimproved terrain, and weigh 2,500 pounds or less, are required by law to display a valid Arizona OHV decal to operate on public and state trust lands in Arizona.How tall does the flag have to be for UTV? ›
If required, the flag must be at least 6 x 12 inches, attached to the OHV, and fly at least 8 feet above the surface of the level ground.Can I ride my ATV in my neighborhood Arizona? ›
Generally, your use of an ATV or UTV is limited to roads, trails, routes or areas designated by the applicable land management agency. Unless you are sure, you should check with the appropriate agency before you ride anywhere that is not marked open for OHV use.
Arizona motorcycle law explicitly allows each motorcycle to use an entire lane or ride side-by-side with another motorcycle. If you find you need to pass another vehicle, you must properly indicate your lane change and use the second lane to overtake and pass.How old do you have to be to drive a UTV AZ? ›
CVC Section 38600 reads: A person operating a recreational off-highway vehicle shall be at least 16 years of age, or be directly supervised in the vehicle by a parent or guardian or by an adult authorized by the parent or guardian.What is the difference between ATV and OHV? ›
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles or dirt bikes, Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs or side-by-side vehicles), snowmobiles, and four-wheel-drive vehicles (such as jeeps and trucks) can all be defined as OHVs.Where can I ride OHV in Arizona? ›
- Arizona Strip. ...
- Bloody Basin Road. ...
- Broken Arrow OHV Route (Coconino National Forest) ...
- Cinder Hills OHV Area (Coconino National Forest) ...
- Crown King (Prescott National Forest) ...
- Harquahala Mountain Summit Road OHV Trail. ...
- Mescal Mountain OHV Area. ...
- Queen Valley OHV Trail (Montana Mountain)
The law permits crossing a highway or use on permitted county or township roads, and operating an OHV on a right-of-way (or berm) to connect a loading area and trail head. Operation on limited-access highways is prohibited, except for emergencies designated by public-safety personnel.Can you drive a side by side on the highway in Arizona? ›
PHOENIX – While all-terrain vehicles are a popular way to explore off-road areas, the Arizona Department of Transportation reminds ATV riders it is illegal and unsafe to drive these vehicles along state roadways. The shoulders of state highways are only to be used only for emergencies, not for joyrides.What does OHV stand for? ›
An off-highway vehicle (OHV) is a motor vehicle capable of off-highway travel during winter or summer. OHV's include all-terrain vehicles (ATV's), four-wheelers, three- wheelers, dirt bikes, motorcycles, trail bikes, and snowmobiles.How much do plates and tags cost in Arizona? ›
What is the registration renewal cost in Az? You'll also pay a registration fee at the office. The amount of these varies depending upon the vehicle, but generally you'll pay $4 for a title, $8 for registration documents, $5 for license plates, and a $1.50 fee for an air quality inspection.What does OHV only mean? ›
An Off-Highway Motor Vehicle (OHMV) also commonly referred to as an off-highway vehicle (OHV) is any motor vehicle operated on publicly accessible lands, including registered highway vehicles.What does OHV trail mean? ›
Numerous and diverse opportunities for off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation exist on BLM-managed public lands. Miles of trails and open areas await all types of OHV enthusiasts.
Shirt and pants. At a minimum, a long-sleeved shirt and long pants should be worn to reduce abrasions on the body.What license you need for a quad? ›
Your quad is approved as a car
If the vehicle is considered to be a passenger car, the requirements that are usual for a car also apply. You must therefore have a B driving licence and wear a safety belt when driving. The minimum age for this quad is 18 years.
If you are intending to reach speeds of up to 25 mph then you must have all of the above, and in addition:
- Dipped-beam headlights, white.
- Front and rear indicators, amber.
- Hazard warning lights.
There are no age restrictions for driving an ATV. However, parents are responsible for their children's safety. Children under 16 should be supervised at all times. A DOT safety-rated motorcycle helmet is also required for all drivers under 18.What vehicles are exempt from emissions in AZ? ›
A: Vehicles that are model year 1967 and newer and more than 5 years old require emissions—this includes gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles. Alternative fuel, flexible fuel (E85) and hybrid vehicles also require emissions. Newer vehicles are exempt for the first 5 years of registration.Where do you put the stickers on a UTV? ›
The registration sticker must be affixed to the lower right corner of the license plate. On ATVs, UTVs, and SOHVs without a restricted vehicle license plate, the registration sticker must be affixed to the rear fender of the vehicle. On all motorbikes, the registration sticker must be affixed to the rider's right fork.Do you need a flag for UTV? ›
In fact, it's legally required in most or all public parks with sand dunes that you wear an ATV safety flag on your vehicle, usually affixed to the rear bumper and extending at least a certain height above the ground – typically either 8 or 10 feet.Do you need permission to put up a flagpole? ›
You will require planning approval from your local council to install a permanent flagpole, depending on the height and placement. Keep reading to learn more about the cost, and the requirements you must follow to ensure you are not violating any rules or regulations when installing a flagpole.Can I drive my ATV around my neighborhood? ›
Where Can You Drive ATVs? Riding on public roads can be a nuisance and is often illegal. So, it's best to stick to ATV trails, private lands, and even off-roading parks. If you're choosing to ride on private land, you should make sure you have permission.Can I use ATV on the street? ›
The ATV is not a street-legal vehicle in the Philippines. ATVs are intended for use by a single operator, although some companies have developed ATVs intended for use by the operator and one passenger.
The simple answer is no. Most quad bikes are not legally allowed to drive on the road because they don't meet the strict road safety standards that are required for any motorised vehicle to drive on the public highway.Is lane splitting legal in Arizona 2022? ›
It's only legal on surface streets where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour or less. They can only pass stopped vehicles, and the motorcycle cannot go faster than 15 mph. There also needs to be at least two lanes of traffic going in the same direction.Does Arizona have a dead red law? ›
If your bicycle doesn't trip the detector, you have to wait for a car to do it, or stop and wait until it is safe to go through the red light. Going through the red isn't against the law, because the light is inoperative (Arizona Revised Statutes 28-645).What CC requires a motorcycle license in Arizona? ›
This helps to ensure that Arizona drivers have the necessary knowledge and ability to handle safely the vehicles they will be driving. If you test with a 100cc or less motorcycle, you will receive a "J" restriction. You must test with a motorcycle greater than 100cc to obtain an unrestricted license.Do you need helmet for side by side? ›
Do You Have to Wear a Helmet in a Side-by-Side? It is important to note that even though a UTV's setup is different than that of an ATV, with seat belts or harnesses, doors, and a roll over protection system, Side-by-Side riders should always wear helmets.How old do you have to be to drive a Polaris RZR? ›
All drivers must be 16 years old with a valid driver's license.What age can you drive a quad? ›
The Government classes a quad bike as being a B1 vehicle. That means the driver must be at least 17 years old and have the correct licence to drive a road legal ATV on public roads. In fact, quad bike drivers must hold either a full car licence or a full motorcycle licence category B1 (if issued before January 1997).Is a Polaris Ranger considered an ATV? ›
Yamaha Rhino and Polaris Rangers and RZRs are examples of off-highway motor vehicles commonly referred to as side-by-sides for their seating configuration, as opposed to an ATV with a seat that is straddled by the operator.Why are ATVs better than UTVs? ›
An ATV is the more maneuverable vehicle compared to a UTV, as ATVs are able to handle tight turns and dense timber or brush with ease. Also, narrow off-road trails may only be open to ATVs (and motorcycles/dirt bikes), though some restricted routes can accommodate 50-inch SxS UTVs.Is a side-by-side considered an ATV or UTV? ›
ATV stands for “all-terrain vehicle.” Typically, an ATV is used for recreation. Designed for single riders, the most common ATVs are four-wheelers/quads. A UTV is a “utility task vehicle.” Designed with a cabin for two to four riders, a UTV is used for work or recreation. Alternative UTV names are SxS and side-by-side.
Arizona requires that every motor vehicle operated on roads in the state be covered by liability insurance through a company that is authorized to do business in Arizona. This includes golf carts, motorcycles and mopeds.
Is Boondocking Legal in Arizona? Like anywhere, boondocking is legal as long as you find the right places to camp. Most Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land allows dispersed camping for up to 14 days. Unless otherwise noted, it's perfectly legal to camp on this public land for free.Which of the following is illegal operation of an ATV? ›
It is illegal to operate an ATV: Without an ATV Operating Permit and a Safety Education Card. In a careless, reckless, or negligent manner so as to endanger the person or property of another. To hunt any animal or bird protected by law.What's the difference between red sticker and green sticker? ›
Green Sticker or Red Sticker
The Green Sticker allows vehicles to operate on public land all year. The Red Sticker is for motorcycles and ATVs model year 2003 and newer that fail to meet the emission standard established by the California Air Resources Board.
Street Legal: Refers to vehicles that are registered for on-highway use . These vehicles are required to have specific equipment and to carry proof of financial responsibility (liability insurance) . OHVs that are “street legal” will display a registration sticker on the upper right corner of the license plate .What does a Rzr need to be street legal? ›
Most places have at least some requirements to make a Polaris RZR street legal. Be it DOT approved windshields, eye protection, mirrors, turn signals, or a combination of them all, if you want to ride legally, you're going to need some street legal modifications.Do you need to have both side mirrors to drive legally in Arizona? ›
A motor vehicle that is constructed or loaded in a manner that obstructs the driver's view to the rear of the vehicle from the driver's position shall be equipped with two mirrors located in a manner to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least two hundred feet to the rear of the vehicle.Is it illegal to block your own driveway in AZ? ›
One of 12 new laws going into effect Wednesday
(KOLD News 13) - A new law in Arizona could make you pay $250 if your vehicle blocks a public or private sidewalk, driveway or crosswalk. The new law is one of 12 that went into effect Wednesday, Sept.
Arizona's Stand Your Ground law
Stand your ground is specified in Arizona Revised Statute §13-405, which says a person who is threatened by someone is not required to retreat from where they have a right to be, including public places, and if not committing an unlawful act.
There's no law that specifically states that you cannot eat while driving in this state. But actions like eating and talking on a handheld phone significantly increase your risk of being in an accident or driving erratically, and these actions can get you pulled over.
A vehicle designed and manufactured for off-highway use may not be operated on a California highway even though it may be highway legal in its home state because it does not meet the federal highway safety standards for highway vehicles.How old do you have to be to not wear a helmet in a RZR? ›
Common ATV/UTV Laws
Although four-wheeler riders under 18 must wear helmets, it's important for drivers of any age to do so.
Do not attempt to shift gears with engine speed above idle or while the vehicle is moving. Attempting to shift the transmission while the vehicle is moving could result in damage to the transmission. Low gear is intended for lower speed and hauling or towing loads.Can you drive a UTV on the freeway in Arizona? ›
You can make your ATV or UTV street-legal in Arizona by registering them for on-highway use. To be street legal, your ATV must be equipped with specific equipment and carry proof of liability insurance.Can you get pulled over for not having a side mirror in Arizona? ›
The answer is yes. Driving is illegal if your car does not have two working mirrors, ensuring that one of them is on the driver's side.Is it illegal to have something hanging from your rearview mirror Arizona? ›
Arizona—along with some other states like California and Pennsylvania—completely prohibits anything hanging from your vehicle's review mirror, regardless of what it is, under state law.Can people sit in the trunk in Arizona? ›
Arizona does not prohibit or restrict passengers from riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck. Arizona has a primary enforcement child passenger restraint system law.