Laws in many states are strict for ATV riders. It’s best to follow the rules, get permits, and avoid illegal riding because of the associated fines and fees.
For many, riding an ATV is a fun way to get away and explore the outdoors. However, riding an ATV without a permit or license is illegal in some states. Riding an ATV without the proper license can result in fines and penalties like vehicle seizure.
We have gathered ATV laws and other information surrounding ATVs in each state from state government websites. This is the most detailed and accurate guide regarding fines for illegally riding an ATV in your state.
Fines For Illegally Riding ATV In Your State
Living in an ATV-friendly state has many perks but also downsides. Understanding the fines you may face for riding an ATV illegally in your state is important.
However, it’s tricky because state laws are passed on to city officials. Many cities dealing with excessive and illegal ATV use are imposing heavier fines. We look at the current fines in each state below.
Alabama ATV Laws
Alabama has laid-back laws regarding ATVs. They can be driven on the roadway or the shoulder of a highway in appropriate circumstances.
There is only mention of a small $45 fee to register the ATV for public road use. This is one of the best states to ride ATVs.
Alaska ATV Laws
Alaska has a similar policy to Alabama. For a small fee, ATVs can be registered for public road use to avoid tickets or fees. This registration costs
- $10.00 - Two years
- $20.00 - Four years
- $30.00 - Six years
Fines for illegal riding can vary from $50 to $500, depending on the severity of the offense.
Arizona ATV Laws
Arizona is lenient for ATV use. Expect to pay $100-$500 in fines for riding on illegal roads. But if the ATV is street-legal, there are no fines at all.
Arkansas ATV Laws
Arkansas requires all ATVs to be registered. Anybody who fails to do so and gets caught riding their ATV illegally must pay a penalty. The fee is $3 for every ten days after the expiration period, with no penalty limit.
They will also enforce small fines of $50-$100 if you are caught on public roads illegally.
California ATV Laws
California is strict, and various permits, titles, and registrations must be acquired before riding an ATV. If you drive the ATV off-road or on public roads illegally, they can fine you up to $1,000 per offense.
Colorado ATV Laws
Operating or owning an unregistered ATV in Colorado is a crime. There are also no street legal rules in Colorado. Illegally riding here will cost between $50-$300 per offense.
Connecticut ATV Laws
In Connecticut, there have been problems with ATVs and dirt bike riders. This caused the state and many major cities in the state, like New Haven, to raise the fines for illegal riding to $1,000 and up to $2,000 for repeat offenders.
Delaware ATV Laws
There are various fines and rules in Delaware. ATVs must be registered, titled, and properly ridden, or fines can range between $50-$200 for each offense.
Florida ATV Laws
Florida is relaxed with ATV laws. It’s possible to drive them legally without permits on dirt roads. But illegally driving over 35 MPH on public highways or private property can cost $250.
Georgia ATV Laws
New rules in cities like Atlanta have made Georgia one of the harshest states for illegally riding your ATV. The new policies are as follows:
- $750 fine for the first violation
- $1,000 fine for a second violation
- 30 days to 6 months in jail for a third violation
- 60 days to 6 months in jail for every following violation
Hawaii ATV Laws
In Hawaii, you will be fined $250 every time you get caught driving an ATV illegally. It should have permits and only be driven in legally defined ATV areas.
Idaho ATV Laws
Idaho only enforces strict laws for ATVs on private property and public highways. Fines range between $500-$1,000, depending on the severity of the violation.
Illinois ATV Laws
Anybody in Illinois riding an ATV without paperwork or in illegal areas will be fined $120.
Indiana ATV Laws
Many of Indiana's illegal ATV riding laws are classified as Class C infractions with a penalty of up to $500.
Iowa ATV Laws
In many Iowa cities, using an ATV on public roads is illegal, and the first offense fine is $70. Multiple offenses will increase the fine amount.
Kansas ATV Laws
You must title an ATV within 30 days in Kansas or pay a $25 fine. Illegal riding also carries a hefty $250 fine.
Kentucky ATV Laws
The fines for illegally riding an ATV in Kentucky vary depending on the activity and the severity of the violation. Fines can range from $25 to $500 or more.
Louisiana ATV Laws
Riding an ATV on public roads, including highways and interstates in Louisiana, is illegal. If caught, fines can range from a minimum of $50 all the way up to $1,000.
Maine ATV Laws
In Maine, operating an ATV on public roads and highways is illegal. Violators are subject to a fine ranging from $100-1,500, plus possible suspension/revocation of their license and vehicle.
Maryland ATV Laws
Operating an ATV illegally on a public street or highway in Maryland is considered a misdemeanor that carries with it fines of between $300-$1,000 plus court costs and potential jail time if convicted.
Massachusetts ATV Laws
Most violations in Massachusetts are punished with a small fine ranging between $20-$100. Reckless driving is punished more severely with bigger fines and potential jail time.
Michigan ATV Laws
Michigan ATV laws include the following policies:
- A fine between $200.00 and $1,000.00
- Jail for 5 days to 1 year
- Between 30 days and 90 days of community service
- Suspended ORV operating privileges for 1-2 years
Minnesota ATV Laws
Minnesota law requires registration and proof of liability insurance before you ride your ATV on public land. Violations can result in $25-$500 fines or a maximum of 90 days in jail. You can also be liable for property damage if you violate the law.
Mississippi ATV Laws
In Mississippi, an ATV must be equipped with functioning lights and brakes and have a muffler attached that meets state requirements.
Operating an uncertified vehicle carries a fine of up to $100 and court costs. Riding on public roads is prohibited, even if no signs indicate it is illegal; violators face fines as high as $1000 plus court costs.
Missouri ATV Laws
Missouri residents may receive a ticket carrying a penalty between $25-$200 plus court costs and applicable license charges totaling up to $500, depending on the severity of the offense.
Montana ATV Laws
If found guilty of operating an ATV without registering it first, Montana residents will receive financial repercussions – including fines between twenty-five ($25) to five hundred ($500) dollars – plus possible civil damages from parties injured from their actions riding illegally registered vehicles.
Nebraska ATV Laws
Any person operating an unregistered ATV could be fined anywhere from $50 to $500. The fines also apply to illegal driving on public roads or private property.
New Mexico ATV Laws
In New Mexico, illegal ATV operation is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not more than $300.
Any person convicted of violating an off-highway vehicle ordinance may also face an additional fine equal to the cost of restitution in favor of the jurisdiction violated.
New York ATV Laws
Illegal ATV use in New York is getting riskier. Fines have been increased and range between $500 to $7,500. The exact fine depends on the severity, and the first offense is $250-$500, the second from $750 to $1,500, and the third is more severe at $5,000 to $7,500.
North Carolina ATV Laws
The fines for illegally riding an ATV in North Carolina vary by county but typically range from $50 to $250. There is an age restriction for ATV riders too.
North Dakota ATV Laws
In North Dakota, illegal ATV operation carries a maximum penalty of $250 for the first offense and up to $500 for any subsequent violation. An individual may also be cited up to $100 for each additional illegally operated ATV.
Ohio ATV Laws
In Ohio, the penalties for illegally operating an ATV can include a fine of up to $500 and/or imprisonment of up to six months. Prison is only possible when driving at dangerous speeds on public roads.
Oklahoma ATV Laws
Illegal operation of an ATV on public property in Oklahoma is punishable by a minimum fine of $150. It may also result in jail time if this is a second or third offense.
Oregon ATV Laws
In Oregon, operating an ATV on roads or highways without a permit is illegal. Violations are subject to civil penalties that can reach as high as $2,000 per violation.
Additionally, operating an ATV negligently or recklessly can be charged as a misdemeanor criminal offense with additional fines and possible jail time if convicted.
Pennsylvania ATV Laws
Pennsylvania allows ATVs, but only in legal off-road areas. Illegally riding your ATV anywhere but a designated ATV road leads to a first offense fine between $50-$200 and a second offense fine between $100-$300.
Rhode Island ATV Laws
Riding an ATV illegally on the street, highway, or private property results in a first-offense fine of up to $100. Multiple offenses can lead to a heavier fine, or state authorities can seize the vehicle.
South Carolina ATV Laws
A misdemeanor for illegally riding an ATV in South Carolina is a minimum $50 fine. It can also result in problems renewing vehicle registration, and multiple offenses cause the fines to increase significantly.
Tennessee ATV Laws
Riding your ATV illegally in Tennessee is considered a Class C misdemeanor and only punishable by fines. The fine starts at $50 and increases depending on the severity and frequency.
Texas ATV Laws
Operating an all-terrain vehicle with proper registration or purchasing the required stickers from your county tax office is legal in Texas. No paperwork can be a problem for riders.
Violators can be subject to fines between $25 and $200 depending on the severity of the offense committed. If convicted in court, drivers who cause physical injury or property damage are subject to even higher fines and possible jail time.
Utah ATV Laws
In Utah, operating an ATV on public roads or highways is considered a Class C misdemeanor which carries a fine ranging from $50-$700 and possible jail time (up to 90 days).
Additional penalties may apply, such as driver’s license suspension and mandatory alcohol/drug treatment programs at the violator’s expense, depending upon the circumstances surrounding the violation.
Vermont ATV Laws
In Vermont, those found guilty of operating an ATV illegally through negligence could face fines ranging from around $100-$500.
Virginia ATV Laws
In Virginia, the rules are stricter compared to many states. Riding an ATV illegally on private roads or public highways can result in a fine and civil penalty of up to $500.
If the rider is reckless on these roads, a more severe reckless driving offense carries a $2,500 fine and up to 12 months in jail.
Washington ATV Laws
Washington allows ATV riders to purchase OHV permits, and they also allow ATV modifications to make the vehicle street-legal. Illegally riding the ATV results in a $250 fine.
West Virginia ATV Laws
Breaking the law and riding illegally in West Virginia results in a fine of $100 and 10 hours of community service. A second offense will double to $200 and 20 hours of community service.
Wisconsin ATV Laws
If you break the laws in Wisconsin while riding your ATV, expect to get a fine of up to $250 for your first offense. However, you will be charged a misdemeanor and fined $1,000 if you have not obtained your non-resident trail pass.
Wyoming ATV Laws
Wyoming requires ATV owners to use ORV or OHV permits when driving. Otherwise, it would be illegal to ride the vehicle in these areas, and this carries a fine of $500.
- Various illegal riding fines exist depending on the state. This includes using an ATV on private property or public roads, failing to register the vehicle, etc.
- Some states are stricter about driving on public roads at higher speeds, with criminal punishment involved.
- Fines may vary based on city policies too.
About THE AUTHOR
I'm 30 years old. I am a software developer and I am a freelance writer on the side. I've been riding ATV's since I was 15. I personally own a Polaris Sportsman and a Can-Am Defender.Read More About Shawn