Weird UTV Laws Around the Country

Your Utility Task Vehicle helps you carry out your heaviest of tasks. You feel a rush when driving your UTV, so it’s no wonder you want to show off your UTV on main roads. Perhaps you want to ride it on the main roads because it’s snowing and your UTV boasts powerful tires.  However, you need to be mindful of UTV laws, which vary by state. To add more to your confusion, UTV laws can also be different in cities across a certain state. It’s a task to understand every single UTV law, but having basic knowledge of general UTV regulations will save you from hefty fines. 

Although many states share common UTV laws such as attaining a special license, registering your UTV with the DMV, meeting the minimum age requirement, enforcing safety equipment usage, and maintaining noise level limits, there are still several discrepancies by state. No two states share the same UTV laws. In some states, you’ll have to modify your UTV to be able to legally drive it. In other states, no modifications are required. Some states prohibit UTVs for street use altogether. It’s either easy to legally drive your UTV, or it’s difficult to legally drive your UTV; there’s no in-between. Here is how the legality of UTVs stacks up by the state. 


In Utah, you can operate a UTV on all roads if local authority permits off-road use. 


Alabama is lenient when it comes to UTV usage. Registration for your UTV is not required, nor do you have to pay insurance for it. UTVs can be driven almost anywhere, except for on highways. 


Alaska generally does not allow the use of UTVs on the streets, but there are some odd exceptions. If you’re just trying to cross the road, you’re allowed to drive your UTV. However, you must drive your UTV perpendicular to the road. When driving over a bridge, you must remain on the extreme right of the bridge. 


Arizona residents who love driving UTVs are in luck. This state is one of the most UTV friendly states, and its rules are loose. However, your UTV may be subject to the same requirements as your personal car. This might include emissions testing. You can even get away with owning a UTV for cheap if you only intend on using it for off-road use. If that’s the case, you would only pay $3 on your UTV registration taxes per year.


In contrast, California has some of the strictest UTV laws in the nation with very few provisions that allow you to drive your UTV on the road. In this state, you can only drive your UTV in certain marked stretches of road. Driving your UTV for more than 3 miles is prohibited. When crossing a two-lane highway, you must cross at a 90-degree angle at a time that is considered safe. According to state laws, you must wear a helmet when operating your UTV. 


You can only drive your UTV for agricultural purposes in towns with under 500,000 residents. UTVs can only be operated during daytime hours.  


State registration for UTVs is required. You can only drive UTVs on public roads in cities with under 15,000 people. Kansas is one of the trickiest states to drive UTVs in because this is a state where the laws are dependent on the city. Check-in with the specific city you wish to drive your UTV in. 


Public use of UTVs is limited to agricultural use by a farmer. Driving around your farm is legal, provided that it’s within a 5-mile radius of your property with the exception of interstate highways. More specifically, you must drive your UTV on the shoulder of the road, between half an hour before sunrise and half an hour after sunset. 

As you can see, UTV regulations are a headache that is largely dependent on your state, city, and even the population size of your city. Although it’s impossible to memorize every single UTV law, make sure that you at least know the laws in your local area.

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