Last Updated: August 15th, 2023

Do You Need A License To Drive an ATV?

Do You Need A License To Drive An Atv?

The All-Terrain Vehicle brings immense justice to its name as it performs well mostly on every terrain found.

Most regular cars and motorcycles could not take you down the off-road tracks as comfortably as in an ATV. Also, handling an on-road vehicle on soiled tracks would be immensely difficult.

The ATV is a legal street vehicle in a few countries, but most countries allow it only on off-road riding and difficult terrains. In several provinces, ATVs are better known as just quad bikes.

But as ATVs are dedicatedly off-road vehicles and more into the motorcycle category, people often wonder-“How much is an ATV license?”.

The rules to obtain an ATV driver’s license change depending upon which state you live in the country.

Although these vehicles are used purposefully on dirt roads and messy terrains, they are not easily controlled at a fairly high speed. They are meant to ride slowly due to their elevated center of gravity.

Can Everyone Ride ATV Legally?

Can Everyone Ride Atv Legally?

In many states of America, kids and teenagers can ride an ATV without having a proper license.

In addition, in many countries, proper rules and regulations for riding an ATV do not exist. Thus a proper age bar for riding legally also doesn’t exist.

Although in several states, the need for a safety certificate is present to ride an ATV under legal bounds. The age barrier also remains in some states for the rider to be at least 16 years of age.

But that doesn’t remain the exact scenario in lenient states. In legally more relaxed states, kids of 10 years of age and above can enjoy the thrill of ATVs without growing up.

When such kids of minimum age ride, the only condition is that an adult should be present with the kid, who should also possess a driver’s license.

 The American Academy of Pediatrics of USA repeatedly discourages the riding of kids with ATVs.

As controlling an ATV and maneuvering it properly is not an easy task, the AAP only suggests the use of ATVs only after reaching 16 years of age.

The handlebars for steering and the low-pressure tires altogether hold up a fun experience, but it would not be easy for most kids at the same time to use.

The Ride for the Developed Mind

Riding an ATV is not much less than riding a motorcycle. The constant balance issue is somehow ruled out by the presence of four wheels in the ATVs, but the low-pressure tires and a seat that needs to be straddled make the ride difficult to control.

Controlling an ATV is the work of a balanced and developed mind because the rider needs to keep more than three factors at a time in check.

The kids’ conscience is not so developed at a childish age to handle so many things at a time.

To drive an ATV with utmost safety, the rider would often needed to implement decisions in haste, just like:

  • Suddenly slowing the vehicle.
  • Braking after noticing a sudden block.
  • Shifting and adjusting the body weight.
  • Quickly maneuver to change lanes.
  • Using headlights and maintaining a slow speed.

Besides these, there remain several other common reasons based on safety. For example, many countries maintain strictness with age limits as it’s more important than licensing issues.

In countries with no age barriers

There are many countries as well where no age-limiting laws or government rules stay in effect. Many kids would try their hands on an ATV vehicle in countries like these.

But even while the kids ride, the adults need to maintain a few rules in the process. The rules will be:

  • The kids should use a DTI-approved helmet and wear eye protection equipment.
  • The rides on ATVs should be taken only during the day.
  • The adult in supervision should know the basic first-aid procedure.
  • Dedicated cleared trails should be taken.
  • The kid should maintain a low speed below 30 m/h.
  • The adult should have completed a proper training course on safety with ATVs.

 Although these are strict guidelines in many countries, they should be maintained by all, even if they are not legally implemented.

The safety of any ATV rider mostly remains with the rider and, in the case of the kids, mostly with the supervisor.

Several injuries have been reported in the US and the UK over the years, and in rare reckless cases, fatal injuries have also occurred. Still, the reason had mostly remained the carelessness of the driver.

Registering your ATV

It is more like an adventure vehicle and does not belong in the passenger vehicles category. Not everywhere ATVs require licensing and vehicle registration.

But in states where it is mandatory to register your ATV, you will need to provide insurance documents as evidence.

Even after you provide insurance papers, you still might face roadblocks in registering your vehicle if you are 16 years and above.

But blazing your ATV on the off-road tracks can also be done without any complications in several states. You will need a land permit where no licensing issues are involved.

These land permits, also known as the land pass, can be obtained from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles near your location. In other words, owning a title is required before riding in any terrain or land that is not privatized.

Many areas have an ATV club or adventure vehicles club, which is registered and has the authority to provide land permits on a specific duration basis.

The passes can often be obtained in an annual validation, saving the rider’s labor for renewing the permit every month.

If a monthly or annual pass seems too much of a commitment to make, then daily passes are also available for the first test ride of your experience with ATV riding.

If, after taking the trial phase of your own, you felt like ATV riding is something you would often do, then taking the monthly or annual passes would be an efficient choice.

Experts suggest going through the trail and terrain-riding rules before taking your ATV for a spin.

They also suggest maintaining the vehicle in the major terrain tracks most of the time and staying away from tracks not authorized for riding thrilling vehicles.

Riding on such grounds had often provoked complaints, resulting in the compromise of the whole area. It was suitable for riding and was marked safe.

The actual Price Involved

The price of ATV permits is generally low, but they vary depending on the state and region you will be getting it from. The proper term stands for an ATV operating permit.

It is similar to a sticker for your ATV vehicle, which authorizes the vehicle to drive through permitted lands without any questions.

In some regions, it’s really available at a low cost, like Oregon and Pennsylvania in the US.

How Much is an ATV license?

You need to know for riding ATVs in the Oregon state park regions, only a bare minimum fee of 10 dollars is required. The additional perk is that the permit remains valid for two years.

So the amount is 5 dollars a year, the amount many people spend on coffee daily. For many states like Oregon, the permit can be obtained online without visiting the office.

They send a receipt in the email, which can be used by the ATV rider for 21 days in the form of a printout or a digital receipt on their phone. In the meantime, the original permit sticker will arrive through the mail at your address.

More Insights on the Prices and Rules

Many wouldn’t know this, but the ATVs which are dedicatedly used for agricultural and business purposes, do not need to be registered for most states in the US.

However,, registering all other ATVs with the specific DCNR’s section dealing with ATVs and Snowmobiles is mandatory. They must also be titled by the same department, making it a unique and identifiable ATV.

There are mainly two kinds of registrations available for ATVs depending on the areas where the ATV will be permitted to ride:

Registration of General Type

The general registration allows the owner to drive the ATV in properties that do not belong to the owner or the driver.

Often, it suggests that the ATV can be run through public terrains and unused trails for a wild experience.

The registration fee for the general type of permit will be twenty dollars for several states like Pennsylvania, where the registration runs for two years. The owners receive several entities after the payment, including the sticker with an expiry date, registration plate, and registration certificate.

Registration Which is Limited

This kind of registration does not require any fee to obtain and also doesn’t hold an expiration date.

But that doesn’t mean this registration is all sunshine and rainbows for you. In this registration type, the owner can only ride the ATV on properties owned.

The owner is given a registration card and vehicle plate in this kind of registration. Thus it can be said that the general kind of registration is the most obtained one.

The money utility

Most of the states of the US use the money obtained from ATV’s registration for essential programs. A few of the areas will be:

  • Provide the money as a grant to noble profit and non-profit organizations to create further opportunities in the Commonwealth.
  • Provide funds in favor of administrating the program.
  • For trail rectification by DCNR.

Besides all these, liability insurance is also needed along with the registration and should be kept with you when riding the ATV on public terrains.

The good thing about insurance is that no coverage standards are dictated by the DCNR for ATV insurance.

How much is an ATV license?

No need to think about the question- how much is an ATV license?

In Pennsylvania and a few other states of the US, ATV registration is not required if the ATV is involved with a dedicated nature of work, which is mentioned below:

  • If the ATV is owned by a person having a dealer registration certificate.
  • ATVs are being used for agricultural purposes only.
  • ATVs are dedicated to the use of business operations.
  • A state non-resident owns an ATV and has legal registration credibility.
  • ATVs are used and owned by a local government structure or state or federal body.

How do I get my ATV license in Wisconsin?

In states like Wisconsin, the law is uptight and complete for controlling vehicles such as ATVs.

According to Wisconsin law, an ATV that operates anywhere in the state must be registered with the statutory criteria being fulfilled. The registration can be broad of three types:

The ATV registration is for public use.

  • Registration for private agricultural purposes.
  • Registration for private use has other purposes than agricultural.

The Wisconsin legal department also requires documents to prove sales tax payment related to ATV owned.

If the sales tax is paid to a different state for the ATV vehicle, then it can be claimed to be deducted from the sales tax to be paid.

The legal structure’s strength can be guessed in Wisconsin when you come across the fact that the ATV being used in some specific departments of the government and municipality also have to pay a fee of five dollars.

The private-use agricultural registration can be obtained for fifteen dollars, and the non-agricultural one can be obtained for the same amount of fifteen dollars.

 If a person who is not a resident of Wisconsin brings an ATV into the state from another state, then the person is eligible to ride the vehicle on public terrains but should have a trail pass of a non-resident attached to the ATV.

Otherwise, a trial pass with five days validity also serves the job.


Do I need a license to drive an ATV?

The ATV driver’s license requirement varies depending on the state or country. In many states of America, kids and teenagers can ride an ATV without having a proper license. However, a safety certificate is required in some states, and there may be an age limit.

What are the safety precautions to consider while riding an ATV?

Riding an ATV requires a balanced and developed mind as it involves making quick decisions such as sudden slowing, braking, shifting body weight, and changing lanes. It’s recommended to use headlights and maintain a slow speed. For children, adult supervision is required.

How do I register my ATV?

In states where ATV registration is mandatory, you must provide insurance documents as evidence. The registration process may vary; in some states, a land permit or an ATV operating permit is required. The cost of these permits varies depending on the state.

What are the types of ATV registrations?

There are mainly two types of registrations: General and Limited. General registration allows you to drive the ATV on properties that do not belong to you. Limited registration allows you to operate the ATV only on your own property. The cost and validity of these registrations vary.

What happens if I don’t register my ATV?

Failing to register your ATV can lead to violations that might cost up to three hundred dollars or more, depending on the state’s laws. If there is no registration or liability insurance, the fine can be doubled.


The cost you need to bear to register your ATV shall depend mainly on the country and province you live in. In most countries like the US and UK, where ATVs are common, they have the amount of a very low fee to get the ATV registered, so there is not much to worry about.

The other factors concerning ATVs that matter more are insurance, the driver’s safety, maintaining public terrains, and not trespassing.