Last Updated: August 15th, 2023

What Is The Minimum Age For Kids To Ride An ATV?

What Is The Minimum Age For Kids To Ride An Atv?

Everyone would agree with the fact that Terrain Vehicles or ATVs are really attractive and stunning vehicles. Now, if you are a parent and you have a kid, then it’s very likely that their curious minds would try to explore the awesome-looking vehicle sitting right in the garage.

But if the ATV has been bought for the parent, then definitely the ATV would be like a giant to the little kid.

If your child often leaves the house door and runs to the ATV to sit and play, then you might wonder if the right size ATV can be found for him and if it would be legal to let your kid roar around in an ATV.

The answer to the first answer is much easier to find. Yes, there are dedicated ATVs that ranges from leading brands just for kids.

Making the kid have a test ride

But just because your kid is sitting on the house ATV and being playful, it doesn’t mean your child will be having an amazing experience riding the correct-sized ATV.

ATV specialists and pediatricians suggest first taking your child to an ATV-selling showroom where a range of low-powered kids’ ATVs would be present in vibrant colors. Try to catch the initial reaction of your kids when their very first glances of him/her fall on the Quads.

In most cases, the kid would become jumpy with excitement and stare at you with glittery eyes. Then it will be time to request the store executive for a test ride in a safe zone.

Remember to put the safety gear on your kid before he/she sits on the ATV. The basic safety gear would include a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and clear wind goggles.

The showroom executive would be generous enough to explain the instructions to your kid and help him out in the starting phase.

Let the kid have his experience of riding an ATV for the first time, and if the kid seems to enjoy it a lot, you can finally think about getting an ATV for your kid.

In most regions, the minimum age of certified ATVs you will find is going to be suitable for 6-year-olds and above.

Now if your kid is less than 6 years and would absolutely love an ATV of his/her fit, then there is nothing to feel low-hearted yet. You can still get a type of ATV that would be running on battery instead of gas, and the power would be just about 12 volts keeping safety in mind.

There is a strong guideline from the Consumer Product Safety Commission that kids below six years of age should not ride conventional ATVs in any condition. The vehicle would be more like a toy instead of a vehicle, but that is how it’s meant to be. Younger than six years old is just so young!

ATVs Available Mostly From Six-Year-Old

For kids between the age of six to ten years, you can look for traditional ATVs with an engine capacity of 70cc. This power is kind of the maximum, and you should consider lower-powered ATVs up to 48cc.

The 70cc ones will be best suited for kids above 10 years old. Of course, not all kids of the same age will be equal in weight and height.

The weight of the ATV is also a vital factor here; if the kid is between 4 to 7 years of age, then a quad weighing around forty pounds would be suitable for the kid.

The appropriate ATV weight for kids ages 8 to 12 is around sixty-five pounds.

This is why you should always give priority to the riding comfort of the child, and he/she should be able to properly maneuver the ride. You can test the suitability by checking if the kid is able to grip both handlebars much more comfortably while being present on the ATV seat.

Then you need to ask your kid to move the handlebar all the way to the left and then to the right; if you notice the kid not being able to accomplish it or having great difficulty, then that’s a red flag right there to not get that particular ATV.

Also, check if the kid is being able to change the throttle, including the use of brakes with just one hand.

Your Child should also show maturity in the test rides by listening to you and following the basic rules of ATV riding. A major issue that makes riding unsafe is the lack of speed knowledge.

This means if your kid is failing to show control of the speed and trying to reach the maximum limit often, then as a parent, you need to explain the consequences multiple times even after considering the whole ATV buying situation with logical intelligence.

Parents are the ideal candidates to conclude how much emotional maturity they would be able to showcase, and this is why decisions need to be always taken by them.

The Legal Age Bar Is Based On The Residing Region

Not every State across the United States has the same legal age for riding an ATV. Very few states legally allow kids to ride ATVs at just 6 years of age.

There are even rules in some states that kids would be able to ride their ATVs only under the supervision of adults. When the Legal Age structure is checked on a broader scale, the actual age for the citizens will be 16.

California’s Rule for Kids to Ride an ATV

In California, the rule suggests that children below fourteen years of age can ride ATVs legally, but it should be ideal in terms of fit and size for the kid.

Mississippi’s Rule for Kids to Ride an ATV

On the other hand, in Mississippi, kids under 16 can legally ride ATVs if they wear a proper helmet.

New York’s Rule for Kids to Ride an ATV

In New York, the lower age bar is set at 10, and kids aged 10 and above can only ride on private land until the age of 16. Adult supervision is also necessary in New York until the age of 16. Wait, that’s not all. In New York, your kid also needs to take a mandatory safety course before riding the ATV with limited freedom.

Texas Rule for Kids to Ride an ATV

But in Texas, there is no minimum age bar, and your kid rides freely as long as he/she remains under the supervision of adults.

Wisconsin Rule for Kids to Ride an ATV

In Wisconsin, there remains an engine limit. If your kid is below twelve years old, then using an ATV below 90cc would maintain the legality.

The public land restriction remains intact, but if your kid is above 12, then he/she can ride on public land with adult supervision and a helmet. The safety course passing remains an additional effort.

Massachusetts Rule for Kids to Ride an ATV

The rule structure in Massachusetts is rather rigid and complicated. If your kid is below 14, he/she can ride an ATV if competing in a supervised legal race involving kid’s ATVs of bounded engine capacity.

Kentucky Rule for Kids to Ride an ATV

At Kentucky, it’s much of an option between wearing a helmet and keeping an adult for supervision. Kids below 12 years can ride an ATV, but the engine capacity needs to be 70cc or lower.

Michigan Rule for Kids to Ride an ATV

Michigan has tight laws, and kids below 10 are not legally allowed to ride ATVs. The law gets more complicated as it’s mentioned that an ATV with four wheels or more is not allowed for kids.

This means a primitive three-wheel quad might be legal, but you won’t find brand-new models of it as all the off-road vehicle manufacturing companies stopped production several years ago.

North Carolina’s Rule for Kids to Ride an ATV

Conversely, North Carolina has a legal age of 8 for riding an ATV, but the engine capacity is restricted to 70cc. In Pennsylvania, the age bar is the same as 8, with no additional constraints attached.

Great ATV Models from Polaris for the kids to ride

Polaris Outlaw 50 and 70 EFI

This amazing ATV is dedicatedly manufactured and designed for young kids to have a comfortable experience. This vehicle has a 49cc four-stroke engine with a single-cylinder capacity.

The All-Terrain Vehicle has various features, including brake levers of dual type, automatic PVT, and electronic throttle control. But this vehicle isn’t produced anymore after 2019, and this is why the Polaris group has an advanced model of Polaris Outlaw 70 with fuel-injected technology.

The EFI system makes the vehicle more reliable for the kids as the cold starting issue doesn’t trouble the parents and kids. A front and rear suspension of four inches provide ideal ground clearance and proper control at difficult trails.

Polaris engineers have found that it’s much easier for the kids to handle disc brakes of a single lever, and this is why they have refrained from implementing dual lever brakes.

The parents are more at ease after purchasing this vehicle because they can easily adjust the speed limit.

The tires embedded in this ATV are eighteen inches and thus much larger than the ones present in Polaris Outlaw 50. The vehicle has a sturdy design, which the kids would love, including the high-quality LED lights. The other great vehicles in the kid’s category are the Alterra 90 and DVX 90.


Are there ATVs specifically designed for kids?

Yes, there are dedicated ATVs designed for kids. Leading brands offer ATVs suitable for children, with some models like the Polaris Outlaw 50 and 70 EFI specifically manufactured for young riders.

What is the general minimum age for kids to ride an ATV?

The minimum age for kids to ride an ATV varies by state. Some states allow kids as young as 6 years old to ride ATVs, while others have different age requirements and conditions, such as adult supervision or specific engine capacities.

How can parents ensure the safety of their kids while test-riding an ATV?

Parents should ensure their child wears the basic safety gear, including a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and clear wind goggles. It’s also essential to monitor the child’s ability to control the ATV’s speed and listen to instructions.

Are there any guidelines regarding the engine capacity of ATVs for kids?

Yes, many states have engine capacity restrictions for kids’ ATVs. For instance, in Wisconsin, kids below twelve years should use an ATV with an engine capacity below 90cc. The specific engine capacity allowed can vary based on the state and the child’s age.

How do different states in the U.S. regulate the minimum age for kids to ride ATVs?

Different states have varying rules. For example, California allows children below fourteen years to ride ATVs suitable for their size. Mississippi requires kids under 16 to wear a helmet. New York sets the lower age bar at 10 and requires adult supervision until the age of 16, along with a mandatory safety course. The regulations differ widely, so it’s essential to check the specific rules for each state.

Related ⁄