Are ATVs Street Legal in Arizona? (OHV Laws To Know!)

Are ATVs Street Legal in Arizona

Have you ever wondered if ATVs are street legal in Arizona? Well, look no more, because we have all the answers regarding the street legality of ATVs, how to make them street legal, and when you do not have to do so.

So, are ATVs Street legal in Arizona? Yes, ATVs are street legal in the state of Arizona if they are equipped with the mandated equipment, are properly registered with the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD), and have a properly displayed registration plate and OHV decal.

One thing to keep in mind is that out-of-state ATV registrations are not reciprocated in Arizona. Meaning that in case your ATV is registered in any other state that allows or requires registration, it will not be valid in the Copper State.

Are ATVs street legal in Arizona?

ATVs and other OHVs can be made street legal, which means that they can be driven on public streets and roads. To be street legal, an ATV needs to be properly registered and equipped with a valid OHV decal.

To be able to operate an ATV in Arizona, it needs to have certain devices equipped. Most important, it must have a USDA-approved spark arrester. And the exhaust system also needs to have a muffler that decreases engine noise below 96 decibels.

At least one brake is mandatory, including at least one red rear brake light. When it comes to headlights, ATVs also must have at least a single front-facing.

All ATVs must also have a license or title plate, rearview mirror, and a seat and footrests for the driver and each passenger.

In case that is driven on sand dunes or other areas where it is mandated by the land management agency, ATV must have a 6 by 12 inches safety flag, attached at least 8 feet above the ground level.

To be street legal, of the above equipment an ATV must have everything except the title plate, as license plates are mandatory.

But, it also must have:

  • license plate lights,
  • a horn audible from at least 200 feet away,
  • to be insured,
  • and both rider and passengers must have goggles.

Some areas, not managed by Arizona state agencies, also require vehicles to have their emissions tested.

How to register an ATV in Arizona?

Registering an ATV is a requirement for it to ride on public streets and maintained roads.

In case you only plan to ride it off-road and on roads that are in non-incorporated areas, you do not need to register it. But you will need to title your ATV and have the title plate on it.

On the title plate, you will have to have a valid OHV decal, which you can purchase at a reduced Vehicle License Tax of $3, and renew it every year.

Titling, registering, and purchasing the initial OHV decal can be done at the same time at any MDV or authorized third-party office. All you have to do is to fill out the application form before visiting it.

In case your ATV is registered in some other state, you will have to purchase a non-resident OHV decal, which costs $25, the same as the residential decal.

And can only purchase it online at the Game and Fishing Department website with a valid account.

The exception of titling, registration, and OHV decal requirements, are ATVs with engines of 49cc or smaller capacity.

Can I ride an ATV on State Trust Land?

You can operate an ATV on state trust lands only if you have a valid hunting or fishing license, or a recreational permit that can be purchased at any SLD office.

If you are a holder of a hunting or fishing license, they are valid only if you are obviously engaged in those activities.

Can I ride an ATV on public lands?

In Arizona, public lands management is divided between US Forest Service, BLM, and many local land management agencies.

Whether you can ride an ATV on a certain public land depends on the regulations of the particular agency that is in charge.

Can I ride an ATV on private lands?

Riding an ATV on private lands in Arizona is not regulated beyond the requirement that all ATVs operated in the state must be titled.

What is the difference between a title plate and a license plate?

A title plate is proof that your ATV is titled, and it allows you to ride it on all roads that do not require your ATV to be street legal. In other words, it allows you to ride it on dirt roads in unincorporated areas.

It can be easily recognized by the vertical letters “RV” on the right-hand side.

A license plate is a proof that your ATV is fully registered and street legal. Instead of the letters “RV”, it will have “MC”.

What is an OHV decal?

OHV decal is a small sticker you must have placed in the upper left corner of your title or license plate on the ATV.

It is the proof that all appropriate fees and taxes are paid, and that the ATV is allowed to be operated in Arizona.

Do I need a driver’s license to ride an ATV in Arizona?

To be able to ride an ATV on public roads and highways. But also on the roads maintained by Forest Service and BLM.

On all other roads, a driver’s license is not required and there is no minimum age limit for riding an ATV.

What protective gear I should have when riding an ATV in Arizona?

The Copper State is one of those that do not mandate wearing helmets while riding ATVs for drivers of 18 or more years of age. But all riders must wear goggles, and minors are required to wear helmets.


Many roads and trails in Arizona are open for the use of unregistered ATVs. But Arizona is one of the states that allow the use of ATVs on all of its public roads and streets if they are properly registered.

To register your vehicle and make it street legal, you must have the mandated equipment, proper license plates, and a valid OHV decal.

Read also: Do ATVs Have Titles in Texas (ATV and UTV Registration Laws in Texas)



Jeff is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Reatta. Jeff has been creating written and video content about transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used for more than 18 years. Jeff is based in Boulder, Colorado.

Recent Posts

error: Content is protected !!