Are ATVs Street Legal in Australia? (Yes, Here Is Why)

Are ATVs Street Legal in australia

Have you ever wondered if ATVs are street legal in Australia? Well, look no further as we are bringing you all the answers to your questions.

Australia is a vast country, characterized by a high percentage of uninhabited land that is not easily accessible or explored by regular road-going vehicles.

One of the most popular ways to explore it is by off-roading vehicles, such as ATVs.

But are ATVs street legal in Australia? Yes, in Australia, it is illegal to drive an ATV, or any other type of off-road vehicle that is not intended for road use, on public streets and roads. The only exception to this rule is vehicles used for work-related purposes.

So, let’s discuss this question more in-depth.

Are ATVs street legal in Australia?

No, in Australia ATVs, which are called quad-bikes there, are not allowed to use any public streets or public roads.

The reason for this is that they are not equipped with safety devices such as other vehicles, nor do they provide the same level of protection for riders and passengers.

One exception to this ban from public roads does exist. If the vehicle is used for work-related purposes.

In other words, it is used for agriculture, garbage collection, road maintenance, park management, and so on.

So used vehicle has to be conditionally registered and operated only by a rider with a class C or R driver’s license.

Can I ride an ATV on public lands in Australia?

The general rule is that ATVs are not permitted on any public or crown lands in Australia. Besides the exemption for road use by conditionally registered vehicles, there are public properties where the use of ATVs is allowed for recreational purposes.

Many of these public areas are specifically designated ATV and off-road trails in national parks, intended for recreational use. And are accessible only as part of guided tours.

The protected public lands, natural preserves, and most areas of national parks; are strictly forbidden for ATV use, and can be accessed only by guided tours in passenger cars which require special permits and only in limited numbers.

Can I ride an ATV on private lands in Australia?

Riding an ATV on private property in Australia is practically unregulated. There is no need to have the ATV registered if it is used only on private property.

There are only two requirements that have to be satisfied to be able to ride this type of vehicle on private property.

You must have permission from the owner of the property. In case you do not have one, you can be charged for trespassing. While it is not a serious crime, it is a sign of disrespect and lack of manners.

Another requirement is that you are older than 8 years. In Australia, it is illegal to have a child age 8 or younger riding on an ATV. Even as a passenger.

Do I have to register or title an ATV in Australia?

In case you have legitimate and legally recognized reasons to operate an ATV on public roads, for certain work-related activities, you must register it.

When you are doing it, your ATV will get a conditional registration, which allows it to be on the public roads and nearby areas only during those work-related activities.

And this registration is usually approved only if such work can’t be performed by any other Australian Design Rules compliant vehicle.

Before you can conditionally register it, your ATV has to be equipped with the minimum of the safety gear:

  • yellow rotating light visible from at least 200 meters (218 yards)
  • headlights and rear lights
  • rearview mirrors
  • horn
  • functional brakes and steering mechanism
  • red rear reflectors

In case the ATV is newly imported, whether new or used, it also must have an antiroll device, usually, some type of a roll bar mounted on its rear end.

Besides this, you must hold a driver’s license C or R class.

Do I need a driver’s license to operate an ATV in Australia?

For riding ATVs on public roads, a valid driver’s license is required. You must hold either a class C driver’s license, which allows you to drive passenger cars, or an R class license that allows you to ride motorcycles up to 125cc engine size.

And with an R class license, you are allowed to ride only ATVs with engine displacement smaller than 125cc.

Otherwise, you are not permitted to ride an ATV on any public road, even if it is conditionally registered.

For riding all-terrain vehicles in special ORV designated areas, trails, and parks, you do not need to have a driver’s license.

But the minimum age limit is 16. In case you are younger, you are not allowed to operate an ATV on these public lands.

For use of ATVs on private properties you also do not need a driver’s license.

But, you are not allowed to operate them if you are 8 years old child or younger, nor to have so young kids as passengers.

Are helmets mandatory in Australia?

Yes, helmets are a compulsory piece of safety gear when riding an ATV. Whether you do it on a public road or a public land designated for ATVs and other off-road vehicles, you must wear a properly certified helmet.

If you are riding on public roads, you also must have other protective gear, such as gloves, goggles, pants, and a protective jacket.

Read also: Are ATVs Street Legal in Alaska? (Yes, Here Is Why)


Australia is a vast country with many breathtaking areas that are not easily accessible by standard passenger vehicles. Spaces that are just calling to be explored on ATVs.

Which also raises the question are ATVs street legal in Australia?

Unfortunately, they are not really. ATVs are not allowed on public streets or roads, except if they are conditionally registered which allows them to be used for some work-related purposes and not recreational use.

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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.

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