Are ATVs Street Legal In Colorado? (ATV + UTV Laws To Know!)


Are ATVs Street Legal In Colorado

Have you ever wondered if ATVs are Street legal in Colorado? Look no further as we have all the answers you need.

Many states have different laws regarding ATV use, but also counties and townships can impose their own, which usually supersedes the state laws. So, what is the situation in the Centennial State?

No, ATVs are not street legal in Colorado. Since 2021 ATVs and all other OHVs are by law banned from all public roads and streets in Colorado. But that doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to ride it, as the law allows for counties and municipalities to designate streets and roads where ATVs are allowed.

So, let’s get into more specific details about where and when ATVs are street legal in Colorado.

Are ATVs Street legal in Colorado?

Since 2021 all OHVs are not allowed to use public roads and streets in Colorado, as per Colorado Revised Statute 33-14.5-108.

But there are certain exceptions to this law, and that is if ATV or other OHV is used for agriculture, in an emergency situation, or used on streets, roads, or trails; designated by counties and cities, and under the conditions set by local rules.

And those rules vary greatly between places, so wherever you plan to ride your ATV, you should inform yourself about them at the local sheriff’s office.

What you must be careful about is that county and municipal rules apply only to streets and roads that are in charge of their respective authority.

The state roads and highways that pass through some counties are still off-limits for ATVs.

Read also: Are ATVs Street Legal In California (ATV + UTV Laws To Know)

Can I ride an ATV on public lands in Colorado?

The Colorado state laws absolutely forbid ATV and other OHV use on any public land or road, unless such area is explicitly designated for OHV use. The exception to this rule is if such vehicles are used in an emergency situation or for agricultural use.

Designating roads and trails where ATVs are allowed is under the authority of local municipalities, but also other agencies that are in charge of the management of public lands.

When riding on public lands that are designated for use by ATVs, and on park trails where they are allowed, it must be properly registered and with a valid OHV permit.

Because of this, many parks have designated ATV trails, and their use is strictly forbidden outside of designated areas. And in many counties, they are also allowed on the county roads and streets, if you respect the local ordinance.

Can I ride an ATV on private lands in Colorado?

Yes, you can ride an ATV on private properties. But in that case, most of the laws that regulate their use still apply.

Such a vehicle still has to be properly registered, if it will not be used exclusively on private property. Even if you only need to cross public roads, your ATV needs not to be registered.

Read also: Are ATVs Street Legal In Chicago (ATV + UTV Laws To Know)

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

Titling is required for all new ATVs sold through dealerships. And for dealers, it is actually illegal, and there are severe penalties, to sell an ATV without a certificate of title.

When it comes to private sales of used ATVs, it is optional for private buyers to have it titled or not. This is because unregistered ATVs are allowed to be operated on private properties, and titling is the requirement for registration.

In case you plan to ride an ATV on public roads and state park trails, it must be registered and with a proper OHV permit. This is required even if you need just to cross public roads.

When registering, the certificate of title is not necessary, and the bill of sale can substitute it as proof of ownership.

Besides this paperwork, the ATV also has to be equipped with a spark arrestor, muffler, brakes, and working head and brake lights if operated during the nightime.

Some municipalities impose further equipment requirements, such as a slow vehicle decal.

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

For riding on public streets, roads, and trails; there is a statewide minimum age requirement of 10 years. If a rider is younger than 16, they must be supervised by an adult with a proper driver’s license.

Some municipalities on the other hand have a bit stricter regulations and the minimum age ranges between 12 and 16 years of age.

For the use on private properties, there is no state-wide minimum age requirement. But for the use on both public and private lands, it is always best to check the exact regulations with the appropriate agencies, sheriff’s office, or land management agency for parks.

Read also: Are ATVs Street Legal In CT (ATV + UTV Laws To Know)

Are helmets mandatory in Colorado?

Helmets can save lives, but also can protect you from various other injuries from branches and other flying objects. But Colorado laws do not require helmets for adult riders.

Some municipal ordinances do require you to wear a helmet when riding on public lands, together with safety, prescription, or sunglasses. Some require just eye protection of any kind.

But if the rider has less than 18 years of age, then a helmet is required. And it must be properly DOT-approved type, and bike helmets are not allowed.

Conclusion

There is much confusion surrounding the question are ATVs Street legal in Colorado. And it is mainly because the laws enacted in 2021 stipulating a blanket ban but defines exceptions and gives rights to county and municipal governments to enact their own rules.

Use of ATVs is allowed on many designated public roads, streets, and park trails per local regulations.

They must be registered, and equipped with a spark arrestor, muffler, brakes, and headlights if used during the nighttime.


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References

https://codes.findlaw.com/co/title-33-parks-and-wildlife/co-rev-st-sect-33-14-5-108.html

https://staythetrail.org/ohvs-on-streets-and-roads/

Jeff

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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