Have you ever wondered if ATVs are street legal in Florida? Well, look no further as we have all the answers about this matter. You are at the best place to find out everything you need to know.
Florida state law defines an ATV as “any motorized off-highway vehicle 55 inches or less in width which has a dry weight of 1,500 pounds or less, is designed to travel on three or more nonhighway tires, and is manufactured for recreational use by one or more persons”. But are they street legal?
Yes, ATVs are street legal in Florida. In Florida all-terrain vehicles or ATVs, are allowed to be operated only during the daytime on unpaved public roads that have a posted speed limit of less than 35 miles per hour, but law enforcement agencies are exempt from this limit.
Let’s get into more details about this matter.
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Are ATVs Street legal in Florida?
Florida state law, section 316.2074 institutes a blanket ban of ATVs on any road in the state, and institutes three exceptions:
- when it is used by law enforcement officers while performing their duty,
- on roads where ATVs are permitted by state or federal agencies in charge of that specific road,
- and if in some other section of the law it is allowed.
Further clarification you can find in section 316.2123, which states that ATVs are allowed to be operated on unpaved roads that have a posted speed limit of under 35 miles per hour.
But it also stipulates that individual counties can opt out of this provision, either completely or partially.
In other words, counties have the right to designate only certain unpaved roads with a posted speed limit of under 35mph where ATVs are allowed during daylight hours.
So, for all practical purposes, ATVs are not really street legal and can’t be made in Florida. Though they are allowed on some public roads.
Can I ride an ATV on public lands in Florida?
As I’ve said above ATVs are banned from all public roads, except unpaved roads with a posted speed limit of under 35mph, and those that are designated as permitted for ATVs by state or federal agencies.
This means that public lands are kind of off-limits for ATVs, but state and federal agencies can designate marked ATV and OHV trails on public lands. The option that is used for designating ATV trails in state parks.
When it comes to counties, they also have the right to designate public lands for use by ATVs, not just unpaved roads. But such legislation varies from county to county, and it is best that you inform yourself in advance about the exact provisions for your destination.
One provision is common for all of these regulations, the use of ATVs is limited to daylight hours.
If you plan to ride on designated trails in the state parks and forests, you will need to get an OHV permit. Their prices vary between parks, and can only be purchased from ReserveAmerica.com website.
Once you purchase it, you will need to print out the receipt for it and show it at the entrance of the park, where you will be provided with a sticker.
Can I ride an ATV on private lands in Florida?
Yes, you can ride an ATV on private land, and such use comes with no restrictions by state law.
All you need is to either be the owner of the property or to have permission from the owner. But any restriction can be imposed by owners, which is why you should respect the rules and regulations of private ATV trails and tracks.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Home Owners Association’s rules supersede any county regulations. So, if an HOA has ATVs banned on their territory, they are banned.
Do I have to register or title an ATV in Florida?
Because ATVs are not allowed on paved public roads, they do not have to be registered, nor be covered by Personal Injury Protection or Property Damage Liability insurance policies.
But, if you plan to use it on any public road that is designated for their use and you are a Florida resident, the ATV must be titled.
To title an ATV, you need to fill out the application form HSMV 82040, and submit it at any tax collector’s office. The titling fee is $4.25 plus up to a 50¢ processing fee.
Titling must be done within 30 days of the sale, and for late applications, there is a $10 penalty.
Do I need a driver’s license to operate an ATV in Florida?
To be able to operate an ATV on public roads in Florida, you do not need to have a valid driver’s license.
But riders younger than 16 years of age must have a certificate from an approved OHV safety course to be able to ride in public parks’ designated ATV areas.
They also must be supervised by an adult.
Are helmets mandatory in Florida?
Helmets are mandatory for all riders, and they must be DOT approved.
Riders and passengers younger than 16 years can wear a DOT or Snell Memorial Foundation, but also protective goggles, and above the ankle boots.
From other safety gear, your ATV should possess a muffler that decreases noise under 96 decibels, a spark arrestor, headlights, brake lights, and brakes.
In Florida, ATVs are limited only to using public roads that are unpaved and have a posted speed limit of under 35mph.
To be able to use them, your ATV must be properly titled, but also be equipped with certain devices that are factory installed on all new ATVs, mufflers, spark arrestors, brakes, and lights.
DOT approved helmets are mandatory, while riders younger than 16 years also must wear protective boots and goggles.
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