Are ATVs Street Legal in Missouri? (ATV + UTV Laws To Know)

Are ATVs Street Legal in Missouri

Have you ever wondered if ATVs are Street legal in Missouri? Well, look no further because we have all the answers you may need on the subject of making ATVs Street legal in the Show-Me State.

By the state laws of Missouri, it is prohibited to operate an ATV on any highway in the state, with highway meaning any road that is accessible by the public. The exception to this is when performing agricultural work or on municipal roads specifically allowed for ATV use.

In other words, the law, in general, does not allow for ATVs to be street legal but defines situations in which and conditions under which they can be street legal. So, let’s get into more details.

Are ATVs Street legal in Missouri?

As I’ve said above, state law forbids ATV traffic on all public roads in Missouri. But, gives an opportunity for local governments, cities, counties, or municipalities; to designate some or all public roads and streets within their limits as permitted for ATV traffic.

So, if you are visiting Missouri, you should inform yourself at your destination if and where ATVs are allowed.

For an ATV to be allowed on public roads, where it is permitted, it must:

  • be titled,
  • registered,
  • have head and tail lights always on,
  • have a bicycle flag, extending at least 7 feet above the ground,
  • have a functional muffler,
  • have a spark arrestor,
  • have functional brakes,
  • must be driven at a speed up to 30mph or the posted speed limit, whichever is lower.

Besides these requirements, the operator must have a valid driver’s license, a helmet if under 18, and also personal liability insurance.

Local governments have a legal right to issue permits for riding ATVs within their limits, which can cost no more than $15 and allows you access to both public roads and Forest Service roads.

Read also: Are ATVs Street Legal in Maryland? (ATV, UTV Laws To Know)

Can I ride an ATV on public lands in Missouri?

Just as you can’t ride an ATV on any public road in Missouri, the same applies to public lands. Most of the public lands are off-limits for either ATVs, other OHVs, or motorized vehicles of any kind.

But some public lands and roads under the management of Forst Service are allowed for ATVs.

Also, local governments are allowed to enact ordinances that designate some public lands for use by ATVs and other OHVs.

To be able to ride on these public lands, both you and your vehicle must satisfy the requirements for riding on public roads.

Can I ride an ATV on private lands in Missouri?

Riding an ATV on private lands in the state of Missouri is not regulated by any state law, but some limits imposed by local governments can exist.

In other words, you can ride an ATV on private land even if it isn’t properly equipped to be allowed on public roads and public lands.

But, you should be aware of the noise limit ordinances, as they could be an obstacle to riding an ATV without a proper muffler.

No laws prohibit you from riding an ATV without a muffler on private property, but depending on the noise level of your exhaust system, you could be cited for public disturbance.

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

Registering and titling an ATV is required for all ATVs purchased in Missouri, purchased by Missouri residents.

You have 30 days period after the purchase for this, and failure to do it imposes a penalty of $25 for every 30 days of lateness.

To title and register your ATV, you need to submit it at any Missouri license office:

  • filled out form 108,
  • and manufacturer’s statement of origin, for new vehicles, or certificate of title, for used ones.

When titling and registering your ATV, you will also have to pay:

  • 4.225% state sales tax, and any applicable local sale taxes,
  • $8.50 titling fee,
  • $10.25 registration fee,
  • $6 processing fee.

Once you have registered and titled it, you can purchase an ATV permit from a local authority, if it is needed.

The title is valid until the next change of ownership, while registration is valid for three years and its renewal costs a $10.25 registration fee and a $6 processing fee.

In case the ATV is already titled and registered in another state, or it will not be used in Missouri for more than 30 days, it doesn’t have to be titled nor registered.

But the purchase of an ATV permit is required where prescribed by local ordinance.

Read also: Are ATVs Street Legal in Alabama? (Do This Instead!)

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

To be able to operate an ATV in Missouri on public roads and public lands where all-terrain vehicles are allowed, you must have a valid driver’s license.

Riders that are under 16 years of age, and have a learner’s permit, are allowed to ride ATVs on public roads only under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian.

But, to be able to ride on private properties, a driver’s license is not required nor is there a minimum age.

Are helmets mandatory in Missouri?

When riding on public roads and public lands where ATVs are allowed, helmets are required only for riders that are younger than 18 years. Adult riders are not required.

Same as for the driver’s license, helmets are not required at all on private properties.


Missouri is a state with many wild and untamed forests that are criss-crossed by old logging roads, that are calling to be explored on an ATV. This can lead you to the question are ATVs Street legal in Missouri?

In Missouri, ATVs are not allowed on any road by state law. But local governments have the right to enact ordinances that permit them on public roads within their limits.

To be able to ride an ATV on them, you must have a valid driver’s license and the vehicle must be properly titled and registered, and a permit issued if required.

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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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