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

are atvs street legal in new york

Have you ever wondered if ATVs are street legal in New York? Well, look no further as this is a place where you can find all the answers to your question.

No, in the state of New York, ATVs are not allowed to be driven on streets and highways, unless they are specially designated for this type of vehicle. Usually, it is just a part of some road between two off-roading trails.

Besides these limits, there are some more that we will now discuss. So read on.

Are ATVs Street legal in New York?

ATVs are not really street legal in New York state. They are allowed only on the highways that are designated with posted signs.

This can be done by either local or state governments. You are also allowed to cross other highways under certain conditions.

You are crossing at approximately a right angle. It is not a divided highway, which you can cross only at intersections. And the highway is not an interstate or other controlled-access road.

Read also: Are ATVs Street Legal in Florida? (Law You Need To Know!)

Can I ride an ATV on public lands in New York?

You can ride on public lands that have been designated by local, state, or federal government or agencies, for off-roading use. There are not many such areas in the state, but they need to be marked by signs for easy recognition.

For information about any such public lands and OHV trails, it is always best to inform yourself at the location.

Can I ride an ATV on private lands in New York?

Yes, it is allowed to ride an ATV on private lands. In such a case, you need permission from the owner or a leaseholder if that is not you. If you are not riding on your own property, it is a good idea to know where the boundaries of the property are.

In case you wander off to someone else’s property, you can face trespassing charges.

Do I have to register or title an ATV in New York?

If you are not a resident of the New York State, but a resident of a state that has a registration requirement, you do not need to register it to be able to use it in New York.

Otherwise, you must register it to be able to use it, on either public or private lands.

The exemption from registration is if it will be used exclusively outside of New York, if it is for agricultural work, or for non-commercial snow-plowing.

When buying from a dealership, you will be provided with the RV-6 form needed for exemption.

Also when buying from a dealership, the rest of the registration procedure will be completed by them. But, in the case of a private sale, you will have to register it by yourself.

To do so, you need to submit the MV82 form to the DMV office, but also proofs of ownership, tax payment, identity, and date of birth.

The fee for ATV registration is $12.50, as much as the renewal is too. But at the first registration, you also need to pay a $12.50 license plate fee. Registration is valid for 12 months ending on August 31.

Proof of ownership

As a proof of ownership, you can use the following documents:

  • ATVs not previously registered in New York – MCO or MSO from the manufacturer, or out-of-state title or registration certificate,
  • ATVs registered in New York – filled out MV-51 form, and MCO or MSO; or a transferable registration signed over by the previous owner,
  • if you do not have these documents filled out MV-51B form can be used.

Proof of sales tax payment

Documents that you can use to prove that the appropriate sales tax was paid are:

  • the bill of sale from the dealership,
  • receipt from motor vehicles office.

Receipt for sales tax payment you need to get in case of a private sale when you have to pay sales tax at a motor vehicle’s office. To do so, the seller needs to sign the DTF-802 form, with which you can pay the tax.

Proof of identity and birth date

Various documents can be used as proof of identity and date of birth. They are awarded points, and you need enough documents that have the points sum of six.

The list of acceptable documents and how many points they each carry, you can see here.

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

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

A driver’s license is not required to ride an ATV, but it must be covered by a liability insurance policy. Also, certain age-based requirements exist.

A person aged 10 to 15 can ride an ATV under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian, or without supervision on land owned by them, or if they have passed a safety training certified by DMV.

A person under 10 can ride either under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian or unsupervised but only on land owned or leased by a parent or legal guardian.

Are helmets mandatory in New York?

Helmets are required for riding an ATV, and DMV also recommends the use of goggles and other protective clothing.

Also, the ATV must be equipped with a muffler, spark arrestor, and working brakes, but also white headlights and red taillights if operated during the night.


Hopefully, we have answered your question about are ATVs Street legal in New York. As you can see, they are not really, but they are allowed on some public lands, and limited stretches of public roads.

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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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