ATVs or All-Terrain Vehicles are probably the most fun a person can have on four wheels without going above 100mph.
But owning one is not the same as just having some fun riding them or using them for some other work purpose.
It comes with some requirements, as almost any vehicle, but such requirements vary from state to state.
Before you go out and buy yourself an ATV, it is good to know what the regulations are and what you have to do after you purchase one.
So, do ATVs have titles in Texas? In short, yes, you can get the title for ATVs and UTV from a county tax assessor/collector’s office, and it is a good idea to do so. Furthermore, though you can’t register it, if you plan to drive it on public roads you will need to obtain the OHV decal.
With that, let’s dive deeper into this subject.
Table of Contents
Should I Get A Title For An ATV In Texas?
It is a smart thing to do and always recommended.
The reality of owning an ATV, which you have to accept, is that it can be stolen very easily.
In case that such an unpleasant situation happens to you, having a title on it will help you get it back.
But the title can protect you the other way when you are buying a secondhand ATV from an unknown seller.
Demanding such sellers to get the title in their name and then transfer it to you will save you from all the trouble of inadvertently buying a stolen ATV.
Do I Need Registration For ATV in Texas?
While the title can be obtained from a county tax assessor/collector’s office since the passage of the HB 3849 registration of the ATVs and other Off-Highway Vehicles is not required.
Neither is the registration decal from the Texas Department of Transportation.
While the law says it is not required, in simple English it means that the Texas DOT will not register is.
Until recently, you were required to pay both the registration and ATV safety fee, $6 each, but not anymore.
But in certain situations, you will have to have the OHV decal.
What Is OHV Decal?
OHV decal is required for all Off-Highway Vehicles that are used at locations intended for off-road recreation that are located on public land, or the venue has received OHV grants from the TPWD, and some more situations.
You can acquire one from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) or from the official resellers.
The easiest way to get information on the nearest location where you can purchase a decal is by calling TPWD on 512-389-8917.
Though, you can also purchase it online.
When Is OHV Decal Required?
OHV vehicles, which includes ATVs, UTVs, Sand Rails, and ROVs; need to have an OHV decal, in essence, when used on public land or community where they are allowed.
But, here is a more specific list of where you must have it:
- On the roads of master-planned communities, if its bylaws allow it and they are approved by the local municipality.
- On a road with a speed limit of 35mph or less, but only during the daytime and if that road is within 2 miles from the place where the ATV is usually parked, i.e. your home
- Intersections of roads with 35mph and higher speed limits.
- Other public roads specifically allowed for ATVs by the local ordinance, if their speed limit is 35mph or less.
The OHV is not required if you are using it on:
- Private property.
- It is owned by the state and operated for public safety or welfare services.
- Is operated by a public utility worker, law enforcement officer, or other emergency services workers, while performing their jobs.
- By a farmer or a rancher using it for the agricultural work, but are not allowed to travel further than 25 miles with it.
How Does Texas Define ATV?
The state of Texas defines an ATV as a motor vehicle that has a seat or seats, three or more tires, not more than 50 inches wide, and is designed for off-road use but not for farming or lawn care.
For you to be allowed to drive on public roads, such an ATV should have pretty standard equipment.
Simply put, it should just be in proper working order, but nonetheless, here is the list of equipment it must have, as stated by the Texas laws:
- Working muffler
- Working brakes
- Head and tail lights
- Functional spark-arrester
- OHV decal
Do I Need A License For ATV In Texas?
While the ATVs are generally not allowed on public roads in Texas, there are several exceptions when they can be driven on them.
And there are many other safety reasons why you should have at least a basic knowledge of the laws of the road and vehicle safety, etc.
Does Texas Require A Safety Certificate For ATVs?
Yes, you should have either Texas or one issued by any other state.
The exemptions exist, and you are not required if you are taking a safety training course under supervision from a certified instructor.
Also, kids under 14 years of age are not required if they are operating ATV under direct supervision by a certified adult.
Can I Drive ATV On Public Roads In Texas?
In general terms, ATVs are banned from public roads, but there are certain exceptions.
The first exception is a public utility, emergency, and law enforcement agency workers.
Second are ranchers traveling for their agricultural work not further than 25 miles to their destination.
And the third is the public roads where ATVs are allowed by the local ordinance, and such can be only if the posted speed limit is 35mph or less.
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