Table of Contents
In this article, we will explore the street-legal laws for ATVs and UTVs in the state of Alaska. Is it possible to register your UTV or ATV as street legal in Alaska? Whether you’re a resident of Alaska or not, we will present important information to help you make informed decisions regarding the use of your ATV or UTV on Alaska public roads by answering these questions below.
- Is there any law in Alaska that allows for ATVs or UTVs to be street legal?
- How does Alaska’s law formally classify an ATV or UTV?
- Can an ATV or UTV be street-legal in Alaska?
- What are the requirements to make an ATV or UTV street-legal in Alaska?
- What are the operational and safety requirements when driving a street-legal ATV or UTV in Alaska?
- Where can I drive my street-legal ATV or UTV in Alaska?
- I am not a resident of Alaska; can I still register my vehicle in this state?
Alaska Legal Classification of ATVs and UTVs
Generally, ATV and UTV operation is not permissible on public streets in Alaska but they have designated highways that allow off-road and non-highway vehicle traffic. You can also drive just outside the shoulder of a highway (except for controlled-access highways) as long as you are driving in the same direction as the lane traffic . However, local bans on the use of such vehicles within municipal or borough boundaries must still be followed. For example, in the Municipality of Anchorage, driving those vehicles on roadways is still prohibited.
2021 Alaska Law: ATVs and UTVs as All-Purpose Vehicles
The state of Alaska has recently passed a law allowing ATVs and UTVs to register as all-purpose vehicles. According to the Alaska Statutes, an ATV or UTV is considered an all-purpose vehicle (APV), which is defined as “a motor vehicle 60 inches or less in width, having a dry weight of 1,500 pounds or less, traveling on three or more low-pressure tires, having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator, and designed for or capable of travel over unimproved terrain” (AS 28.90.990). An APV does not include a snowmobile, a golf cart, a lawn tractor, a mini-truck, or a low-speed vehicle.
Can an ATV or UTV be street-legal in Alaska?
Yes, an ATV or UTV can be street-legal in Alaska, but only if it meets certain equipment, paperwork, and operational requirements. Starting Jan. 1, 2022, Alaskans can drive four-wheelers and other APVs on public roads that have speed limits of 45 mph or less in places where local governments haven’t banned their use.
APVs: What are the requirements to make an ATV or UTV or APVs street-legal in Alaska?
The requirements for an ATV or UTV to be street-legal are the same, as they are both considered APVs under the law. To be able to title and register as an APV, the ATV or UTV must have:
- Registration & License Plate
- A headlight
- A rear-facing red light
- A rear-facing red reflector
- A rear-facing red brake light
- A muffler
- A carburetor
- A throttle
What are the operational and safety requirements when driving a street-legal ATV or UTV in Alaska?
When driving a street-legal ATV or UTV in Alaska, you must follow these operational and safety requirements:
- If the vehicle has seatbelts, they must be used
- Any vehicle with seatbelts must use a child seat when carrying a child
- Drivers must have a valid driver’s license and insurance
- Passengers need to wear helmets
- Drivers do not have to wear helmets
- The vehicle must not exceed the speed limit of 45 mph or less on public roads
- The vehicle must obey all traffic laws and signs
Where can I drive my street-legal ATV, UTV or APV in Alaska?
In Alaska, you can drive your ATV or UTV or simply, APV, just outside the shoulder of a highway (except for controlled-access highways) as long as you are driving in the same direction as the lane traffic. You can also drive your street-legal ATV or UTV on any public road that has a speed limit of 45 mph or less in places where local governments haven’t banned their use.
According to the Alaska Department of Administration, as of January 1, 2022, these jurisdictions have prohibited the use of APVs on their roadways:
However, you should check with your local authorities before riding your ATV or UTV on any public road, as some cities and boroughs may have different rules and restrictions.
If my ATV or UTV is registered as “street-legal” in Alaska, can I drive it on the roadways in other states?
In most cases, YES. However, it is important to understand that each state has its own set of laws and regulations regarding the operation of off-road vehicles on public roadways. While some states may have “Registration Reciprocity” agreements or similar regulations that recognize the street-legal status of your ATV or UTV from Alaska, others may have different requirements or may not permit the operation of such vehicles on their roadways.
Our best advice here is to familiarize yourself with the specific laws and regulations of the state or states you plan to visit or travel through. Contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles or relevant authorities in those states can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the operation of street-legal ATVs or UTVs. Click here to view ATV & UTV laws in other states.
I am not a resident of Alaska; can I still register my vehicle in this state?
Yes, you can still register your vehicle in Alaska even if you are not a resident of the state. However, you will need to provide proof of ownership, such as a bill of sale, a copy of a warranty card, or a purchase order from the dealer. You will also need to pay the registration fees and obtain a license plate and a decal for your vehicle.
Out-of-state registration of UTVs and ATVs is a detailed and nuanced topic though and requires more specific advisement to your individual situation than we can provide in this article. As such, we have partnered with Dirtlegal.com. DirtLegal.com helps drivers to register their ATVs and UTVs in “street legal” states like Alaska, so that they can be driven on roadways in other states that honor Registration Reciprocity.
In Alaska, riding an ATV or UTV on the streets is possible, but not without first meeting certain requirements and following certain rules. You should always check with your local authorities before riding your vehicle on any public road, as some places may have different or additional regulations. You should also always wear a helmet and drive safely and responsibly to avoid accidents and injuries.
While this article has provided a comprehensive overview of the street-legal laws on ATVs and UTVs in this state, it is important that you consult your local motor vehicle licensing office for more specific and accurate information regarding ATV and UTV regulations. Because state laws can change over time and regulations differ between jurisdictions, the information presented here may not provide the most up-to-date or region-specific details. Remember that street legality is determined by state and local laws, and it is your responsibility as an ATV or UTV owner to ensure that you are operating your vehicle within the legal boundaries while also getting the most fun out of it.