Street-Legal ATVs & UTVs in Arizona

In this article, we delve into the street-legality of ATVs and UTVs in the great state of Arizona. Discover how you can unlock a new level of freedom and exploration as we unravel the rules, requirements, and possibilities that allow these off-road powerhouses to conquer not only trails but also public roads.

Whether you’re a resident of Arizona or not, we’ll present important information to help you make informed decisions regarding the use of your ATV or UTV on public roads by answering the questions below.

  1. Is there any law in Arizona that allows for ATVs or UTVs to be street legal?
  2. How does Arizona’s law formally classify an ATV or UTV?
  3. Can an ATV or UTV be street-legal in Arizona?
  4. What are the requirements to make an ATV or UTV street-legal in Arizona?
  5. What are the operational and safety requirements when driving a street-legal ATV or UTV in Arizona?
  6. Where can I drive my street-legal ATV or UTV in Arizona?
  7. I am not a resident of Arizona; can I still register my vehicle in this state?

Arizona Legal Classification of ATVs and UTVs

In the state of Arizona, ATVs and UTVs are classified under the broader category of “off-highway vehicles.” These vehicles are defined as motorized vehicles operated primarily off of highways and are designed, modified or purpose-built primarily for recreational nonhighway all-terrain travel.

These include but are not limited to:

  • All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs),
  • Utility Vehicles (UTVs),
  • dirt bikes,
  • dune buggies,
  • four-wheel drive vehicles,
  • sand rails
  • amphibious vehicles
  • tracked or wheeled vehicles

Off-highway vehicles are specifically designed to navigate rough terrains and provide thrilling outdoor experiences. However, it is interesting to note that the state of Arizona recognizes the importance of these vehicles and has established laws governing their use on public roads.

Can an ATV or UTV be street-legal in Arizona?

Fortunately, Arizona allows for the street-legal operation of both ATVs and UTVs under certain conditions. This means you can experience the thrill of off-roading while also enjoying the convenience of navigating public roadways. In Arizona, your ATV or UTV or simply OHV may be registered according to 3 types of usage, where each type will have a slightly different set of requirements (but mostly, it’s only the types of fees you’re required to pay).

You may register your off-highway vehicle as:

  1. Primarily off-highway (street-legal, with reduced vehicle license tax and no registration fee required)
  2. Primarily on-highway (street-legal, with full vehicle license tax and full registration fee required)

While the Arizona DOT Motor Vehicle Division does not provide any more details on the difference between the Primarily off-highway and Primarily on-highway registration of the off-highway vehicle, we would suggest that you contact their office before you decide to pursue with registering your vehicle according to a specific declaration of usage.

OHVs: What are the requirements to make an ATV or UTV or OHVs street-legal in Arizona?

Because ATVs and UTVs are classified as off-highway vehicles in Arizona, we will be referring to these vehicles in our succeeding discussion as off-highway vehicles or OHVs.

To make your OHVs street-legal in Arizona, you must fulfill specific requirements, which can be divided into two categories: paperwork and parts.

1. Paperwork

  • Certificate of Title
  • OHV Decal
  • License plate
  • Proof of Insurance

2. Parts

  • Headlights
    • At least one but not more than two, that shines at least 500 feet ahead.
  • Taillights
    • At least one and must be visible 500 feet to the rear.
  • Brake
    • At least one, that can be operated by hand or foot.
  • Brake lights
  • Rear reflector
    • At least one red reflector if it is not part of the taillight.
  • License plate light
  • Horn
    • Must be audible from a distance of at least 200 feet.
  • Muffler
  • Rearview mirror
    • Seat and footrests for the operator and passenger
  • Fuel tank cap
  • Spark arrestor
    • Must be USDA-approved.

What are the operational and safety requirements when driving a street-legal ATV or UTV in Arizona?

When driving an ATV or UTV on public roads in Arizona, you are required to adhere to the following operational and safety requirements:

  • Driver’s License
    • operators of motorcycles must have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license.
  • Insurance
  • Helmets
    • Must be DOT-approved
    • Riders under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets whenever they are on public roads or highways in this state.
  • Eye protection
    • This is required for operators of vehicles without a windshield.
  • Vehicle capacity
    • Unless the vehicle is designed for more than one rider or another seat has been firmly attached to the rear or side, the operator may not carry a passenger.

Where can I drive my street-legal ATV, UTV or OHV in Arizona?

Street-legal ATVs and UTVs are permitted to operate on public roads in Arizona. However, it is important to note that local jurisdictions may have additional restrictions or regulations regarding their use. It is always recommended to check with local authorities or consult official resources to ensure compliance with specific regulations.

If my ATV or UTV is registered as “street-legal” in Arizona, 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 Arizona, 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.

I am not a resident of Arizona; can I still register my vehicle in this state?

Yes. Because Arizona does not have residency requirements when registering vehicles, then having your ATV or UTV registered in Arizona may be an option for you if your state honors “Registration Reciprocity” with other states.

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 helps drivers to register their ATVs and UTVs in “street legal” states like Arizona, so that they can be driven on roadways in other states that honor Registration Reciprocity.

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Arizona offers the opportunity to make your ATV or UTV street-legal, granting you access to both off-road adventures and public roadways. By meeting the state’s requirements and prioritizing safety, you can enjoy the freedom and thrill that comes with exploring the magnificent landscapes of Arizona.

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 DMV 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.

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