State of Maine


*** NOTICE ***
This page includes a brief summary of provincial/state laws regulating ATV / Off-highway vehicle use current to April 2012. It is not intended as an absolute reference as laws are subject to change without notice and many potential prohibited acts may be covered by other legislation or statutes. It is recommended that you consult with the latest version of state statutes or provincial legislation.
General prohibited acts that may not be covered by specific OHV legislation include trespassing on private property, unlawful use of OHV on public highways, reckless use of off-highway vehicles, operation of off-highway vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, damage to public or private property or damage to natural habitats or protected areas which are all unlawful in every province and state.
Preamble

ATV's and other off-highway vehicles are regulated in the state of Maine under Title 12 of Maine statutes. These statutes cover use of off-highway vehicles on public and private lands.

For more information on Maine ATV/OHV regulations, please download a copy of the Maine OHV Act.




Summary of legislation regulating ATV use


Registration required
All Maine residents are required to register their off-highway vehicles and display valid registration decals on the vehicle.

Non-residents are required to purchase non-resident registration and display valid registration decals on the vehicle.
Helmet required
All operators and riders under the age of 18 are required to wear DOT approved helmets at all times.



Restrictions on underage operators
No person under the age of 10 may operate a off-highway vehicle other than on a parents land.

All operators over the age of 10 and under the age of 16 must have a Maine OHV safety certificate and be under direct supervision of an adult over the age of 18 to operate on any land outside of the child's parents.

Operation on public roadways prohibited
Operation of off-highway vehicles on public roadways or highways is prohibited, except to cross such roadways. It is permitted to operate off-highway vehicles on roads that are not maintained or used for conventional motor vehicles.



Required safety equipment
No off-highway vehicle may be operated without adequate brakes, working headlights and taillights for operation in times of darkness, and an adequate muffler system which control noise emissions that is equipped with a U.S. Forest Service approved spark arrestor.




Restrictions on operation during times of darkness or limited visibility
Working headlights and taillights are required at all times when operating off-highway vehicles from one half hour after sunset to one half hour before sunrise or at times during limited visibility.



Other prohibited uses
No one may operate a off-highway vehicle;
  • While under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • On private lands without prior permission of the landowner.
  • On any bridge, culvert, overpass, underpass, roadway or pathway that is closed to such vehicles.
  • In a reckless or careless manner, at excessive speed or in a manner that endangers persons or property.



Please visit our U.S. land use forums for discussions regarding land use and legal issues.




OHV Registration / Permit
All residents of Maine are required to register their off-highway vehicles and display valid decals on the vehicle. Registration is available online or through the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries.

Non-residents are required to purchase a non-resident registration and display valid decals on the vehicle. Registration is available online or through the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries.
For More Information
This page represents a general summary of applicable state laws which apply to the operation of an off-highway vehicle. Laws are subject to change and laws other than specific off-highway vehicle related laws may be in place which may directly or indirectly apply to the operation of a off-highway vehicle in certain circumstances. Please consult with your state statutes if you have any questions.
For more information on Maine ATV/OHV regulations, please download a copy of the Maine OHV Act.