State of Maryland


*** 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 Maryland under Title 8 of Maryland statutes. These statutes cover use of off-highway vehicles on public and private lands.

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




Summary of legislation regulating ATV use


Titling optional
Residents of Maryland are not required to title their off-highway vehicles, however it is available.



Registration required
All off-highway vehicles used on public lands controlled by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources need to be registered and valid decals are required to be displayed on the vehicle.



Drivers license required
All operators over the age of 16 operating on public lands are required to hold a valid drivers license, or a Maryland learners license and accompanied by an adult over the age of 18 with a valid drivers license.

A child 12-15 may operate a off-highway vehicle on public lands if accompanied or directly supervised by a parent or guardian over the age of 18 that holds a valid drivers license.
Safety equipment required
The following equipment is required to operate a off-highway vehicle on public lands;
  • A adequate braking system that will bring the vehicle to a stop in all conditions
  • A working muffler system that adequately control noise emissions
  • A working U.S. Forestry Service approved spark arrestor
  • Working headlights and taillights that must be used when operating the vehicle between the hours of sunset and sunrise
Helmet required
All operators are required to wear a DOT approved helmet and adequate eye protection while operating on public lands.



Three wheel vehicle prohibited on OHV trails
Three wheeled off-highway vehicles are prohibited from operating on designated OHV trails unless they are licensed for on-highway use and meet all safety requirements of an off-road vehicle.



Other prohibited uses
An individual may not operate an ORV on ORV trails:
  • In a reckless, careless, or negligent manner;
  • In willful or wanton disregard for the rights or safety of an individual or property;
  • While under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • In a manner which causes damage to property, wildlife, vegetative resources, or individuals;
  • In an area customarily used for vehicular traffic or parking;
  • In a manner to cause or permit the obstruction of traffic by unnecessary parking or stopping; or
  • In an area not designated for use by such vehicles.
Accident reporting
Operators of off-highway vehicles operating on public lands are required to report an accident that results in death or injury of a person or animal or property damages in excess of $100 to a agent of the Department of Natural Resources.




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




OHV Registration / Permit
State law requires all operators, both residents and non-residents of off-highway vehicles operating on state lands controlled by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to be registered and valid decals are required to be displayed on the vehicle. Registration is available from any DNR office or a designated agent.



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 Maryland ATV/OHV regulations, please download a copy of the Maryland OHV Act.