State of Massachusetts


*** 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 Massachusetts under Chapter 90 of Massachusetts statutes. These statutes cover use of off-highway vehicles on public and private lands.

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




Summary of legislation regulating ATV use


Registration required
All operators, both residents and non-residents of off-highway vehicles operated in Massachusetts must register their vehicle with the Massachusetts Environmental Police and display valid decals on the vehicle.



Helmet required
All operators and riders of off-highway vehicles are required to wear DOT approved helmets at all times.



Restrictions on underage operators
No person under the age of 14 may operate a off-highway vehicle on public land, except operators age 12-16 if directly supervised by an adult over the age of 18.

No person under the age of 12 may operate a off-highway vehicle on public lands managed by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management.
A child between the ages of 14 and 16 is restricted to operation of a off-highway vehicle with a engine size no greater than 90cc and must be directly supervised by an adult over the age of 18.



OHV safety certificate required for underage operators
No person under the age of 18 may operate a off-highway vehicle without a Massachusetts OHV safety certificate



Operation on public roadways or highways prohibited
Operation of off-highway vehicles on public roadways or highways is prohibited, except to cross such roadways. A valid drivers license is required to cross public roadways.



Restriction on operation during times of darkness
No off-highway vehicle shall be operated without a lighted headlight and taillight between sunset and sunrise.



Required safety equipment
No off-highway vehicle may be operated without working headlights, taillights, brake lights, reflectors and muffler system with spark arrestor.



Accident reporting
It is unlawful to leave the scene of an accident that results in death, injury or property damage without reporting such a accident to local law enforcement.



Other prohibited uses
It is unlawful to operate a off-highway vehicle;
  • On private property without written permission of the landowner.
  • In a reckless or careless manner or using excessive speed.
  • In a manner that harasses or endangers game or wildlife.
  • In a manner that excessively damages vegetation or stock.
  • While under the influence of alcohol or drugs.



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




OHV Registration / Permit
All operators, residents and non-residents of off-highway vehicles are required to register their vehicles with the Massachusetts Environmental Police and display a valid decal on the vehicle.



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