State of Minnesota


*** 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 Minnesota under Chapter 84 of Minnesota statutes. These statutes cover use of off-highway vehicles on public and private lands.

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




Summary of legislation regulating ATV use


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

Non-residents are required to purchase Minnesota registration unless the off-highway vehicle is registered in its home state and displays valid registration decals and is operated in Minnesota for a period less than 30 days.
Non-residents utilizing Minnesota ORV/ATV designated trails will either require valid Minnesota registration, or a Minnesota trails pass. Out-of-state registration is not valid on designated Minnesota trails.

No operator under the age of 18 may register an off-highway vehicle in Minnesota.

Helmet required
All operators and riders under the age of 18 are required to wear DOT approved helmets at all times while riding on public lands.



Operation on public roadways prohibited
Operation of off-highway vehicles on public roadways is prohibited except to cross such roadways. Operation along public roadways requires a valid drivers license.

Operation along certain roadways designated as off-highway vehicle routes is permitted
Age restrictions
No operator under 12 can cross public roads or drive on public roads and lands, except an operator at least 10 years old may operate an ATV up to 90cc on public lands if accompanied by parent.

Operators between 12 and 15 must have a Minnesota ATV Safety Training Certificate and be accompanied by an adult 18 or older who possesses a driver's license to operate on public lands.
Safety certificate required for certain operators
Anyone who operates an off-highway vehicle and was born AFTER July 1, 1987 requires a Minnesota ATV Safety Training Certificate

In order to be issued a safety training certificate, operators under 12 must have completed a safety training course and be able to reach and control the handlebars and reach the footrests.
Restrictions on certain trails
A rider may not operate an ATV on a trail designated “not for motorized use,” posted public lands, state park lands, wildlife management areas, or unfrozen water.



Lighting required
If an ATV is equipped with headlight and taillight, it may not be operated unless lighted at all times. All ATVs operated between ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise must have lighted headlight and taillight.



Restrictions on passengers
For off highway vehicles that are designed to be operated with a passenger the following restrictions apply;

    a) A person under the age of 18 may not carry a passenger.
    b) A parent may carry a child under the age of 16.
     c) An operator 18 years of age or older may carry one passenger age 16 or older.




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




OHV Registration / Permit
All residents of Minnesota are required to register their off-highway vehicle for operation on public lands. A valid registration decal is required to be displayed on the vehicle. Registration is available at the Deputy Registrar of Motor Vehicles office or at a Department of Natural Resources office.

Non-residents are required to possess valid registration from their home state and valid registration decals on the vehicle and the duration of use in Minnesota is limited to 30 days. Residents of states that do not require registration of off-highway vehicles or if the duration of use exceeds 30 days are required to purchase Minnesota registration.
Non-residents utilizing Minnesota designated ATV/OHV trails are required to either purchase Minnesota registration or to purchase a Minnesota ATV trails pass. Out-of-state registration is not valid on the designated OHV/ATV trail system.


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