State of New Hampshire


*** 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 New Hampshire under Title XVIII of New Hampshire statutes. These statutes cover use of off-highway vehicles on public and private lands.

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


Summary of legislation regulating ATV use


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

Non-residents are required to purchase a New Hampshire OHRV Permit and display the valid decal on the vehicle.
Helmet required
All operators and riders under the age of 18 are required to wear DOT approved helmets and adequate eye protection at all times.




Restrictions on carrying passengers
No operator may carry passengers unless the vehicle is designed to carry passengers.

No one under 18 operating an off-highway vehicle shall carry passengers at any time.

Restrictions on underage operators
Any person over the age of 12 must have a New Hampshire OHRV safety certificate or a motor vehicle license to ride off their own property.

Any person under the age of 14 must be supervised by an adult over 18 when off their own property.

Restrictions on operation during times of darkness
No off-highway vehicle shall be operated without a lighted headlight and taillight from hour after sunset to hour before sunrise.



Operation on public roadways and highways prohibited
Operation of off-highway vehicles on public roadways and highways is prohibited except to cross such roadways.




Required equipment
No person shall operate an OHRV unless it is equipped with:
  • At least one, but not more than 2 headlights, all in working order, when operating at any time during the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.
  • One or more rear taillights, all in working order, when operating at any time during the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.
  • Adequate brakes in good working order sufficient to control the vehicle at all times. The brakes must be capable of stopping the vehicle within 40 feet at 20 miles per hour, or locking the wheels or track to a standstill.
  • The current registration decal affixed to the OHRV as required by this chapter.
  • Mufflers and an exhaust system which comply with the requirements of RSA 215-A:12. Any sled or trailer towed behind an OHRV shall be equipped with reflectors and a rigid hitch such as a tow bar.



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OHV Registration / Permit
All residents of New Hampshire are required to register their off-highway vehicle and display valid decals on the vehicle. Registration is available from OHRV permit vendors.

Non-residents are required to purchase a non-resident OHRV registration and display valid decals on the vehicle. Registration is available from OHRV vendors.

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