Province of Ontario
*** 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

The use of off highway vehicles within the province of Ontario is regulated by the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and the Ontario Off-Road Vehicles Act.

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


Summary of legislation regulating ATV use


Registration required
All operators of off highway vehicles riding on public lands or public roadways where permitted, require valid registration. Valid license plates and decals must be displayed on the vehicle at all times.


Insurance Required

All operators of off highway vehicles require valid insurance. Operators riding on public lands and roadways where permitted require a an insurance policy consisting of ALL of the following;
a) A Minimum of $200 000 liability coverage
b) Direct compensation coverage (First Party)
c) Uninsured automobile coverage
d) Accident benefits


Drivers license required for operation on public roads

Operation of an off highway vehicle on public roadways, where permitted requires a valid drivers license and the operator must be a minimum of 16 years of age.


Minimum age

A minimum age of 12 is required to operate an off highway vehicle on public lands. An exception allows a child under the age of 12 to operate an ATV on public lands if directly supervised at all times by an adult. 4a)

On private land, children under the age of 12 requires direct adult supervision unless operating on private land which is owned or leased by the registered off highway vehicle's owner.


Operation on public roadways
Operators may make use of UNTRAVELED (shoulder) areas of many low volume highways and roadways. Use on most high volume highways is prohibited.


Helmet required
Use of DOT approved helmets are required for all operators and riders riding on both public lands and private lands.
Other general prohibitions
It is unlawful to operate an off highway vehicle on private lands or public lands leased by third parties without the prior permission of the land owner or lease holder.


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




OHV Registration / Permit
All residents of Ontario are required to register their off-highway vehicles with Ontario Motor Vehicles and display valid plates and decals on the vehicle if the vehicle will be used on public roadways where allowed.

Non-residents are also required to register their off-highway vehicles and display valid plates and decals.

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