State of Vermont


*** 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 Vermont under Chapter 31 of Vermont statutes. These statutes cover use of off-highway vehicles on public and private lands.

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






Summary of legislation regulating ATV use

Titling required
All off-highway vehicles of the model year 2004 and newer are required to be titled.



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

Non-residents are required to obtain Vermont registration unless in possession of valid out-of-state registration and decals in a state where Vermont registration is recognized in reciprocity.
Vermont OHV safety certificate required for underage operators
All operators under the age of 18 are required to pass the Vermont OHV Safety Course unless they hold an equal certificate from another state or province.



Restrictions on underage operators
No one between 12 and 15 may cross a highway while operating an ATV unless under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian.

No one under 12 may operate an ATV unless they are on a parent’s land, have written permission of property owner, or are under the direct supervision of an adult 18 or older.
Operation on public roadways or highways prohibited
Operation of off-highway vehicles on public roadways or highways is prohibited except to cross such roadways.



Restriction on operation during times of darkness
ATVs shall not be operated from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise without a lighted taillight and headlight.



Required safety equipment
No off-highway vehicle may be operated without working headlights and taillights, working brakes and a adequate muffler system that controls noise emissions and equipped with a U.S. Forestry Service approved spark arrestor.



Operation on private land without permission prohibited
It is unlawful to operate off-highway vehicles on private property without prior written permission of the landowner.



Other prohibited uses
        It is unlawful to operate a off-highway vehicle;
    • In any manner intended or reasonably to be expected to harass, drive or pursue any wildlife
    • While the operator is under the influence of drugs or intoxicating beverages
    • In a careless or negligent manner or in a manner so as to endanger a person or property
    • Within a cemetery
    • On a sidewalk unless permitted by the selectmen or trustees of the local governing body



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




OHV Registration / Permit
All residents are required to register their off-highway vehicle and display valid registration decals on the vehicle. Registration is available at the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles.

Non-residents are required to register their off-highway vehicles unless they possess valid out-of-state registration and decals from a state that recognizes Vermont registration.
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 Vermont ATV/OHV regulations, please download a copy of the Vermont OHV Act.