How to legally ride your OHV
It is the operator’s responsibility to know the laws, regulations, legal routes and restrictions! Operate OHV’s only on areas and trails designated as open to OHVs. Check with the land management agency where you ride for regulations, OHV opportunity maps, and travel maps and carry them with you! Keep registration documents for your OHV with the vehicle or on the operator.
Off-Road on Public Land
- Ride on legally designated OHV trails – It is illegal to ride cross-country.
- A Montana OHV registration decal, available from your county treasurer, must be displayed on your OHV.
- Montana’s Nonresident OHV permit requirements have changed. For more information, visit the Montana State Parks Off-Highway Vehicle Program page here.
- Vehicle must be equipped with state approved muffler and/or spark arrester
- OHV sound emissions can’t exceed 96 db(A) [(61-9-418 (2A), MCA].
- Most trails on Forest Service lands have a 50 inch width restriction.
On-Road On Public Land
- Your ATV or Dirt Bike must be street legal including mirror, horn, headlight, and brake lights.
- Register your ATV or Dirt Bike as a motor vehicle and display a motor vehicle license plate.
- Have a valid driver’s license in your possession.
- Dirt Bike operators must also have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license.
- An operator may not carry any other person on an OHV unless it is designed to carry more than one person.
- A helmet is required of any operator or passenger under 18 years of age.
- ATVs and Dirt Bikes are not required to be registered if used only on private land with approval of the landowner.
- Do not trespass on private land.
- Keep you speed down. Trails aren’t racetracks and other users won’t appreciate being surprised, chased off the trail, or buried in mud or dust.
- Take time to visit with people you meet. Create a positive impression of motorized users.
- When you meet stock such as horses, mules, llamas, and pack goats, pull off on the downhill side, and shut off your engine.
- No one appreciates a loud machine that can be heard for miles. Follow Montana’s 96 db(A) law.