Specifically designed for driving off-road, you can also drive your ATV/UTV on paved roads as well. Though for driving any ATV/ UTV on road, you will need to go through the laws of your state. This will in turn guide you as to how you can modify and how to make an ATV/UTV street legal.
Most states allow people to ride their ATV/UTV on roads provided they make some modifications. Typically, these modifications will require an investment of around $300. It is not possible to use a car for off road activities, but when you own an ATV/ UTV, then why not make full use of it? With just a few hundred dollars, you can easily convert your ATV or UTV to something which you can easily use on the streets.
Why Are ATVs Not Street Legal?
When buying any ATV, we don’t really think of this question but when asked, it can trigger a lot of thoughts like maybe these 4-wheeled vehicles pose a risk on the pavement, or maybe it’s because of their size which makes it difficult for big trucks and SUV’s to notice them in the traffic or maybe it’s because of the absence of seatbelts.
But what is exactly the reason as to why ATVs are not street legal? Well, the one-word answer to this question is “safety”. ATV tyres are not really designed for roads as the tyres of a normal ATV are not like other cars and motorcycle tyres but rather they are designed for the off road environment. The tyres are also bouncier and have more give, which often leads to an unstable ride.
The second reason why ATVs are not street legal is that they lack safety features like seatbelts, airbags and many other electronic safety systems.
Why would you want to make your ATV/UTV street legal?
If you are wondering whether to make your ATV/UTV street legal or not, here are few benefits to consider before making the final decision.
First and foremost is the convenience that an ATV/UTV offers. As we mentioned earlier as well, when using for day-to-day activities or going to any nearby riding spot you can easily use your ATVs. Imagine how hassle-free it would be if you don’t have to load your ATV into another vehicle every time you want to go off-road.
The next reason as to why you should make your ATV/UTV street legal is because its a great opportunity to customize your vehicle just like your car or motorcycle. Remember, there are many tricks that your ATV can do but normal other vehicles cannot.
Last but not least as to why you should make your ATV road legal is because it’s really easy to do so in most of the states and the cost is not that much.
Why you should not make your ATV/UTV street legal?
There are a few reasons why your ATV/UTV should not be made street legal. The tyres on an ATV are not really designed for roads. They are way bouncier. It is really easy for an ATV/UTV to roll over and the tyres have more give, which ultimately can lead to an unstable ride on paved roads.
Next comes the safety factors. Cars and motorcycles that drive on the normal roads are designed with a lot of safety features but your ATV/UTV is not. Therefore, it is not really safe to drive ATV/UTV on the streets.
There are many states that don’t allow the legalization of ATV’s on the street. Hence riding ATVs on-street may lead to unnecessary fines.
What do you need to make your ATV/UTV street legal and how much will it cost?
Each and every state has different requirements to abide by to make ATV/UTVs street legal.
Here are a few common modifications that are being demanded by most of the states:
- Headlights: Adding headlamps to your ATV/UTV is pretty much mandatory in all states. However, the specific headlights that are allowed depend on the law of the state or the country. There are many models of ATV/UTV’s. Some are designed with headlights that are allowed by the state, while some headlights are not approved by the state and there are even models that have no headlights at all. If you want to make your ATV/UTV legal on streets you should definitely install a pair of headlamps to your quad.
- Tail Lights:Just as you need to install headlamps on the front, in the same way, you often need to install tail lights for the rear. Most of the states demand to use red taillights. To make your ATV/UTV legalized make sure you install the correct tail lights as per the requirements of the states.
- Turn Signals:Functioning turn signals are a requirement of road vehicles in most of the states. In the ATV street legal assessment, the state inspector may decline to approve your quad just because of the absence of turn signals.
- Horns:Imagine how you would drive on a road without any horns. When legalizing ATV for the street, the installation of horns is of utmost importance.
- Rear view mirrors:Just like normal cars and motorcycles, ATV’s and UTV’s are required to add rearview mirrors to make them street legal. Some states require installing a rear view mirror on the left while some require it to install it on the right. Learn which side you should add the rear view mirrors to make your ATV/UTV street legal.
- Muffler:We all are aware of the loud noise of quads so getting a muffler is of utmost importance. There are even many states that check on the gas emission level of street vehicles and this is one of the things that one should modify.
- Windshield:While riding side by side the last thing you want is to be hit by bugs or road debris. Therefore a windshield is necessary as well as mandatory.
- Speedometer:This is one of the most complicated modifications to be made to make your ATV street legal. Though not all states require this modification if your state does then we would recommend getting a mechanic that can help to give precise and specific information as to how you can do the mod.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make a side-by-side street legal?
Definitely, you can make your side-by-side street-legal provided you follow the different requirements of the particular state. It’s really easy to make them legal provided you make the necessary modifications. Just check though, as there are few states that don’t allow ATV/UTV’s to be street legal.