It’s not only cars and trucks that need titles but possibly your ATV as well. If this is your first ATV, then you may not be entirely clear on the rules. Which states require ATV titles, and which don’t?
The following US states mandate that ATVs have titles:
- Colorado (unless private sale)
- Connecticut (unless older than 20 years)
- Idaho (unless obtained before 1991)
- Illinois (unless bought before 1998)
- Indiana (unless bought before 2009)
- Maryland (unless bought before 2010)
- Nebraska (unless bought before 2004)
- Nevada (unless bought before 2012)
- New Mexico
- North Carolina (if ATV registered elsewhere)
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Virginia (new vehicles only)
- West Virginia
In today’s extensive guide, we’ll go through all 50 states in the US and review the rules on whether your ATV needs a title. No matter where in the country you call home, you’ll be on the right side of the law!
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ATV Titling Rules State by State
In Alabama, ATV owners are not required to get their vehicles titled before riding. You can also forego registering your ATV in most instances. A license plate issuing official would have to verify your ATV and determine the need for registration.
According to Alaska’s Department of Administration and the Division of Motor Vehicles, ATV riders in this chilly state needn’t title an ATV, snowmachine, moose buggy, UTV, or any other vehicle that qualifies as an off-highway vehicle or OHV.
However, you must go through the state DMV to register your ATV if you plan to use it on public property.
Unlike the other states so far, Arizona does mandate that ATV drivers possess a certificate of title in the form of an OHV decal. This rule has been instated since the mid-1980s, so it seems unlikely to change anytime soon!
Per the Arkansas Statutes, Title 27 Motor Vehicles, 27-20-2605. (a), “The Director of the Department of Finance and Administration shall issue a certificate of title to the owner of a three-wheeled or four-wheeled all-terrain cycle that has been registered with the Department of Finance and Administration.”
According to 27-20-2605. (b), the title will include your name and address, the lienholder’s name and address, the date of sale, your identification number, and the manufacturer, year, and model of the ATV.
In California, you must get the title of the ATV transferred to you if you recently bought it from someone else. You can fill out the Reg 227 form courtesy of the California DMV to apply for a title transfer as well as a duplicate title if needed.
The ATV title rules in Colorado are a touch confusing, so let’s clarify.
If you’re undergoing a private ATV sale, such as between one private party and another, then the state allows you to forego a title. You can do it if you wish, but it’s not mandated.
That said, for any other types of ATV sales between sellers and buyers, then per C.R.S 42-6-148, you must have a title. That rule was enforced in 2016.
How about if you want to buy a used ATV in Connecticut? According to the Connecticut state DMV, if you bought an ATV in the state that’s less than 20 years old, you will have to get it titled.
If the ATV is older than 20 years, then no titling is required. However, you’ll still have to register the vehicle either way.
In Delaware, you do not have to title your ATV, but you are still required to register the vehicle before you use it.
If you’re a Florida resident and you own an ATV, you need to have it titled. You’ll have to contact the tax collector for the Florida county you live in to obtain a title or request a title from the vehicle seller.
Georgia allows all-terrain vehicles, off-road vehicles, motorized carts, and mopeds to forego both titling and registration.
For those who call Hawaii home and own an ATV, you needn’t get the vehicle titled here either. If you plan to use the ATV on either private or public property throughout this island state, then you don’t have to get your ATV registered either.
Driving resource Offroad-Ed states that all OHVs in Idaho must have a title if you want a license plate or a registration sticker for your vehicle. The title must be in your name.
You’ll need ownership documents like a bill of sale, ATV registration, or a certificate of origin from the manufacturer to get your ATV titled. Then visit the motor vehicle office of your county assessor.
There do exist some exceptions. UTVs are exempt if you obtained them before July 1st, 2006. Motorbikes and ATVs are exempt if you obtained them before 1991.
Unless you bought an ATV on January 1st, 1998 or before, then you must get your ATV title if you live and ride in Illinois.
With your certificate of title, you’ll also receive an Off-Highway Vehicle Public Access Decal. You need to put the decal front and center on your ATV.
In Indiana, off-road vehicles bought after December 31st, 2009 need to be titled. If you purchased your ATV earlier than that, then you’re exempt.
You’ll have to go through the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles or BMV, per this page on the site, and apply for your title if you need one. You must be titled 45 days or sooner after you by the ATV, or you’ll face an administrative penalty.
In the future, your certificate of title counts as proof of ownership.
Iowa mandates that all off-highway vehicles are registered in the state per the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. To get your ATV registered, it must have a title as well.
The only exception is if your vehicle is owned by a governmental subdivision and is used only “for enforcement, search and rescue, or official research and studies, but not for recreational or commercial purposes.”
The Kansas Department of Revenue states that an ATV “must be titled as nonhighway due to the ATV not being manufactured for street use.”
If you’re trading in or selling an ATV, it still needs a title, and the title needs to reflect the ownership change.
Kentucky is another state that requires ATVs to have titles.
You’ll pay $15 to get a title. You must have a signed Kentucky title or a completed form TC-96-182 as well as a photo ID to apply for a title for in-state and out-of-state ATVs.
Whether it’s a UTV or an ATV, Louisiana state law requires you to title the vehicle. You’ll get a decal that you must stick on your ATV in a visible location, then you can legally ride.
You need the decal within 30 days of purchasing the ATV, so don’t delay getting titled!
Did you buy your ATV in Maryland before October 1st, 2010? Then you don’t have to get it titled.
All ATVs bought on that date and later must have a title, according to Maryland.gov.
When you title your ATV, you’ll receive an ORV decal that you should stick on your vehicle.
While you must register your ATV in Massachusetts, it doesn’t appear that you’re required to title your vehicle.
Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources mandates that all ORV purchases require a title. You need to apply for the title within 15 days of transferring or buying the ATV. You don’t have to register the vehicle, though.
According to Driver and Vehicle Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, almost all motor vehicles in the state need to be titled. Some exceptions do exist, but none apply to ATVs or other off-highway vehicles.
Those who own an ATV in Mississippi can skip both registering and titling their ATVs. It’s completely optional.
If you are interested in titling the vehicle, you can do so through the State Tax Commission at no charge to you.
Missourians must get their ATVs titled and registered. According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, it costs $10.25 for a registration (in which you’ll receive a decal) and $8.50 for a title. At least it’s inexpensive!
All off-highway vehicles riding through Montana need a certificate of title, notes the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website. You cannot register your ATV or obtain a license for it without a title.
The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles requires that ATVs are titled unless you bought yours new before January 1st, 2004. If you purchased the vehicle on that date or later, then you need to contact your County Treasurer about getting the ATV titled.
In July 2012, Nevada instituted rules about titling ATVs. With the new program in place, any ATVs purchased after the date the program went into effect (which is listed as about July 1st, 2012) must have a title.
New Hampshire is one of the few states that doesn’t require you to have a title for your ATV, as the state doesn’t keep records of ATV liens and titles. That rule applies to all off-highway vehicles in the state.
Another east coast state that doesn’t mandate ATV riders to title their vehicles is New Jersey. You’re still free to title your vehicle, but it’s your choice.
In New Mexico, you must get your ATV registered and titled through the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division. Only then can you use your ATV on public roads. The registration lasts for two years.
Registering your ATV is required in New York, but titling it does not appear to be. However, you will end up filling out a Vehicle Registration/Title Application form and titling your ATV anyway.
If you’ve lived in North Carolina your entire life, then you don’t have to worry about titling your ATV. For those who registered their vehicle in a different state and then came to North Carolina, the state requires you to have a title for your ATV.
You cannot forego registering your vehicle in North Dakota, but it does not appear that you need to get the ATV titled.
The rules for titling and registering vehicles in Ohio can be a bit confusing at first glance. Vehicles classified as off-highway motorcycles or OHMs, as well as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and all-purpose vehicles or APVs must be registered.
However, OHM and APV vehicles are the only ones that need a title.
Oklahoma is another state in which titling your ATV is optional. Registering your vehicle is not! You’ll have to get your ATV registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
Side-by-sides, ORMs, and ATVs do not need a title in Oregon. You can also forego the registration and even the insurance, although you should do the latter at your own discretion!
The next state that requires ATVs to have titles is Pennsylvania. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, unless your ATV is “used solely for business or agricultural purposes,” then you need to reach out to the DCNR and title and register your vehicle.
At least you know your money is going towards the DCNR program, as the DCNR makes that transparent on its website.
Rhode Island is another one of those states where you can’t register your ATV unless you have a title for it, and you are required to register the vehicle.
The title will come from your local DMV. The same rule applies to UTVs as well.
You must also title your ATV if you live and ride in South Carolina per the state DMV website.
You’ll need to pay $15 for titling as well as sales tax. You’ll also need the manufacturer’s certificate of origin and a completed Application for Title or SCDMV Form 400.
In South Dakota, you can skip the ATV registration but not the titling. You’ll have to contact the Department of Revenue to get your certificate of title.
All UTVs and ATVs in Tennessee need a certificate of title. Then you can receive your special identification plate, which is proof that you went through the trouble to get your ATV titled.
You need to keep the special identification plate on your ATV at all times. You cannot transfer the plate to another person even if you sell your ATV.
If you buy a new ATV, you can’t take the old plate and put it on your new vehicle. You’d have to title the new ATV.
Texas no longer requires ATV owners to register their vehicles in the state, and it appears that you don’t need to get your ATV titled either.
You also need to know the vehicle identification number or VIN for the ATV if this is the first time you’re getting the vehicle titled in Utah.
The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles states that ATVs that are at least 15 years old need to have a title. However, there are some exceptions, so let’s go over them now.
- “ATVs owned by a non-resident of Vermont whose state of residence does not require a certificate of title for any such ATV, and the title has been issued or applied for.
- ATVs owned by a non-resident of Vermont whose state of residence does not require a certificate of title for them.
- ATVs owned by a manufacturer or dealer and held for sale.
- ATVs owned by the United States (federal government) unless they are registered in Vermont.”
Used off-road motorcycles and ATVs needn’t be titled in Virginia.
If your ATV is new and “powered by a gasoline or diesel engine displacing more than 50 cubic centimeters,” then you do need to title it.
Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles website says that to title your ATV, you need your proof of address, a bill of sale, a title signed to you as the new ATV owner, a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin or Certificate of Origin, and the Application for Certificate of Title and Registration or Form VSA-17A, which must be completed.
Like many states across the country, Washington law requires you to title and register your ATV. You’ll need ORV tags or decals. You can complete the titling process by visiting your vehicle licensing office. You have 15 days to do so after obtaining the ATV.
Since July 1st, 1989, West Virginia has required ATV riders in the state to title their vehicles. The rule has applied to UTVs since December 28th, 2010. Registering your ATV or UTV is not required.
In Wisconsin, you can skip titling your ATV if you so wish.
The last state on the list, Wyoming, also requires you to title your ATV. The title of certificate is a mandatory part of registering your ATV through the county treasurer’s office.
As the list above proves, most states throughout the US require you to obtain a title for your ATV. You often have to register your vehicle as well.
Both are for your benefit. A title is your proof of ownership. If your ATV is ever stolen without a title, it can be very hard to prove that you ever owned the vehicle in the first place!