How to Make a UTV Street Legal (7 Steps with Pictures)


If you’re looking for a guide to turning your UTV into a useable road option, then you have come to the right place. I will give the steps which you will need to go through to get your UTV certified for legal street use!

So, how can you make a UTV street legal?

  1. Figure out if you need to be street legal.
  2. Know your local laws.
  3. Register your UTV if necessary.
  4. Check your insurance coverage.
  5. Install the necessary parts.
  6. Do a safety inspection.
  7. Be aware of which roads you can ride on.

If you want to know which parts you will need to install and what is required of you based on your state, then read on.

Making Your UTV Street Legal:

There is a high appeal for having a street legal UTV. Espcially in the summer months, it is fun to ride one through town, stopping by your favorite spots.

Although there is a high appeal to having a street legal UTV, there are steps that need to be taken first. You will get there in time.

Step 1: Figure out if you need to be street legal.

Before you go about making your UTV street legal, you should know if you even need to. Many places are “golf cart” friendly. This term means that you are able to drive your UTV (or golf cart, obviously) in the city limits legally.

There are also states like Tenessee, Florida, and Texas, which give UTV access to riding trails.

Making your UTV street legal becomes costly with all the additional parts needed to be purchased. So make sure that you check the rules for your area so you don’t waste money on unnecessary modifications.

Step 2: Know your local laws.

As is the truth in anything regarding the law, you need to know what your local rules and regulations are. There is a very side range of laws concerning UTV use.

Some states make is very simple to make your UTV street legal, like Utah and Arizona. However, in other states, it is nearly impossible.

The best way to figure out what your UTV needs is to either call or visit your local DMV. They will have the answers for your specific circumstances.

Step 3: Register your UTV if necessary

You should then figure out if you will be needing a UTV that is registered and plated. There are also varied laws regarding whether or not you will need a valid driver’s license to ride the UTV.

Your UTV may have to be plated in order for you to drive it on the road. Some states treat their UTV laws just like any regular vehicle. This will protect you from receiving any finds or ending up in jail.

Step 4: Check your insurance coverage.

Although it would be easier to pretend like there is no risk of having an accident or injury, there is always a risk.

When your UTV becomes street legal, there is a higher chance of having damage done to your UTV or others. Check with your insurance company to see if you are covered.

Most insurance companies do provide this coverage. And often, you will be able to save money by bundling it with your homeowner’s policy.

Step 5: Install any necessary parts.

In almost every state, you will need to add parts to your UTV to make it street legal.

Some of these things, you may already have, however they are what may be necessary for your UTV to be street legal.

  • Headlights (high and low beam)
  • Taillight
  • Brake Light
  • Rear Reflector
  • Turn Signals
  • Mirrors
  • Horn
  • Mud Flaps
  • Speedometer
  • Windshield
  • Lighted license plate
  • Department of Transportation approved tires

Depending on what your state requires, you may have to install one or all of these. These parts will help your UTV to function with the same safety features as all the other vehicle on the road.

Step 6: Do a safety inspection.

For your UTV to be street legal, you will need to undergo a safety inspection.

Some of the things that may be checked when your UTV is going under inspection:

Engine and Fuel

  • Oil level and filter service
  • Air filter clean
  • Drive Belt tight and good condition
  • Radiator, horses and coolant levels
  • Spark Arrestor
  • Throttle operational
  • Choke operational
  • Fuel line hoses and connections

Brakes

  • Brake levers operational
  • Brake fluid level adequate
  • Brake pads, hoses and connections

Chassis

  • Lubrication
  • Front and Rear gear case levels
  • Steering acceptable
  • Boot joints, axles, and suspension
  • Tire wear and inflated properly
  • Wheel lugs tight
  • All lights and reflectors acceptable condition
  • Winch and cable acceptable
  • Physical damage
  • License plate, registration and decals

These are all the things that will be checked on your UTV during your inspection. If all of these are good, then you should pass with ease.


There are some kits available which are designed to give you the tools you need to make your UTV street legal.

NamePriceFeatures
Dragonfire Universal Road Ready Kit$100-Horn
-Hardware
-Wiring
-Mirror
-Lighted license plate mount
Starting Line Products Street Legal Kit$240-Signal Flasher
-Signal indicators
-Horn
-Horn button
-License plate mounting
-Wire
-Fuses
-Fuse Holders
-4 LED lights
-Toggle turn singal switch
Tusk UTV Horn and Signal Kit with Mirrors$170– 2 rear-view mirrors
-turn signal switch
-Horn switch
-Turn signal lights
-Electronic flasher
-Horn
-License Mount
-complete wire harness
What the items in your street legal kit will look like.

These are just a few options for street legal kits. However, there are many more out there.

You also have the option of just simply buying each piece separately. This option is just a simple purchase.

Step 7: Be aware of which roads you can ride on.

Sadly, even when your UTV is street legal, you may not be able to drive on all roads.

Some restrictions often placed on UTV driving is within cities with moderate to a high population or roads with high speed limits.

Simply be aware of where you can and cannot drive.

These seven steps are all important in your process of having a street legal UTV.

The most important part of this process is to communicate with those who know the law and verify your UTV is street legal.

UTV Regulations for each state:

As you probably know by now, the laws are different for each state. Some states are more lenient, while others are very strict.

Northeast States:

StatesRegulations
ME
UTVs can be registered through Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, but cannot be used on the highway.
VTYour UTV has to be registered and have a decal unless operated on private property.
NH Registration is required. If you’re 12 years of age or older, you need to either pass a safety course or have a license. Children under 18 years old have to wear a helmet.
MAIf you’re under 18 years old, you have to complete a safety course. UTVs cannot be operated on highways and a helmet is required.
RIYour UTV has to have a headlamp, taillight, muffler, and red rear reflector.
CTYou can operate your UTV on your own land if you own it, but it has to be registered if you’re going to be using it anywhere else. A registration plate is required, the ATV/UTV must have a muffler, and it cannot be operated on highways.
NYUTVs need to be registered, and registration expires on August 31 each year. Your UTV also has to be covered by insurance unless you’re operating on your own land. You don’t need a license to operate, but if you’re under 16 years old, you have to be adult-supervised, or the UTV has to be operated on your own property.
PARegistration required.
NJYour UTV doesn’t need a license but it does need to be registered. If you are under 18 years of age, you have to enroll in a safety class. You have to be at least 14 years old to operate your UTV and also have insurance.
DERegistration is required; UTVs cannot be operated on public lands or highways and must have permission for private property use.
MDTitle and registration are required.
WVUTVs cannot be operated on the highway. A passenger cannot be under 18 years old if the operator is also under 18. Operators cannot carry a passenger unless allowed by the UTV’s manufacturer.
OH This state requires registration, a headlamp, tail light, brakes, and a muffler.
MIIf you want to use your UTV on public land, you have to have a decal.UTVs cannot be driven on highways.
IN UTVs must be registered.
VAUTVs have to have a title and cannot be operated on the highway. Riders have to be at least 18 years of age and wear a helmet.

Southeast States:

KYUTVs cannot be operated on the highway or public roads. Riders 16 years old and older have to wear a helmet.
NCOperators have to be 16 or older.

SCOperators must be over 6 years of age. All riders must wear eye protection and a helmet. If you’re 16 years of age or under, you can’t carry a passenger, and you have to be accompanied by an adult when operating.
GAUTVs are not to be operated on public lands.
ALUTVs not allowed on highways.
FL If the rider is under 16, they must wear a helmet. UTVs cannot be operated on highways, but they can be used by law enforcement officers.
TNUTVs cannot be driven on highways.
MSThere is no safety legislation on UTV use.

Central States

ND Registration is required, and your UTV must have a headlamp and taillamp, muffler, and the unit cannot be operated on the highway.
SDHelmets are required for operators under 18. UTVs have to have a horn, headlight, brake light and rearview mirror and require license and insurance to operate.
NEThis state requires titling but not registration.
KSUTVs have to be registered, cannot be used on the highway, and have to have lights on it if you want to ride during dark hours. There is no established age limit for riders.
MOUTVs cannot be used on the highway and require a title and registration.
IARegistration is required.
MNUTVs require registration.

Southern States

ARUTVs must be registered. There is a one-time fee for title, registration, and decal.
LARegistration required.
OKThis state only requires a title and registration.
TXUTVs can’t be driven on public roads unless you are a farmer or rancher and not traveling more than 25 miles. If you drive on public roads, you have to have an orange triangle mounted to an 8-inch pole. Your UTV must have brakes, a muffler, and a headlight and tail light.
NMUTVs have to be registered. If you’re under 18, the law requires you wear a helmet. You cannot carry a passenger, even if your UTV is designed for multiple passengers.
AZThis state requires an annual purchase of an Off-Highway Vehicle Decal. For use on highways, the UTV has to be registered as if it were a regular vehicle, including insurance, registration fees, and emissions.

Western States

WAUTVs cannot be operated on the highway.
ORYou need a permit for your ATV if operating it on public land.
CARiders must have a safety helmet and cannot carry a passenger on public lands unless the UTV is designed for more than one passenger.
NVYour UTV doesn’t need to be registered if you’re using it for private land husbandry, but it cannot be used on the highway.
IDOwners have to buy a plate to be used on public lands, but UTVs cannot be on the highway. When on the road, UTV drivers have to carry a license and insurance.
UT A helmet is required for persons under 18. Operators 8-15 years of age have to take a safety course.
MTThis state requires registration and UTVs can be used on some public roads.
WYOperators can only carry as many passengers as there are seats, and must possess a driver’s license to operate in the state park.
CO UTVs must be registered with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. You can renew in March and your registration is good through April of the next year. Registration is required at all times.

Outer States:

HAThere are no UTVs allowed in the Kekaha Game Management Area, or on public roads or highways.
AKUTVs are for off-road use only, and can be registered to prevent theft. They cannot be driven on a highway.

These are the regulations for each state. As you can see, some states hardly have any restrictions while other states require a lot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lJT6TwwA7g

Related Questions:

Can you ride a four-wheeler on a sidewalk? You cannot ride a four wheeler on a sidewalk. The law states that you cannot “drive, operate, tow, push or park any vehicle, piece of equipment or structure of any kind upon any public property not designate for vehicular use.”

Can you make an ATV street legal?You can make an ATV street legal. The requirements are similar to making a UTV street legal. The law varies between states. However, you may have to add things to your ATV like turn signals, brake lights, and other things. You may also need to have a title and registration.

Who made the first ATV? The first ATV was a 3-wheeler. It was designed in 1967 and manufactured in 1968, named the sperry-rand tricart. But, Honda ATC made 3-wheelers a household name and set the path for today’s ATV. In 1970, Honda made their US90 and ATC90.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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