The Polaris RZR is a popular UTV and it is no wonder why people want to make it street legal. How cool would that be? In order to make it street legal, you have to do a few things first. Let’s dive in.
The Polaris RZR is street legal in some places and not in others. Many states give a green light to driving on the road with this UTV. There are certain things that need to be modified on an RZR for it to be street legal, including all safety lights, side-view and rearview mirrors, front windshield, etc. Registration is needed as well.
The requirements vary from state to state. About half of the 50 states allow street legal UTVs. I highly recommend researching a little about your state and what is legal. This article hopes to give you a quick overview of the general things so you can understand what to expect and help you make a decision to put in the effort or not.
What States Allow Street Legal RZRs?
Some states do allow you to drive a UTV on the road. There are many different clauses and rules that apply. It generally has to function as a car does on the road. I decided to make a list of the states that do allow it with a couple of notes. Some of these laws are ATV laws but I assume that UTV laws would not be far off. If you cannot find your state on here, that means it is not street legal in your state. I compiled this from a comprehensive list of laws for each state. I have provided the link for you to look for yourself if you so desire.
|Hawaii||Allowed if used as farm equipment.|
|Idaho||Statewide licensing. Idaho has an out of state program.|
|Indiana||Has to be grandfathered in.|
|Iowa||No statewide system set in place. Different counties have exceptions.|
|Kansas||Only for ice fishing.|
|Massachusetts||If under 18, must take a recreation vehicle safety course. Headlights, red rear lights, red rear reflector, and muffler are required. Other small laws apply.|
|Missouri||Title required. Registration required. Need a certificate of ownership.|
|Montana||The vehicle has to be registered and licensed. Must have headlights and tail lights.|
|New Jersey||Must be registered. Required to be renewed yearly.|
|New Mexico||Depends on the county. It is different from one to another.|
|North Carolina||No notes.|
|Oklahoma||Limited. No statewide licensing. It depends on the county.|
|South Dakota||Statewide licensing.|
|Tennessee||Depends on the area.|
|Utah||Statewide Licensing. Cannot be operated in Salt Lake City nor on I-15 and I-70.|
|Washington||It depends on the county.|
|Wisconsin||Only for agricultural purposes.|
As you can see, some places allow it and others do not. Many states require some modifications to make it street legal and others only allow use on a road or highway if used for farming and agricultural reasons. Many states give the power to counties and cities to decide what they want. I highly recommend checking the link I provided above to learn more about the state you live in.
What Do I Need to Make My Polaris RZR Street Legal?
- Safety Lights
- Install Mirrors
- Front Windshield
- Install Bumpers & Horn
UTVs actually have most of the things you need to make them street legal. It comes with seatbelts, headlights, taillights, brake lights, and a muffler. There are some things that they are lacking and it depends on the state. I want to give you a general idea of how to be legal and safe when you hit the paved road.
A couple of things that will be needed to make yourself more legal and safe is tires rearview mirrors. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s put these into sections.
Fortunately, UTVs come with many things they need to be street legal.
All Safety Lights Must Meet Requirements
Fortunately, these are already in your RZR. You just have to make sure they are up to snuff with regulations. It may require you to buy new, more powerful lights in place of the ones you have. Your headlights must be able to illuminate 500 feet in front of you. Because of the speed, you will be going at, you need as good of headlights as you can get.
Taillights need to be able to be seen from 500 feet away behind you. This is crucial. Get some bright and powerful ones. You can buy US Department of Transportation (DOT) approved lights to make it easier for yourself.
Your UTV must have brake lights that are bright enough. Turn signals are also required. Make sure all of these things are in good condition and powerful enough. Police will pull you over for insufficient safety lights.
I think this is the one that I forget about the most. You need to have side-view mirrors on your RZR to make it street legal according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). You must have either a side-view mirror on the passenger’s side or have a rearview mirror in addition to your driver’s side-view mirror. I say just get both. It makes you safer and less prone to accidents. These rules can vary depending on your state. But for the most part, you should have all three mirrors.
Put a Windshield in the Front
Putting a windshield on your RZR is crucial for it to be legal because not only does DOT require it, but so does NHTSA. They have set up rules according to the American National Standard Institute (ANSI). It is required by three different organizations. It has to be a full windshield. I know many people get half windshields before they decide to make it street legal and then they have to change it.
Related Reading: Picking a UTV Windshield: Full, Half, Hybrid? What’s Best?
Change Your Tires
The tires on a UTV are offroading tires and they may not meet the standards for DOT. Fortunately, you can buy street tires that are DOT approved online. I do not think that this is as big of a deal. I do not know many people that get in trouble for not changing them. So do what you will with that.
Install Bumpers, Horn, etc.
What is a bigger deal than tires is the bumpers and the horn. You have to have a horn in case you have to warn someone. It is a form of communication in a vehicle. Bumpers are meant for your protection. Make sure you find out what is required for a bumper. Honestly, if you just have both of those things, then you will be fine. There may be other small things that are required form state to state. Check your state to see if there is anything.
I have written other articles about UTV insurance. Some states call for insurance and many state parks require it as well. You may have to do this before you register your UTV for road use. If you are interested in learning about UTV insurance, click the link that I have provided. I have another article that goes in-depth into different insurance companies and what they offer for UTV insurance. Check that out to get a better idea.
Register the Vehicle
In order to drive on the road, your UTV must be registered. Most states require this if you are operating a vehicle on a public road. This does not mean having a title. It means getting the “OK” from the state to operate this vehicle on the roadway. Once you do that. You will get a new license plate.
License Plate Mounted
Once you get your license plate. You will need to have bought a license plate mount for the front and back of your UTV. It is just like a car.
Title of Ownership
Some states require you to have the title of ownership on hand. This is more important if you are pulled over. It is not required in all places.
Bonus: Fire Extinguisher
I do not think that this is required in any state but I think it is a good safety precaution. Get a fire extinguisher in case of a fire. In a car wreck, this could happen and you can help to stop it before it becomes too much of a problem. That is my suggestion. Remember it is not a legal thing.
Are There State-Specific Requirements for Making an RZR Street Legal?
- In Florida, you only need one mirror on your UTV.
- You can have a street-legal UTV in Utah on any roads expect I-15, I-70, Salt Lake City.
- Arizona requires a horn that can be heard from 250 feet away.
- Many different states like Nevada and Washington have stated that UTVs can only be driven on roads with speed limits of 45 mph or less.
- In Tennessee, UTVs can only be driven on roads at 35 mph.
- Michigan requires windshield wipers and washer.
Visit Our UTV Laws Page for More Great Content!
Need More Guidance?
The video below goes through how to make your Polaris RZR side-by-side street legal.