New state OHV laws go into effect Jan. 1

Share or Bookmark:
| More
January 5th, 2009

New state OHV laws go into effect Jan. 1

Off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts are reminded that new laws affecting OHV use in Arizona go into effect Jan. 1, 2009. Here are some important facts that you need to know:

  • Effective Jan. 1, 2009, you must annually purchase an off-highway vehicle decal (OHV Decal) for any off-highway vehicle you have that is designed by the manufacturer primarily for off-highway use AND weighs 1,800 pounds or less, in order to operate it in Arizona. This includes most all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), side-by-sides (utility vehicles), dirt bikes and some sand rails. The OHV Decal must be affixed to your OHV’s license plate.
  • All OHVs must have an Arizona Certificate of Title and license plate prior to purchasing the OHV Decal. If the vehicle is not titled you will need to visit an Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) office or authorized third-party provider to obtain an Arizona Certificate of Title. If your vehicle is already titled and has a license plate, you can obtain the OHV Decal online at beginning January 1, 2009. If you don’t ride regularly, by law you must have a title for your vehicle by July 1, 2009. For more information go online to
  • The OHV Decal can be purchased after Jan. 1, 2009 at or after Jan. 2, 2009 by visiting MVD offices or authorized third-party providers during normal business hours. The decal is not available through the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The cost of the OHV Decal is $25. Revenues generated from the OHV Decal will help better manage Arizona’s rapidly growing OHV use, protect natural resources, and ensure sustainable OHV opportunities.
  • The OHV Decal is an annual user fee that is not the same as “registration.” Registration refers to the process that is required if you want to legally ride your off-highway vehicle on improved and maintained roads and streets.
  • Travel is limited to roads, trails and areas open by the land management agency for motorized vehicle use. Travel that causes damage to cultural or natural resources, or property or improvements, is prohibited.
  • OHVs must have a muffler or noise dissipative device to limit sound to less than 96 decibels.
  • Anyone under the age of 18 will be required to wear a properly fitted and fastened U.S. Department of Transportation approved helmet when riding any OHV.

For information on safe and responsible use, visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department at

For information on the OHV Decal, titling or registration, visit the Motor Vehicle Division at

For information on where to ride in Arizona, visit the Arizona State Parks at

For information on recreating on state land, visit the Arizona State Land Department at

7 Responses to “New state OHV laws go into effect Jan. 1”

  1. Do I need a OHV decal if I am from of out of state?

  2. Ron,

    It depends which state you are from. If your home state licenses/registers/decals OHVs, and as long as you display your home state plate/sticker/decal you are legal in Arizona.

    If your state does not do anything with OHVs then Motor Vehicle Divison or MVD would require that you get an Arizona Title and plate and the OHV Decal.

    Thanks for the question and feel free to contact me if you have any others.


    Jim Harken

  3. I am a Canadian snow bird and have a canadian atv. It is not required to have plates or registration in Canada. How do I register a canadian atv for plates and a sticker in AZ?

  4. Bill Anderson on March 2nd, 2009 at 2:58 am

    I have atv’s from out of state how do I get a decal for arizona without a license plate.

  5. I have a 2004 honda Crf 250r do i need to get a ohv sticker i live in state and ride regularly. Also can i just get the sticker and mount it by the vin number sitcker on the frame. I do no want to and will not drill holes in my bike to mount a license plate

  6. What are the requirements for me to make my ATV street legal? Thank you, Luigi Iamele.

  7. Luigi,

    You asked this question on the AZGFD Blog: “What are the requirements for me to make my ATV street legal?”

    Answer: To make you ATV Street legal you need to do a few things.

    For equipment you’ll need these items:

    What equipment is required to operate my OHV in Arizona?

    · For those under 18, a properly fitted and fastened U.S. DOT-approved helmet.

    · Brakes.

    · Lighted head and taillights if operated between one half-hour after sunset and one half-hour before sunrise.

    · A muffler or noise dissipative device that prevents sound above 96 decibels.

    · A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-approved spark arrestor device.

    · Eye Protection for operators of vehicles not equipped with a windshield.

    · License plate securely fastened to the rear of the OHV and clearly visible.

    · Rearview mirror.

    · Brake light and at least one red rear reflector (if taillight does not reflect).

    · Seat and footrests for the operator and passenger if vehicle is designed to carry a passenger.

    · Sand dunes and certain areas designated by a land managing agency may require a safety flag. The flag shall be at least 6 by 12 inches and attached to the OHV and flying at least 8 feet above the surface of the level ground.

    To street legal your OHV you will also need:

    · License plate light.

    · Horn audible from a distance of at least 200 feet.

    · Proper insurance.

    · Emissions: Certain areas may also require you to have your OHV emissions tested.

    Once the equipment requirements are met, you’ll need to get registration for your OHV. That would be an “MC” plate from motor vehicle (MVD). That can be done at any MVD office, MVD third party service provider.

    If your vehicle meets the requirements you’ll also need to obtain the OHV Decal. It is available at any MVD office, MVD third party service provider or online at

    Further questions can be answered on our Web site at Click on “got decal” and all your questions can be answered there. If you still have questions call me at the number listed below.

    Thanks for your questions and we hope we’ve helped you!


    Jim Harken

Leave a Reply