ATV Laws and Regulations

Laws & Regulations

All riders in Minnesota who were born after July 1st, 1987 REQUIRED to complete an approved ATV Safety Course, and carry the Minnesota ATV Safety Certificate with them while riding on public lands.

Other age restrictions in Minnesota

In addition to the required ATV safety certificate, all riders who are under 18 and who are riding on public lands must follow these restrictions:

  • Children under the age of 10 may ONLY operate a CLASS 1 ATV on private property with the landowner's consent.
  • Children ages 10 and 11 can operate a CLASS 1 ATV on private property with the permission of the landowner. They can also operate on public lands and frozen water of the state ONLY if the ATV has an engine of 90cc or less AND they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Children aged 12-15 must follow these restrictions:
    • Those under the age of 15 may NOT operate any CLASS 2 ATV.
    • Must carry an ATV Safety Certificate that is approved and recognized by the State.
    • May operate on public lands and frozen waters of the state ONLY if accompanied by an adult 18 or older who is on a separate ATV and who holds a valid driver's license.
  • Children 16 and 17 must follow these restrictions:
    • Must carry an ATV Safety Certificate that is approved and recognized by the State in order to operate on public lands.
    • Must have a valid driver's license when crossing a roadway or operating on road rights-of-way.

ATV Safety Gear Requirements

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources strongly encourages ALL ATV riders to wear a proper helmet, eye protection, gloves and over-the-ankle boots when riding any ATV. A helmet is the single most important piece of safety equipment you can have, and wearing one while riding can save your life!

According to the Minnesota ATV Laws and Regulations, ALL ATV and OHV riders under the age of 18 are REQUIRED to wear an approved, securely fastened helmet at all times when riding. All helmets must meet the Department of Transportation standards and display DOT approval. Helmets that are not DOT-approved are not appropriate headgear for ATV riding.

Ride Safe and Legal!

Before heading out on Minnesota's ATV and OHV trails, please remember the following tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride:

  • Always wear appropriate safety gear when riding.
  • Ensure your ATV is properly registered in the state.
  • Always stay on designated trails. Stay off paved roads.
  • Obtain the landowner's permission before going onto private land.
  • Know before you go - contact the landowner or land management agency to find out about open ATV trails or routes.
  • Never, ever ride an ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Important Note

The laws and regulations on this page are meant as a quick reference for ATV riders. It is your responsibility to know ALL ATV laws before heading out on the trails. For a complete list of ATV laws and regulations in Minnesota, please consult with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at www.dnr.state.mn.us.