ATV Laws and Regulations

Laws & Regulations

All riders in Montana who are under the age of 16 and over the age of 11 are REQUIRED to complete an approved ATV Safety Course, and carry the Montana ATV Safety Certificate with them while riding on public roads open to full size vehicles.


In order to operate on designated roads, OHVs must be street legal (licensed). These vehicles must also be equipped with all the required "street-legal" gear, including headlights, brake lights, a working muffler, etc. Please consult state regulations for required equipment.

In order to ride on public lands in Montana, all OHVs must be registered with the state and display a current registration decal.

ATV Safety Gear Requirements

Montana State Parks, a division of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks 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! All riders under the age of 18 are required by state law to wear a helmet.

Ride Safe and Legal!

Before heading out on Montana'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 Montana, please consult with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks at