ATV Laws and Regulations

Laws & Regulations

All riders in North Dakota who are under the age of 17 and over the age of 12 are REQUIRED to complete an approved ATV Safety Course, and carry the North Dakota ATV Safety Certificate with them while riding on public lands.

Other age restrictions in North Dakota

Any person under the age of 16 who does not possess a valid driver's license or OHV safety certificate is not permitted to operate an ATV, except on land owned by the person's parent or guardian.

Any person at least 12 years of age may operate an ATV upon completion of an OHV safety training course approved by the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department and upon receipt of an OHV safety certificate. The certificate must be carried with the rider at all times and shown to an enforcement officer upon request.

ATV Safety Gear Requirements

The North Dakota Department of Parks and Recreation 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!

It is mandatory that all operators and passengers under the age of 18 to wear a U.S. DOT-approved helmet.

Ride Safe and Legal!

Before heading out on North Dakota'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 North Dakota, please consult with the North Dakota Department of Parks and Recreation at