Laws & Regulations

All riders in New Mexico who are under the age of 18 are REQUIRED to complete an approved ATV Safety Course, and carry the New Mexico OHV Safety Certificate with them while riding on public lands.

Other age restrictions in New Mexico

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

  • They must wear a securely fastened helmet that meets DOT approval;
  • They must wear goggles or safety glasses;
  • They may NEVER carry a passenger (even on ATVs designed for passenger use);
  • They MUST be under direct supervision of a responsible adult unless:
    • They are at least 13 years old and have a valid motorcycle license
    • They are at least 15 years old and have a valid driver's license

ATV Safety Gear Requirements

The New Mexico Game & Fish 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 New Mexico ATV Laws and Regulations, ALL ATV and OHV riders under the age of 18 are REQUIRED to wear an approved, securely fastened helmet, as well as approved eye protection.

Ride Safe and Legal!

Before heading out on New Mexico'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.

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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 New Mexico, please consult with the New Mexico Game & Fish at