New York State ATV Law Summary
(last update February 2007)
ATV by definition
An all-terrain vehicle is any self-propelled vehicle with two or more wheels that is manufactured for sale to be used primarily off-highway or in off-road competitions, and that is no wider than 70 inches and weighs no more than 1,000 pounds. This does not include vehicles manufactured for off-highway use and designed exclusively for travel on snow or ice, and supported by one or more skis, belts or cleats that utilize and endless belt tread. Those vehicles, which include snowmobiles, are subject to other laws and regulations.
An ATV must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if it is operated anywhere in New York State, including on the owner’s property. The exception is that ATVs used only for agricultural purposes, or for snow plowing (except for-hire plowing), are exempt from the registration requirement. To register an ATV at a motor vehicle issuing office, complete a Vehicle Registration Application (MV-82). You must also provide proofs of ownership, sales tax payment or exemption, your identity and your date of birth. You must also pay a registration fee.
You may not operate any ATV anywhere in New York State, except on your own property, unless it is covered by liability insurance. Minimum required coverage is $50,000/$100,000 for death, $25,000/$50,000 for injury and $10,000 for property damage in any one accident. You must show proof of this insurance upon the request of a judge, the police or a person claiming to have suffered injury or property damage from your operation of the ATV.
If you are 10 through 15 years of age, you may operate an ATV only under adult supervision; or, without adult supervision on lands owned or leased by your parent or guardian; or, on any lands where ATV use is permitted, without adult supervision, if you have completed an ATV safety-training course approved by the DMV. You should carry your ATV Safety Course Certificate (MV-676) when operating your ATV.
If you are under age 10, you may operate an ATV only under adult supervision; or, without adult supervision, only on lands owned or leased by your parent or guardian.
NOTE: Adult Supervision means being accompanied by a person at least 18 years of age, or a person 16 or 17 years of age who holds an ATV Safety Course Certificate (MV-676) from an approved safety course provider.
ATV safety training courses approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles are available throughout the state. Call 1-800-887-2887 to enroll. ATV safety information is also available on the internet at http://www.nyatvsafety.net LIRTC has developed its own safety course which is awaiting NYS approval.
Whether you are the operator or passenger, you must wear a USDOT-approved helmet when riding an ATV. DMV recommends you also wear a face shield or goggles, and protective clothes and footwear.
In Suffolk and Nassau Counties it is only legal to ride your ATV on land that you own, or on land where the owner has given you written permission. You must carry this written permission with you, every time you ride. You must also carry an up to date registration and proof of insurance. All riding on public property is now illegal in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. See the local laws section on this site for additional rule and regulations.
(last update April 2012)
Equipment Required for Motorcycles DMV Form MV-529B, plain English of above Article 9/Sec. 391.
NYS DMV – ATV Registration Publication C-29 (explaination of Article 48-B and 48-C)
Registration of All Terrain Vehicles Article 48-B of NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law.
Rules for Operation of All Terrain Vehicles Article 48-C of NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law.
NYS DMV Forms – Offical DMV forms page