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Frequently Asked Questions

All Terrain Vehicle-Defined

 

 
Q: What is the difference between an ATV, OHV, and a UTV?
A: ATV=“All-Terrain Vehicle”; OHV = “Off-Highway Vehicle”; UTV = “Utility Vehicle.”

Oregon law defines all motorized off-road vehicles, other than snowmobiles, as “All-terrain Vehicles.” These are divided into four classes.
 
Q: What are the different classes of ATV?
A: There are four types, or “Classes” of ATV. Class I, II, III, and IV.
 
Q: What is a Class I ATV?
A: Class I ATV, as defined in ORS 801.190 is a motorized, off-highway recreational vehicle 50 inches or less in width with a dry weight of 1,200 pounds or less that travels on three or more low pressure tires, uses handlebars for steering, has a  seat designed to be straddled by the operator, Travels on three or more pneumatic tires that are six inches or more in width and has wheels with a rim diameter 14” or less, and is designed for or capable of cross-country travel on or immediately over land, water, sand, snow, ice, marsh, swampland or other natural terrain.

Most riders refer to a Class I All-Terrain Vehicle as an ATV or quad.
 
Q: What is a Class II ATV?
A: Class II ATV, as defined in ORS 801.193 means any motor vehicle that weighs more than or is wider than a Class I all-terrain vehicle, is not a Class IV all-terrain vehicle; Is designed for or capable of cross-country travel on or immediately over land, water, sand, snow, ice, marsh, swampland or other natural terrain; and is actually being operated off a highway or is being operated on a highway for agricultural purposes under ORS 821.191.

Most riders refer to a Class II ATV as a Truck or Jeep (SUV), Dune Buggy, or Sand Rail. 
 
Q: What is a Class III ATV?
A: Class III ATV, as defined in ORS 801.194 is an off-highway motorcycle that travels on two tires.
 
Q: What is a Class IV ATV?
A: Class IV ATV, as defined in ORS 801.194 is any motorized vehicle that travels on four or more pneumatic tires that are six inches or more in width and that are designed for use on wheels with a rim diameter of 14 inches or less; Is designed for or capable of cross-country travel on or immediately over land, water, sand, snow, ice, marsh, swampland or other natural terrain; Has nonstraddle seating; Has a steering wheel for steering controls; Has a dry weight of 1,800 pounds or less; and is 65 inches wide or less at its widest point.

Most riders refer to a Class IV All-Terrain Vehicle as a Side-by-side.
 

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Riding Areas

 
Q: Can I ride my ATV on paved streets or roads?
A: Paved roads and two-lane gravel roads are generally closed to non-street legal OHVs unless posted open. Gravel roads, one and one-half lane wide or less, are generally open to OHVs. On Forest Service lands, all roads are closed unless posted open (as shown on their specific Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). You cannot turn at a crossroads and drive down a road closed to OHV use. Contact the local land manager for specific regulations.

If your Class II or III ATV is not street-legal (Class I and Class IV ATVs cannot be made street legal in Oregon), you can only ride on a regular road when you have to cross the road to reach a designated OHV area. Even then, you must move directly across the road (perpendicular to the flow of traffic) after stopping.
 
Q: Where can I find a map of designated ATV areas?
A: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department developed the Oregon OHV Guide, which  contains a map and listing of the designated ATV areas within Oregon.  Specific trail maps may be available for areas you are interesting in riding.  OPRD does not have maps of these areas, but the local land manager may.  Please contact the land manager in charge of the area.  This would include the U.S. Bureau of Land ManagementU.S. Forest ServiceOregon Department of Forestry, and county sites. 

We have a regional interactive map of riding areas on this website.
 
Q: I’m disabled. I’ve heard that persons with Disabilities can access parts of Oregon’s Ocean Shores with an ATV. How do I get a permit?
A: Ocean Shore ATV Operating Permits are issued by OPRD. Disabled individuals may qualify for a permit to operate a quad (Class I ATV) or side-by-side (Class IV ATV) on certain ocean shore areas.
 
For more information, please contact (541) 563-8504 for the north coast (Clatsop-Tillamook-Lincoln Counties), and (541) 888-9324 Ext 227, for the south coast (Lane-Douglas-Coos-Curry Counties).

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Operating Permits

Q: Where can I purchase an operating permit?
A: 1) Any Oregon Parks & Recreation Department Area office and selected parks. 2) At any one of the many permit agents located throughout the state in stores and ATV dealerships, or 3) You can also purchase the permit over the phone, with Visa or MasterCard, by calling 1-800-551-6949. Hours are 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Please have the following information ready when calling:
  • Make
  • Model
  • Class Type (ATV, Motorcycle, 4x4, Side-by-side)
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Name of owner
  • Address (house number & street)
  • Mailing address if different from above, and city, state, zip code
 
 
Q: How much is a permit?
A: The price for a Class I, II, III, or IV permit is $10 to $10.50, depending on where the permit is purchased. All OPRD offices charge $10.
 
Q: How long is the permit valid?
A: All permits, Class I, II, III, and IV are valid for 2 years from the date of issue.
 
Q: What if I don't have a credit card?
A: You may purchase your permit by mail. Please include the same information as required for phone requests:
  • Make
  • Model
  • Class Type (ATV, Motorcycle, 4x4, Side-by-side) 
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Name of owner
  • Address (house number & street)
  • Mailing address if different from above, and city, state, zip code
Enclose the $10 fee. Make check or money order payable to OPRD, and mail to: OPRD ATV PERMIT, 725 Summer St. NE, Suite C, Salem, OR 97301.
 
Q: What information do I need to provide to get a permit?
A: The same information that must be provided to purchase a permit by mail (see above). A title or other proof of ownership is not required to purchase an operating permit. Just provide your VIN (vehicle identification number).
 
Q: What if my vehicle doesn't have a VIN (vehicle identification number)?
A: Most factory made motorcycles, quads, and vehicles do. If it doesn’t, you may use a serial number from the vehicle, usually located on the motor. Or you may use a description of the vehicle; color and number of seats, etc.
 
Q: Do I need a title for my vehicle?
A: No, it is not required to have a title for an ATV. It is recommended that all ATVs are "optionally" titled through DMV for theft and ownership purposes.
 
Q: I lost my permit. Can it be replaced?
A: Permits will be replaced for the full fee. A new permit must be issued.
 
Q: What's the difference between an operating permit and an operator permit?
A: The ATV operating permit is the $10.00 sticker that is placed on the ATV itself and is renewed every other year, the fees from which fund the State's ATV programs. An operator permit refers to the ATV Safety Education Card showing completion of training. (see Safety Training section below).
 
Q: I am from out of state, is my home state permit valid in Oregon?
A: An ATV/OHV operating permit that is issued in another state shall be honored in the State of Oregon if the issuing state also honors an Oregon ATV operating permit.  This arrangement is Reciprocity. 

The ATV must have a resident state ATV/OHV operating permit or a State of Oregon ATV operating permit to operate the ATV on designated Oregon ATV areas.  A State of Oregon ATV operating permit may be issued for all terrain vehicles owned by a resident of another state that does not have a permitting program.    For a list of states that have reciprocity with Oregon, please visit the ATV Permit Page
 
Q: What is the penalty for operating without a permit (decal) in designated areas?
A: A person who operates an off road vehicle in a designated off road area or trail without a permit is subject to a Class C traffic violation. 
 
Q: I'm interested in being a permit agent. Where do I get more information?
A: Contact Jon Moll at Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. 
 
2014 ATV Permit Agent Manual [1.32 MB] Requires Adobe Acrobat 
 

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Safety Training

Q: What kind of safety training is available?
A: There are two types of training;  On-line and Hands-on.
 
Q: What safety training, if any, is required?
A: If a rider is 16 years old or over and rides a Class I quad or a Class III off-road motorcycle, an OPRD approved on-line ATV safety course is the only training requirement.
   
Click here to find OPRD approved on-line safety courses. 
 
Q: Who is required to have this on-line safety training?
A: All operators (Oregonians and non-residents alike) of Class I and III ATVs must receive the training.  An ATV Safety Education Card will be sent upon completion of the course at no cost to you.
 
Q: Who are the OPRD Approved on-line course providers?
A: To obtain your card, you can choose from three online options; one Free option and two Paid options.

 

1. Go to www.rideatvoregon.org for the FREE Oregon Parks and Recreation ATV Safety Education Course.

This course is step 1 of 2 for youth under 16 who must also attend a hands-on course.



 

2. Fresh Air Educators, Inc., Ontario Canada www.ATVcourse.com/usa/oregon adds professional narration, animation and video.


3. Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc., Dallas TX www.offroad-ed.com/oregon/ adds professional narration, animation and video.

 

This course is step 1 of 2 for youth under 16 who must also attend a hands-on course



Q: What if the rider is under 16 (15 and younger)?
A: That rider will need to complete both the on-line course and a hands-on training or evaluation course. When the youth finishes the on-line course a temporary 180-day instructional permit can be printed out allowing plenty of time to practice skills and to find a hands-on course.
 
Q: What is the difference between “hands-on training” and “hands-on evaluation”?
A: Training assumes the rider has no previous experience and teaches all aspect of the machine and how it’s handled. Evaluation assumes the rider has been trained already by someone and that the rider can demonstrate their proficiency in a shorter course. If you’re not sure which one is best suited for your child, choose a training course to be safe.
 
Q: Do both courses work for getting the ATV Safety Education Card?
A: Yes, OPRD approved “training” and “evaluation” courses meet Oregon’s minimum standards for training. Temporary ATV Safety Education Cards are issued at the completion of the course and a permanent card will be received in the mail shortly after.
 
Click here to find a hands-on training or evaluation course. 
 
Q: Who is exempt from safety training?
A: Riders are exempt if using an ATV for farming, agriculture, forestry, nursery, Christmas tree growing operations, or riding on private land. Class II vehicles are exempt because a driver’s license is required to operate.
 
Q: I lost my ATV Safety Education Card. How do I obtain a replacement?
A: Call 877-772-3359. Replacement cards cost $8.00.
 
Q: If I or my child has already completed a hands-on course through the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) or a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), will we still need to complete the on-line ATV safety course according to the phase in schedule?
A: Yes. The Oregon online ATV safety course will provide you and your children with Oregon-specific rider safety information.  This course provides safety tips for riding in Oregon's dunes, desert and forests as well as training on trail etiquette, riding ethics and environmental concerns.
 
Q: My child completed an ASI or an MSF course previously. Do they need to be trained or evaluated again?
A: No, previous training is good forever. You will want to get that training date endorsed to your child’s Safety Education Card. This is free and can be done by calling 877-772-3359, or click here to download a form to send us with a copy of your proof of training.
 
Q: My child rides both quads and motorcycles. Do they need to find hands-on courses for both?
A: Yes. The skills required to operate a quad are very different than those needed to operate a motorcycle.


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Riding Requirements

 
Q: Can I still ride a Class I, II, III or IV ATV on public lands if my Oregon driver’s license is suspended?
A: No. Having a suspended driver’s license also suspends you from operating any class of ATV on public lands in Oregon.
 
Q: Can I ride two-up (double) on my ATV or off-road motorcycle?
A: There are no ATV-specific laws about passengers other than making sure they have a seat and a floor pan or foot pegs OAR 735-116-0000. However there is a motor vehicle law that says the passenger cannot be in the operator’s lap or embrace ORS 811.190 “Driver Operations With Obstructing Passenger”. This is a Class D traffic violation. 
  
  
 
ATV Safety Education Card 
 
Q: What is the minimum age to operate an ATV, Motorcycle, or Side-by-side in Oregon?
A: There is no minimum age for riding a Class I ATV in Oregon. The minimum age for motorcycle riders is seven years old. Youth under 16 operating a Class IV ATV must meet the manufacturer's minimum age recommendation.
 
Q: Who is required to have a ATV Safety Education Card?
A: All Class I and III riders must have an ATV Safety Education Card
 
Q: I’m from another state or country and wish to ride an ATV or motorcycle in Oregon. Do I need to take the online ATV safety education course and carry an Oregon ATV Safety Education Card?
A: Yes, all non-residents riding in Oregon are required to take the online ATV Safety Course and carry an ATV Safety Education Card. They are exempt if they possess a card issued by another state or country.
 
Q: I don’t like to carry my wallet when I ride. Must I carry my ATV Safety Education Card on my person?
A: No. The law only requires that you must possess the card. That means that the card could be in a zip lock next to the battery. Having the card at home or back in your car is not “possessing” the card from a law enforcement point of view. 


Q: What requirements are there for youth operating Class IV ATVs?
A: Youth under 16 operating a Class IV ATV will need to obtain an operator permit (ATV Safety Education Card). 

 
Q: My child has already taken OPRD’s on-line Safety Course and the ASI hands-on RiderCourseSM, will they need to get retrained in 2012?
A: No. Those who have already received hands-on training via ASI or MSF and have completed the on-line safety training (above) have already met this requirement and can get a new, endorsed, ATV Safety Education Card at no cost now! Just send us a copy of the card provided by the hands-on instructor with an application and we’ll do the rest.
 
**Click here for the “Training Endorsement Request” form 
**To save information typed into this form, you must have Adobe Reader version 8.0, which is available for free from the link at the bottom of this site. 
  
  
 
Rider Fit 
 
Q: Why is there a need for youth rider fit requirements?
A: Special fit requirements have been created because of the large number of crashes involving riders under age 16. Crash research clearly identifies that riding too-large adult-sized quads is a significant injury and fatality risk. Rider fit requirements help parents and law enforcement officers measure a “proper fit” between youth and the quad they are operating.
 
Q: What are the rider-fit requirements?
A: A Class I operator (quad rider), under the age of 16, must meet all the following minimum physical size requirements (Rider Fit) in relationship to the vehicle:
1.  Brake Reach: With hands placed in the normal operating position and fingers straight out, the first joint (from the tip) of the middle finger will extend beyond the brake lever and clutch.
2.  Leg Length: While sitting and with their feet on the pegs, the knee must be bent at least 45 degrees.
3.  Grip Reach: While sitting upright on the quad with hands on the handle bars and not leaning forward, there must be a distinct angle between the upper arm and the forearm, and;
4.  The rider must be able to turn the handle bars from lock to lock while maintaining grip on the handle bars and maintaining throttle and brake control.
5.  Disabled riders are allowed to use prosthetic devices or modified or adaptive equipment to achieve rider fit.
 
Q: Are there similar rider fit requirements for youth riding Class III All-Terrain Vehicles (motorcycles)?
A: No. This requirement was not a part of Senate Bill 101.
 
Q: Can my 12-year-old child go to the American Safety Institute (ASI) training course on his 250 cc quad?
A: No. ASI has their own rules for matching the age of the rider to the ATV. 
  
  
 
Helmet requirements 
 
Q: Who must wear a helmet?
A: All riders any class ATV under the age of 18.
 
Q: Are there any exceptions to youth wearing a helmet?
A: Yes. A helmet does not need to be worn if the youth is riding in a street-legal Class II vehicle registered in Oregon.
 
Q: What kind of helmet must be worn?
A: DOT (or Snell) approved motorcycle helmet with the chin strap fastened. 
  
  
  
 
Youth Supervision  
 
Q: Who must be supervised?
A: All youth under 16 operating Class I, III, or IV ATVs on public lands must be supervised.
 
Q: How old must a “Supervisor” be?
A: Supervisors of youth on ATVs must be 18 or over.
 
Q: The law states that the supervising adult must have a valid ATV Safety Education Card. Am I supposed to go through on-line ATV training before I can ride with my child?
A: Yes. All youth under age 16 operating a Class I or Class III ATV on public lands must be supervised by an adult who is at least 18 years old and holds a valid ATV Safety Education Card. As a result, any adult supervising a youth under age 16 must also complete the on-line safety training course starting on January 1, 2009.
 
Q: The law says that the supervising adult must be able to provide immediate assistance and direction. What does that mean?
A: The youth being supervised must be able to hear and see the supervising adult. The adult needs to be capable of providing assistance to the youth without delay.
 
Q: How will a law enforcement officer handle an unsupervised youth?
A: Based on the youth operator’s age, an officer may choose to cite the youth under ORS 821-170 (or 821.172) “Operation of Class I (or Class III) all-terrain vehicle without driving privileges” or write a traffic citation against the responsible adult under ORS 821.291 (or 821.292) “Endangering a Class I (or Class III) All-Terrain Vehicle Operator”. All are Class C traffic violations.

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Equipment Requirements

What are the general equipment requirements in Oregon?
 
In general, to ride an ATV outside of private property in Oregon you would need:
  • A valid Operating Permit (ATV Sticker) from Oregon or a state with whom we have a reciprocal agreement.
  • Mufflers in Oregon must be maintained at 99 decibels. Lower levels are required at Sand Lake (97 dB) and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (93 dB).
  • Lights must be used in limited visibility, such as before sunrise, after sunset, or when you cannot see clearly ahead for 100 feet.
  • Red flags displayed nine feet above ground are required when riding on sand (Sand Lake, Oregon Dunes, Christmas Valley, etc.)
  • Working brakes are required.
  • Windshield wipers are required on any vehicle equipped with a windshield.
  • Follow the Standards for Off Road Vehicles
  • Class I, III, and IV all terrain vehicles are exempt from insurance requirements when operated off road.
  • Check with the land manager in the areas you plan to ride on. They may also have additional requirements.

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Miscellaneous

 
Q: Where can I go to get training for my Side-by-Side UTV?
A: The ATV Safety Institute recently began letting side-by-side owners enter into their Class I RiderCourseSM
 
Q: What if I have additional questions about the online course or other ATV safety requirements?
A: Either email your question to atv.info@state.or.us or call our toll free number: 1-877-7SAFELY (877-772-3359).
 
Q: Do I need insurance to ride an ATV in Oregon?
A: While insurance is always a good idea, it’s only required for Class II ATVs.
 
Q: Can I still get a title, or transfer a title on my ATV?
A: Yes, please contact Driver and Motor Vehicle Services online or call (503) 945-5000, or contact the local DMV field office in your area. It is optional, but no longer mandatory, to title a Class I ATV. It is highly recommended to have your class I or class III ATV "optionally" titled through DMV.

Q: Where do I get a permit for my snowmobile?
A: OPRD does not issue permits for snowmobiles. Snowmobile permits are issued through DMV. Please contact the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services.  Their phone number is (503) 945-5000.

Q: Where can I find Oregon laws governing ATVs?
A: Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) Chapters 821815811806801, and 390, along with Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) 736 and 735 covers nearly all the state law pertaining to ATVs.
 
Q: Can my quad or side-by-side become street legal?
A: A quad or side-by-side cannot become street legal under current Oregon law. These vehicles were never intended for on road use. The engine emissions do not meet federal highway emission standards, do not have the proper equipment and cannot be retrofitted with equipment to become street legal.
 
Q: Can Class III ATVs (motorcycles) become street legal with an added dual sport kit?
A: If your Class III ATV was manufactured for off-road use, the engine emissions were never tested to meet federal highway emission standards. Manufacturer documents stating the vehicle meets federal emission standards are needed to become street legal. Factory made dual sports are tested for emission levels and are approved for roads with manufacturer documentation. The dual sport also needs DOT approved tires, signals, mirrors, and other equipment to be street legal.
 
Q: Where can I get my OHV sound-tested to make sure it meets the sound limit where I ride?
 
A: Most of the OHV land managers listed on the OHV Oregon Map have a sound meter that field staff uses to conduct sound checks. Contact them the next time you plan on visiting the area.  Many ATV and motorcycle clubs also have sound meters.  Sound checks are also performed at OHV events. 
 

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Contact information

 
Q: Who do I contact for General ATV information?
A: ATV Hotline, 877-7SAFELY (877-772-3359) or use the email address: atv.info@oregon.gov
 
Q: Who do I contact for ATV Grant program information?
A: Ron Price, ATV Program Coordinator, OPRD Grants Section, (503) 986-0706
 
Q: Who do I contact for ATV Permit information?
A: Jon Moll, ATV Program Specialist - Permit Programs, (503) 986-0717
 
Q: Who do I contact for ATV Safety & Education information?
A: Jeff Trejo, ATV Safety and Education Program Coordinator, (503) 986-0585
 

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