Have you ever considered the possibility of driving your UTV from trail to trail, from your campsite to the store, or maybe even from your house to the grocery store? If you ever considered any of the aforementioned scenarios (or scenarios like them), you may interested to learn that it is legal to drive your UTV on public roads, provided that you have made some minor modifications and additions to your vehicle. Before you start making these modifications, be sure to follow up with your state and local governing bodies to determine if it is legal in your area and, if it is, what they specific requirements they have. Some states are very lenient when it comes to approving UTVs for travel on public roads and highways, however some states, such as California, may not allow it at all. Be sure to carefully do your research before investing any money in the physical modifications required. After you get past the legal research, read on below for our minimal suggested modifications!
- Headlights – Most UTVs come with pre-installed headlights. If yours doesn’t, you will need to add them.
- Brake Lights – Most UTVs have a brake light which also doubles as a taillight. Some states will be fine with this, however some may require that you add separate brake or tail lights in order to add a bit of extra safety to your setup.
- Turn Signals – Some states will allow basic hand signals, however it is advisable to install a blinker system regardless. It’s a much safer and clearer way of signalling other drivers.
- Horn – States will require a horn. Some UTV manufacturers will have their own specific easy to use kits made specifically for their vehicles. Be on the lookout for those.
- Mirrors – You will need a rear view mirror and at the very least a mirror on the drivers side. Some states will require one on the passengers side as well.
- License Plate Mounting Location with light – If your state requires you to have a license plate before you can legally ride on the streets, you will need a place to mount the plate and illuminate it so that it can be easily seen regardless of the time of day.
- Reflectors – Reflectors won’t usually be required by states, however they will make your road legal UTV setup safer by making it more apparent to other drivers that you are in front of them.
- Windshield – Most states will require you either install a windshield or wear some sort of goggles/helmet when operating your street legal UTV. Some UTV manufacturers sell windshields specific to their products, so be sure to check out whats available for your specific model.
- Department of Transportation approved tires – Many states will also require you use tires that are approved by the Department of Transportation. To see if you are using DOT-Approved tires, look for the DOT marking as seen in the linked picture here.
Before driving, make sure to also check and see what sort of insurance you will need to have on a road safe UTV. Chances are you will need to be insured at some level.
If you happen to also be in need of a new set of trail riding tires for your UTV, be sure to check out our Powersports selection! Our OTR Tomahawk tire is designed for exceptional mud traction. It is a smooth trail rider, and it delivers where most other mud tires fail. It features a durable 6-ply construction, an aggressive tread pattern, and hard to beat performance on many different terrains. Visit the product page for more info on size configurations! Buy a set today!
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