Motorized devices that cannot be registered in New York

What vehicles cannot be registered or operated on New York State sidewalks, streets or highways?

You cannot register or operate any of the motorized devices from the list below on any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk or other area in New York State that allows public motor vehicle traffic. You may be arrested if you do.

  • Motorized Scooter - a device with a motor attached and a handlebar for a standing rider. An example of a motorized scooter is the device called the Go-ped®.

  • Mini-bike - a small, motorized device with two wheels and created for off-road use. A mini-bike doesn’t qualify as a moped, a motorcycle or an ATV.

  • Off-road Motorcycle (Dirt Bike) - A motorcycle designed for use on off-road trails or in off-road competitions.  Unless exempt, these vehicles must be registered as an ATV.  See register an ATV for more information.

  • Go-Kart - a small, motorized device with four wheels, created for off-road use. You can’t register a go-kart as a motor vehicle or ATV because a go-kart doesn’t have the same equipment.

  • Golf Cart (also referred to as Golf Car or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) - a small motorized device with four wheels designed to carry people.  You can’t register a golf cart as an ATV.  Many low speed vehicles are similar in appearance to a golf cart, and can be registered and driven on New York State highways. 1

  • Motor-assisted Bicycle - a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle doesn’t qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and doesn’t have the same equipment.


Can I operate my registered ATV on public highway?

You cannot operate an ATV on a public highway unless the highway has been designated and posted for ATV use (usually a short distance between off-road trails).

  • 1.

    For a low speed vehicle to be registered in New York

    • it must meet federal motor vehicle safety standard 500 (49 CFR 571.500)
    • its maximum performance speed must be certified by the manufacturer
    • it must appear on the list of approved limited use vehicles
    You can contact NYS DMV Technical Services (518-474-5282, select option #4) to determine if a particular LSV or LSVT is certified and approved.