Register an ATV

What is considered an all-terrain vehicle (‘ATV’)?

An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is any self-propelled vehicle, including an off-road motorcycle, that is manufactured for use on off-road trails or in off-road competitions. These vehicles cannot be more than 70 inches wide and cannot weigh more than 1,000 pounds.

For information, see our brochure ATVs: Information for Owners and Operators (C-29).

Does an ATV need a vehicle registration?

Yes. You must have a valid NY State registration to ride your ATV in New York State, unless it is

  • only used for agricultural purposes or not-for-hire snow removal on private property
  • registered in another state to a resident of that state
  • only used at special events (competitions)

If you purchase an ATV (including an off-road motorcycle) from a NY State ATV dealer, the dealer is required to register it before it is delivered to you.

Submit your documents, application and payment to the DMV 

Follow the instructions for how to register a vehicle in the County you live in.

You can use the DMV Registration Guide to determine what documents you need to apply


Do I need insurance coverage for my ATV?

You do not need insurance to register your ATV.  However, you must have insurance unless you only drive your ATV on private property.  You must show your proof of insurance to a judge, a police officer, or any person who makes a claim of injury or property damage.


Do I need a driver license to operate an ATV?

You do not need a driver license to operate an ATV in New York State, but certain restrictions apply to operators under the age of 16.

If you are age 14 to 15, you may operate an ATV only:

  • under adult supervision; or
  • without adult supervision on property where your parent or guardian is the owner or tenant; or
  • without adult supervision on property where ATV use is permitted and you have completed an ATV safety-training course approved by the DMV. You must carry your course certificate when you operate any ATV.

If you are under age 14, you may operate an ATV only:

  • under adult supervision; or,
  • without adult supervision on lands owned or leased by your parent or guardian.

You can operate an ATV on public lands where signs indicate that ATV use is allowed. Only operate an ATV on private property if you have permission from the property owner.

Adult supervision means you are 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 completion certificate from the ATV Safety Institute (ASI).