Know Before You Go!

ATV routes are public roadways approved by local municipalities. A route is posted with a green sign with the white silhouette of an ATV along with appropriate directional arrows. Only roads/routes that display these signs are open to riding. The dates, speed limit, age requirements, and hours permitted to operate on any road are again determined by the local municipality. Contact the local municipal clerk or join a club to verify.

In addition to riding only signed routes and following local rules, riders must also follow Wisconsin ATV/UTV laws. These laws are primarily safety related so violating these laws oftentimes endangers others and reflects negatively on the entire ATV/UTV community. Below is a brief listing of some of the laws along with a few tips for riding the public roadways.

Key ATV/UTV Laws for riding ATV Routes (Public Roadways)

  • ATV/Motorcycle type helmets required under age of 18
  • State registration sticker and license plate required
  • Stay on the road, not in the ditch or private land
  • Travel only signed roads
  • UTV passengers must have their seatbelts fastened at all times.
  • ATV and UTV operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 who are at least 12 years old for ATV (and at least 16 years old for UTV) must complete an ATV and UTV safety certification course and carry the certificate with them
  • Operate at the extreme right side of the roadway surface
  • Operate single file
  • Head lamps and tail lamps must be on at all times
  • All children age 12-15 must be accompanied by an adult


WI DNR’s Top Violations (not in order)

  • Operate without Valid Registration
  • Operate in a Careless Manner, Operate While Intoxicated, Operate on Private or Public Property without Permission Illegal
  • Operation on or near Highways
  • ATV Equipment Violations
  • Owner Permitting Operation by Unauthorized Person
  • Operate/Ride ATV without head gear
  • Operate without a valid Safety Certificate/Fail to Carry


Click this here to view an attachment of the complete 2017 WI DNR laws about ATV/UTV riging. Or complete listing of laws can be found on the WI DNR website.


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