28 Dirt Bike Laws by State in the USA (2024 Guide)

28 Dirt Bike Laws by State in the USA (2024 Guide)

Riding dirt bikes is an exhilarating experience. More than being adventurous, it is even therapeutic for some people. Nonetheless, it is not one thing that you can just take anywhere. A lot of places are off-limits. Plus, some locations have specific requirements in making a dirt bike street legal. 

Learn more about the dirt bike legalities by state in this article. We’ll cover some of the most popular areas in the United States, so you will know how to enjoy your dirt bike without getting in trouble with the authorities. 

Dirt Bike Laws by State 

California Dirt Bike Laws

Before riding a dirt bike in the state, you will need a certification from California’s Air Resource Board (CARB). If you have a dirt bike produced starting in 2003, you will receive a green sticker. Meanwhile, older ones have a red sticker, which means that they generate emissions that CARB believes to be a hazard. 

types of ohv's green and red sticker

According to dirt bike legalities in California, your ride requires a green sticker for most recreational applications. This will let you use your dirt bike throughout the year in a State Vehicular Recreation Area. Take note that you cannot use it in most public spaces. 

Meanwhile, if it has a red sticker, then you can use it only during competitions. You can also use them only in private properties. Good thing, you will find several motor tracks in the state where you can enjoy your bike. 

Texas Dirt Bike Laws

parked dirt bike mountain view

The Texas Transportation Code stipulates some of the most important mechanical additions for making a dirt bike street legal. Some of the things that you will need include a headlight, rear-view mirror, brake light, license plate bracket, and DOT-approved tires. 

More so, the dirt bike code in Texas also have non-mechanical requirements. You will need to register the bike. DMV will issue an inspection certificate. You also need proof of insurance. An OHV decal is also a must, which will allow you to ride your dirt bike in approved areas. 

Michigan Dirt Bike Laws

dirt bike rider ready to go on trail

Michigan classifies a dirt bike as a two-wheel off-road vehicle. You will need a license and trail permit from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources if you would like to ride your dirt bike in approved locations, which include state-designed trails and routes and public lands. 

You will also need to secure an off-road title, which will verify your ownership of the dirt bike. The title will specify that the dirt bike is not meant to be used in the streets as it was designed with specifications that are only for off-road. More so, if you are under 16 years old, you will need an ORV safety course before you are legally permitted to be on a dirt bike. 

Florida Dirt Bike Laws

According to dirt bike code in Florida, you will need to make certain modifications for your ride to be street legal. For instance, it is a must to have a DOT-compliant headlight. It should have high and low beam options. Taillights, brake lights, and turn signals are also important. 

You will need a motorcycle endorsement to ride a street bike in Florida, which has a minimum age requirement of 16. Before this, you will need a learner’s permit and a driver’s license. More so, it is mandatory for any rider 21 years old and under to wear a helmet.

North Carolina Dirt Bike Laws

NC dirt bike legally state that when you ride dirt bikes are subject to the same rules as motorcycles. Their statute does not define what a dirt bike is, but it belongs under off-road motorcycles. It is classified for off-road use, and hence, you cannot register it. A driver’s license is not required since you are not allowed to drive a dirt bike on the streets unless you are crossing. 

If in case you have a dirt bike with specs and features that can be considered as street legal, then you will need a permit. The bike will also be subject to the laws that cover other utility vehicles. 

Dirt Bike Laws in PA 

Being an off-road ride, dirt bike code in Pennsylvania warrant that you cannot register it. However, there is a loophole since there are dirt bikes that the state also considers as motorcycles. If that is the case, then you will need proper dirt bike registration and insurance. 

When registering your dirt bike for street use, you need several modifications. For instance, it should have low and high beam headlights. You also need at least one mirror, a speedometer, and brake light. Plus, you need a motorcycle license, which has a minimum age requirement of 16. 

NJ Dirt Bike Laws

According to New Jersey dirt bike code, you do not need a license to ride a dirt bike in the state, but the vehicle itself needs proper registration. Like in many others, the dirt bike is exclusive to off-road use. You are not allowed to use them in state parks and forests. 

The laws also state that you should be at least 14 years old. Those below 18 years old must take a course and should be given a safety certificate. More so, those who are under 16 years old should not use a dirt bike with more than a 90cc engine. 

Ohio Dirt Bike Laws

Much like in other states, Ohio bike code state that street-legal motorcycles must have a headlight, a brake light, a tail light, a horn, turn signals, two mirrors, and front and rear brakes. Most dirt bikes do not have these by default, so they are not allowed. You will need to do certain modifications on the street legal dirt bike if you want to ride it on the streets. 

While different cities in Ohio have their respective ordinances, in Columbus, driving a street legal motorcycle on the street will get you a misdemeanor charge. It has a corresponding fine of $500 to $1,000, including a possible jail time of up to 30 days and impounding of the street legal dirt bike. 

Dirt Bike Laws Minnesota 

One of the most important Minnesota dirt bike legalities is to register your ride to the Division of Natural Resources. Doing so, however, does not permit you to use it anywhere, especially on public roads. Instead, you are limited to riding on private trails. You will be given a decal, which you should put on an easily visible area. 

Riding the street legal dirt bike on public trails has other requirements. You need a license if you are over 16. Otherwise, you will need a safety certificate. A motorcycle endorsement is also essential, which is proof of passing a safety course. Plus, a DOT-approved helmet is a must. 

Dirt Bike Laws in Arizona 

Like in many other places, the Arizona dirt bike laws street legal code state that you need an OHV decal. You can purchase it online or in an authorized office for $25. It is valid only for one year. Before the decal issuance, you must show a valid title to prove ownership of the dirt bike. 

For street legal operation some requirements must be met. For instance, the unladen weight should not be more than 2,500 pounds and it should be designed for use in an unladen terrain. Insurance is also mandatory.

Massachusetts Dirt Bike Laws

Dirt bike legalities in Massachusetts will require you to register your ride. It will be under the Massachusetts Environmental Police. You can drive one even if you are below 18 years old, but you need to complete a certificate course, especially safety training. 

There are many prohibitions that you should be aware of, such as operating it only on a property that is designated for recreational use. You cannot also use a dirt bikes street legal for chasing animals. Plus, you cannot use it on public highways.

NYC Dirt Bike Laws 

Since they are not tailored for city driving, the New York City dirt bike codes are clear: you cannot do dirt bike riding on public roads. You can ride on private property, but it is almost difficult to find one where you can enjoy a dirt bike in New York as one of the dirt bike riders.

Despite being illegal, there is a growing number of dirt bikes in New York. In a recent show of force, more than 50 dirt bikes and ATVs have been bulldozed, which shows how serious the authorities are in going after those who are doing dirt bike riding illegally. 

Colorado Dirt Bike Laws

The dirt bike codes in this state highlight the need for different documents to make your dirt bike street legal in the state. Some of the requirements include Certificate of Equipment Compliance for Motorcycles, State of Colorado Statement of Fact, and Title. It also needs to pass an in-person inspection by the Colorado State Patrol Office. 

Upon registration, you will need to pay a fee, which is $25.25 as of the time of writing. It is valid for one year. You will receive a sticker, which you need to put in a part of the bike that will be easily visible. An out-of-state OHV permit, meanwhile, is necessary if you are traveling outside Colorado. 

Missouri Dirt Bike Laws

According to the dirt bike legalities in Missouri, you cannot ride on public roads unless you have a valid license. More so, you will need to configure your dirt bike riding to make it street legal. 

You will need the required safety features, including a headlight, brake light, and turn signals. 

You will also need to submit the requirements for registration, which include a signed application form and notarized lien release

Oregon Dirt Bike Laws

Dirt bike codes in Oregon specify that you should be at least seven years old to ride a dirt bike on public land. Those who are under 16 should secure a Class III operator ATV permit and should be accompanied by someone who is at least 18 years old, who should also be licensed. You will need to take an online safety course and pass hands-on training. 

More so, you can ride a dirt bike only on the designated areas, which do not include the highways or streets. 

Indiana Dirt Bike Laws

While the dirt bike legalities in Indiana are clear that you cannot ride it on the street or highway, there is a turnaround if you make it street legal. Doing so, however, requires several configurations, several to what other states require. Plus, you will need a body change affidavit and pass an inspection from an assigned police officer. 

If you are doing dirt bike off road riding under 14 years of age, you will need supervision from someone who is at least 18 years old. More so, riding should be done only on a property that the parent or guardian owns or controls.

It is also worth pointing out that helmets are not required by law when riding an off-road vehicle, such as a dirt bike. 

Dirt Bike Laws in Illinois 

One of the most important Illinois dirt bike legalities that you must know is the need to secure a license. You can get a Class L license if your ride has an engine below 150cc. Meanwhile, if it is higher than 150cc, then you will need a Class M license. 

Like when riding an ATV, you need to have a certificate of title to prove ownership. You will be given a decal, which you need to put on the motorbike. If you do not have an OHV sticker and you are caught by the authorities, you will pay a $120 fine. 

Virginia Dirt Bike Laws

You are not allowed to operate dirt bikes and other types of all-terrain vehicles on a public road or public property. Virginia bike laws also state that they should not be operated by anyone under 16. Those from 12 to 16 can do dirt bike riding that is less than 90cc.

Safety is a priority, so the state’s law also warrants the need to wear a helmet. Not any helmet would suffice. Make sure that it is approved by the Superintendent of State Police. 

Wisconsin Dirt Bike Laws

In Wisconsin, the dirt bike codes specify that a dirt bike in the state is classified as a limited use off-highway motorcycle. This means that the Department of Transportation does not allow highway operation. You can use it for recreational purposes in designated areas or trails. Even so, it requires proper registration. 

An OHM registration decal will be given once you have completed the process for registering your dirt bike. you are required to put it in a visible area. It should also be renewed accordingly. 

Kentucky Dirt Bike Laws

By definition in Kentucky dirt bike codes, the dirt bike riding belongs to the category of ATVs and UTVs, so they should abide by the same rules in such vehicle class. They are designed for recreational use, and hence, you are not allowed to bring them on the highway. Nonetheless, you can cross a public highway with two lanes, provided that you meet the safety requirements.

Doing dirt bike riding in Kentucky requires the user to wear headgear. You are also not allowed to modify the muffler system of the dirt bike in such a way that it will generate excessive noise, which can be a disturbance to the general public. 

Georgia Dirt Bike Laws

According to dirt bike legalities in Georgia, riders should be at least 15 years old to secure a license. The Department of Motor Vehicles will administer a driving test, written test, an eye test before issuing a license. 

If you are using the dirt bike only on private properties, then you do not need a registration. If you plan to take it on a street or highway, however, you need to register. This also means that you should show proof of full insurance. To be street legal, your dirt bike needs a muffler, brake lights, and headlights, among others. 

Tennessee Dirt Bike Laws

There are no dirt bike codes in Tennessee that require a rider to have a special license. To add, you do not need to secure an official registration for the vehicle. Even so, it does not mean that you can just use a dirt bike anytime and anywhere in the state. 

One of the most important rules is to have a helmet and appropriate safety gear. You also need a special identification plate, which should be affixed in a visible area. 

Washington Dirt Bike Laws

Washington Dirt Bike Laws emphasize that dirt bikes are not street legal. Hence, you can use it only on private property. It is classified as a non-highway vehicle. You will need an ORV registration and decal. Helmets should be worn at all times. 

Children under 13 can ride an off-road bike, but only if there is supervision by someone who is 18 years old and above with a valid driver’s license. The rider, however, does not require a license since you are not supposed to use a dirt bike on a public road. 

Arkansas Dirt Bike Laws

The most important thing to know about dirt bike codes in the State of Arkansas is that you are not allowed to ride within city limits unless you make the bike street legal. Nonetheless, you can use it on your private property. There are also specific trails where you are legally allowed to use a dirt bike in Arkansas. 

If you need to register your dirt bike in Arkansas, then you have to do this through the Office of Motor Vehicle. They are responsible for processing registrations and titles. They can also perform a physical inspection of the bike to ensure that it is indeed what you are declaring in the documents. 

Dirt Bike Laws in Maryland 

In Maryland, it is illegal to use a dirt bike on public properties. You can ride in private areas but only provided that you have the requirements. There are exceptions for riding it on the road, but you have to configure your ride to make it street legal. 

Like in many other states, you will need a sticker, which shows proof of registration of your dirt bike. You must renew it annually. More so, if you are riding it on a private property that isn’t yours, then you will need written permission from the owner. 

Oklahoma Dirt Bike Laws

The dirt bike legalities in Oklahoma say that you cannot use a dirt bike when riding on most public areas. There are some instances when you could, such as when you are on a state park’s street. Otherwise, in most places, including highways, dirt bikes are off-limits. 

While there are speed limits for on-road riding, when it comes to off-road riding, you can generally go as fast as you want. This is because they do not have rules that will control your ride in a private terrain. 

South Carolina Dirt Bike Laws

In South Carolina, those who are 16 years old and below can ride only when they are accompanied by an adult. Registering a dirt bike is also a must, which you should renew upon expiration. 

Aside from a valid license, you also need to wear the right safety gear when you are riding a dirt bike in South Carolina. Aside from a helmet, you also need eye protection. 

Hawaii Dirt Bike Laws

Reckless driving, excessive noise, speeding, and suspicious activities are some of the most common complaints about dirt bikes in Hawaii. With this, there are strict Hawaii dirt bike codes to protect the general public, including the riders themselves. You are not allowed to ride them on state and country roads, as well as beaches. 

If you are using an unlicensed dirt bike, then every rider requires a riding permit. You can obtain this online, which is issued by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. However, if the vehicle is licensed, then there is no need to obtain a riding permit. There are also specific limits as to where you can ride, which generally does not include public roads and highways. 

Final Thoughts 

Riding a dirt bike and conquering challenging terrains is an exhilarating experience. Nonetheless, before you do so, you must be familiar with the dirt bike codes by state. From registering your ride to securing a license, find out the legal requirements. Otherwise, you are risking a fine and even jail time, depending on the state laws. 

joshua mattie

Joshua D. Mattie

My motorbike addiction began with 50cc at 5 years old. I rode motocross as a teenager & into my 20's when I worked as a mechanic. This helped me to see the light—sportbikes & cruisers became a passion. Now I'm building BikersRights to be the #1 resource for everything on 2 wheels!