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Law Enforcement - Off-Highway Vehicle Use

Waggner Alpine LoopRegistration
Off-highway vehicles (OHVs) must be registered with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). OHVs include motorcycles, dirt-bikes, three-wheelers, ATVs and dune buggies that are operated on public land or trails in Colorado.

Out-of-state residents who bring OHVs into Colorado must purchase a Colorado Non-Resident OHV permit, which is valid from the date of purchase through the following March 31. These permits can be purchased anywhere you get your hunting/fishing licenses in Colorado, via mail-in request, or you can order one online at the CPW E-Store.

Since this is only a use permit, no renewal notice will be sent to non-resident permit holders; you must purchase a new permit each year you come to Colorado with your OHV.

OHV operators must carry their registration card and show it to any peace officer on request.

Decal Placement
Registration decals must be affixed permanently in a location where the decal can be easily seen. For general decal placement instructions for all types of OHVs, see the Registrations Decal Placement Brochure or view the following illustrations: 
All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) 
Dirt Bike 
Dune Buggy

Sound Law
If you are operating an OHV on public lands it must meet the following sound limits:
• 99 dB(A) if manufactured before 1/1/1998
• 96 dB(A) if manufactured after 1/1/1998
OHVs designed for and used in closed-course competition facilities may require modifications for sound and spark arrestor standards when operated outside of a closed-circuit course.

         Tread Lightly OVH Banner

⇒ To register an off-highway vehicle, check on the status of a registration or find contact information for the registration unit, please visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.

yellow Jeep, OHV use in the field

What if I have an accident on public land?
If you are involved in or know of an OHV accident on public lands that results in property damage of $1,500 or more, causes injuries requiring hospitalization or results in death you must immediately notify Colorado State Patrol, the local sheriff's office or the local police department to report the incident.

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Operation of off-highway vehicles

If you are operating a vehicle on limited use areas and trails, you must conform to all terms and conditions of the applicable designation orders.

Remember, it is illegal to operate a vehicle in those areas and trails closed to off-road vehicle use or in a manner causing, or likely to cause, significant, undue damage to or disturbance of the soil, wildlife, wildlife habitat, improvements, cultural, or vegetative resources so Stay the Trail Colorado!

All vehicles must meet State laws and regulations relating to use, standards, registration, operation, and inspection.  This includes; lighted headlights and taillights during night hours (a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise), a properly installed spark arrester and muffler, and brakes in good working condition.

You cannot operate a vehicle in a reckless, careless, or negligent manner; this includes operating an OHV while carrying any person or riding in any position that will interfere with the operation or control of the OHV or view of the operator or in excess of established speed limits.

Except in limited situations you cannot operate an OHV on public streets, roads, or highways in Colorado and you must yield to pedestrians, saddle horses, pack trains, or animal-drawn vehicles.

Remember, even while off-road, you cannot operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or dangerous drugs.Law Enforcement OHV safety

Age and license requirements

No person under the age of 10 years old may operate an OHV. People older than 10 years old must:

1. Possess a valid driver’s license issued by the State of Colorado or another state; or

2. Be accompanied by, and under the immediate supervision of, a person who possess a valid driver’s license issued by the State of Colorado or another state.  The phrase “under immediate supervision” shall mean that, at a minimum, the unlicensed operator is within direct visual contact of the licensed supervisor.