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BLM>Colorado>Programs>Law Enforcement>Off-Highway Vehicle Use
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Law Enforcement - Off-Highway Vehicle Use

Visitors must abide by vehicle designations on BLM public lands. Recreation areas may be classified as either open, limited or closed to off-highway vehicles.

  • Open - Off-road use is permitted, given that it does not result in disturbance, damage or destruction of the environment; wildlife; cultural, historical or paleontological resources; or government or private property.
  • Limited - Motorized vehicle use is restricted as defined in the associated land use plan. Limitations may include designations such as "limited to existing roads and trails," "limited to designated roads and trails," or seasonal limitations such as "no vehicle use during elk calving season."
  • Closed - All motorized vehicle use is prohibited.

Motorized use in most BLM areas is under a limited or designated travel management system. OHVs are limited to operating on roads and trails that are identified on travel maps and/or posted as a route that is available for motorized use.

For additional information, contact the local BLM field office for the area you are planning to visit.

Colorado OHV Registration requirements:

All OHVs operating on publics lands must meet State of Colorado registration requirements. Information on Colorado OHV registration is available at:

Colorado OHV registration and permits can be purchased anywhere you get your hunting/fishing licenses in Colorado, via mail-in request, or online at the CPW E-Store.

         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.

Law Enforcement - Motocycle Photo

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 areas and trails closed to OHVs or to damage and disturb 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.

Do not 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 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 either:

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.