In our home town of Salt Lake City, UT, new legislation is going into effect that makes it legal to drive UTVs on the streets. You can now ride UTVs on most roads in Utah, other than major highways. This is very thrilling news for us! This excitement got us thinking about what it takes to make a UTV street legal.
Although it would be fabulous if it were legal everywhere, riding UTVs on the streets isn’t always allowed. In many areas across the country riding on the roads is completely restricted. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where they are allowed, you’ll likely need to make some aftermarket modifications to your vehicle before taking it out on the roads. Be sure to check with your local DMV to make sure you’ve met all the requirements needed to comply with local laws.
Here is a list of some of the most common requirements for street legal UTVs:
Headlights – Most UTVs come with headlights. You’ll just need to make sure yours fit the legal requirements for your specific location.
Tail Lights and Brake Lights – Tail and brake lights are also standard on most UTVs. Again, just make sure yours fit with what is required.
Windshield – We can help you with this one! Many areas require a windshield if you want to ride on the roads. Our full folding windshields are durable, scratch resistant and easy to install. And they will get you one step closer to being street legal.
Reflectors – If your UTV doesn’t already have rear reflectors you’ll probably need to add some. Based your location, you may need to place the reflectors in a specific location. You also may need to have a specific color such as red, orange or white. Again, you’ll need to check with your local laws.
Turn Signals – Some states require a UTV to have amber front turn signals and red rear turn signals. These are usually fairly easy to install. There are several kits available to make your UTV street legal, and most of these include plug-n-play assemblies for turn signals.
DOT Approved Tires – You should be able to tell if your UTV has DOT approved tires by looking for the DOT code molded into the sidewall. The code starts with the letters “DOT” and is followed by a series of numbers and letters that indicate where and when the tire was made. If you need to, you can find DOT approved tires for your UTV from companies such as GBC Kanati Mongrel.
Mirrors – Most states require you to have a rear view and side view mirrors to be street legal. You’ll probably have to add these to your UTV, as they usually are not standard. Most street legal kits include them.
Horn – A horn or warning device is usually required. This can also be found in most street legal kits.
Lighted License Plate Mount – A rear license plate mount is often necessary. Your license plate usually needs to be displayed on the back of your vehicle. It also may need to include a light so that it can be seen in dark conditions.
In addition to having the proper equipment on your machine, you’ll need to take care of any licensing and paperwork that may be required. Be sure to check with your local DMV to make sure you have everything in proper order. You’ll probably need to have your vehicle insured, have a valid driver’s license, and in some cases the vehicle may need to pass a safety and emissions test.
Being able to ride your UTV on the street to get to your favorite trail systems is awesome. It significantly cuts back on time spent trailering your vehicles. Riding on the roads can be really enjoyable. But even if you live in an area where this isn’t a possibility, we hope everyone is getting out and enjoying a ride as often as it is possible. Happy riding!