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Q: Montana ATV/UTV requirements: (Brought to you by Montana State Parks) .


OHVs and Public Roads

Some Forest Service and BLM roads may be open for use by OHVs. Contact the appropriate Forest Service or BLM office for information such as road designations, closures, conditions, and maps. For roads that require a license plate, please see MCA 23-2-824. Children ages 12-16 who wish to ride on a road must possess a Safety Certificate and be accompanied by a licensed operator. OHVs must be street legal to be ridden on roads.

OHVs and Trails

Most OHV trails are on public land. Trails are maintained by local clubs or government agencies, oftentimes with grant money provided by Montana State Parks. OHV funds are derived from OHV gas tax refund and decal fees. For information about trail riding areas contact the local Forest Service or BLM office for a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM).

OHV Registration and Permits

Off-highway vehicles operating on public land for recreational purposes must be registered and display a decal placed in a conspicuous location on the machine.

Residents: OHVs must be registered at the County Treasurer’s office in the county where the owner resides. This is a one-time registration and valid until the current owner sells the OHV.

Nonresidents: NEW beginning October 1, 2015 – Nonresidents using their OHVs in Montana must purchase a Nonresident Annual Use Permit, which is valid for the calendar year (January 1 – December 31). Residents of Idaho and North Dakota are exempt. The Nonresident Annual Use Permit allows OHV use on trails only. OHVs must be street legal to be ridden on roads.

Permits are $27 and available through the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Online Licensing Service, or at any FWP office, (See locations). You can purchase your permit in person at these locations: OHV Nonresident Annual Use Permit Vendors (pdf icon and link 212 KB).

Laws and Regulations for Operating an OHV in Montana
  • MCA 23.8 Off-Highway Vehicles
  • MCA 61-8-401 Driving under influence of alcohol or drugs
  • MCA 61-9-418 Motorcycle and quadricycle noise suppression devices – motorcycle and quadricycle spark arrester.