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What are ATV laws and regulations in MN?

Question: Can you talk about what is legal when it comes to ATV operation and where they can be operated?

Answer: When it comes to all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) laws and regulations it all depends on what type of ATV you have and where it will be operated. There are two classes of ATVs. This had changed on July 1, 2015.

Class 1 is an ATV with a total width of 50 inches or less.

Class 2 is an ATV with a total width that is greater than 50 inches but not more than 65 inches wide.

A valid driver’s license is required to operate an ATV on a road right-of-way, except when on a designated trail that includes a road right-of-way. A person with a valid driver’s license may operate an ATV:

  • Registered for private use and being used for agricultural purposes on a public right of- way of a trunk, county, state aid, or county highway, if the ATV is on the extreme right side of the road. A left turn may be made if it is safe to do so.
  • On the far right-hand side of a township road, unless prohibited by local regulations. If traveling at a slower speed than other traffic on the township road, the ATV should be driven as close as practical to the right-hand edge of the road.
  • On a bridge, a roadway shoulder, or the inside bank of a public road right-of-way if necessary to avoid obstructions to travel or environmentally sensitive areas.

You must remain in the farthest right-hand lane, enter the roadway within 100 feet of the bridge, obstacle, or area, and make the crossing without delay.

You may operate a Class 2 ATV on private land; frozen lake surfaces; state forest roads; and with a valid driver’s license on the shoulder or extreme right side of county roads and on the right side of township roads and city streets — if not prohibited by the road authority or other local laws, on designated Class 2 trails and use areas and in road right-of-way of a trunk, county state-aid, or county highway but only to access businesses or make trail connections. A left turn may be made if

it is safe to do so.

Class 2 ATVs may be operated on the shoulder or extreme right side of county or township roads and city streets if not prohibited by the road authority or other local laws.

Class 2 ATVs may NOT be operated on the shoulder of a state trunk highway. Class 1 (side/side) ATV must have a steering wheel, seat belts, and roll-over protective structure to be operated like a Class 2 on roadways.

You may NOT ride:

  • Crossing a bridge that is part of the traveled lanes of an interstate highway.
  • An ATV on controlled access/freeway portions of state highways.
  • Exceeding 10 mph on the frozen surface of public waters within 100 feet of another person who is not on an ATV (including people that are fishing) or within 100 feet of a fish house or other shelter.
  • On the median of a four-lane highway.
  • Within the right-of-way of any interstate highway or freeway.
  • On the right-of-way between opposing lanes of traffic.
  • On grant-in-aid snowmobile trails.
  • On designated non-motorized trails. (Others listed on MNDNR website).

Youth age 12 through 15 operation.

Youth age 12-15 can now operate an ATV on a roadway if they possess a valid ATV safety certificate AND are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian that is on a separate ATV. All other riding requirements apply.

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