All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are popular in Florida. After all, the weather is ideal most of the year and there are plenty of wonderful trails to enjoy. In Florida, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV.org) states that ATVs are not licensed for highway use and are meant to be used only off the state’s roads and highways. That restriction includes all public roads and streets. Since they aren’t allowed on public highways, there is no need to register your ATV, but they MUST be titled.
Riders 16 Years Old and Younger:
Special rules apply to persons under the age of 16. They must wear a helmet whenever they are on an ATV, regardless of whether they are the driver or the passenger or they can face a fine. Also, persons aged under 16 must be supervised by an adult and not left to ride alone.
A law was put into place back in 2008 stating that anyone under the age of 16 must carry a certificate showing that they have completed an approved OHV (off highway vehicle) safety course whenever riding on public lands.
Florida Safety Certification Courses:
Florida has approved training courses that provide both the required safety training as well as environmental awareness education. Upon satisfactory completion of the course, the rider will be issued a safety training certification card.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (www.freshfromflorida.com) has the following list of information sources for ATV training:
- ATV Safety Institute (ASI): ATV Rider Course as well as online E-Courses for ATV safety certification for adults, teens, and children. Website:atvsafety.org. Telephone: 1-888-517-9618
- Dirt Bike School: Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Website:www.dirtbikeschool.org, Florida Toll Free Telephone: 1-888-517-9618
- The National Youth Project Using Minibikes (NYPUM). Website:www.nypum.org, Telephone: 1-800-75-NYPUM (756-9786), or
Email: email@example.com. NYPUM Safety Training Certification is an approved OHV Course in Florida.
Following are some general tips to help you remain safe while enjoying your ATV!
- Wear appropriate protective clothing and gear
- Travel in a group of two or more riders
- Ride an ATV that is the appropriate size for your stature
- Carry an emergency kit
- Ride only in good weather
- Do not drink alcohol and ride
- Do not have two riders on a machine designed for one
- Leave a ride plan with someone showing when and where you are riding with an expected return time and date
Long story short, ATVs are a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors. And as the sport is becoming more and more popular, there’s a good chance you’ll run into other riders at popular trails. Check your insurance policy and make sure your ATV is covered. It will help protect you and your ATV investment as well as other people and their property in case of an accident.
ATV policies can include liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. Don’t automatically assume that your automobile insurance will cover your ATV. Talk to your insurance agent to review your current policy and add ATV protection if needed. Stay safe and enjoy your ATV.
For more information about ATV safety, consult the following websites:
- All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute (ASI) ATV Golden Rules
- Tips and Practice Guide for the All-Terrain Vehicle Rider
- Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA)
This information is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Should you have any questions or would like to discuss your your off-road vehicle insurance, please contact the insurance pros at ARCW Insurance. We are here to help.