EDITOR'S ADVISORY: This news release has been updated to clarify that the license plate requirement does not apply to ATVs or UTVs with private-use registration and are used exclusively on private property or those designated as private use with agricultural purposes.
MADISON - All-terrain vehicles and utility-terrain vehicles that have a public use registration and are used on public trails, frozen lakes and rivers are required to have a mandatory rear license plate, according to new rules slated to take effect on July 1.
The rules are part of a regulation package passed earlier this year by the Wisconsin Legislature.
License plates are not required for those ATVs and UTVs with private-use registration and are used exclusively on private property or those designated as private use with agricultural purposes.
Farmers who use these vehicles for agricultural purposes on private land are exempted from the mandatory license requirement.
Since first notice of these rule changes was issued in April by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, there has been some public confusion and questions.
Warden Gary Eddy, also the ATV Administrator for the DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement, says he has often been asked why the new state law requires the plate and what it is supposed to accomplish.
"The legislation had strong support from the ATV/UTV community and land managers, it is the DNR responsibility to implement the change," Eddy said. "The rules are modeled after similar rules in place in Minnesota."
Like on a car, the plates will help with identification when it comes to theft prevention, complaints and questions about trail use or operation, Eddy said.
Some of the major changes kicking in on July 1 include:
A downloadable pamphlet detailing these changes is available on the DNR website.
A downloadable pamphlet detailing these changes [PDF] is available on the DNR website.
For more information search "ATV" on the DNR website.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Gary Eddy, Law Enforcement, 608-267-7455 - Laws and safety; Penny Kanable, Customer and Outreach Services, 608-264-8985 - Registration & trail pass; Diane Conklin, Community Financial Assistance, 715-822-8583 - Trail grants, maintenance & signage; or Joanne M. Haas, Public Affairs, Division of Enforcement and Science, 608-267-0798