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Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

July 26, 2012

Here are answers to some of the recent most frequently asked law enforcement questions taken this week by the DNR Call Center.
The Call Center is staffed daily, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., and offers bilingual service in Spanish and Hmong. The number is 1-888-936-7463.

Question 1: Can I register my boat/atv/snow online? Where?

Answer: Yes. Our online registration link is on our home page: dnr.wi.gov If you look under the quick task section you will see a link for "register boat/ATV/snow"

Question 2: Can UTVs and/or ATVs be used on public roadways? I ask because I would like to use the machine so that I may access my other parcel of land.

Answer: Generally speaking, it is not legal to operate a UTV or an ATV on a public road. There are a few exceptions such as:

  • To cross from one side of the roadway to the other.
  • On a roadway when not seasonally maintained for motor vehicle traffic, but only during the seasons when no maintenance occurs and only if the roadway is not officially closed to these vehicles.
  • To cross a bridge, culvert, or railroad right-of-way, if the crossing is done in the most direct manner practicable and only on the extreme right side of the roadway.
  • When the ATV or UTV is registered for private agricultural use and is an implement of husbandry being used exclusively in the conduct of agricultural operations for a purpose related to the transportation of farm implements, farm equipment, farm supplies between farms or from one part of a farm to another part of the farm.
  • When being used for bonafide land surveying operations.
  • If the operator is a person who holds a Class A or B disabled hunting permit and who is traveling for the purposes of hunting.
  • On portions of roadways blocked of for special ATV or UTV events.
  • On a roadway that designated as posted as an ATV or UTV route or trail.

If not using the above exceptions, then the ATV or UTV must be trailered from one location to another, or must be operated outside the highway right-of-way on public trails open to the use of ATV's or UTV's, or on adjacent property with the permission of the owner.

Question 3: At what age can I ride on, or operate a UTV?

Answer: There is no minimum age to ride as a passenger on an ATV or UTV, thought there are helmet requirements for youth under age 18 if not engaged in an exempt activity. A person generally must be 16 years of age to operate a UTV and 12 years of age to operate an ATV. Completion of a safety course is generally required for anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 regardless of age.

Age, helmet and safety certification requirements do not apply to a person who operates an ATV or UTV exclusively on land under the management and control of the person's immediate family. There is also no minimum age to operate an ATV or UTV for an agricultural purpose when under the supervision of a person over 18 years of age or when operating a "small all-terrain vehicle" on an ATV trail designated by the DNR. For a more complete set details on ATV and UTV laws, please refer to the ATV and UTV regulations publications: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/atv/regulations.html and http://dnr.wi.gov/files/pdf/pubs/le/lea507.pdf

Last revised: Friday August 31 2012