Driving your UTV around town is a blast. While it might not have been designed to skid and slide over tarmac and concrete, a UTV is more than equipped to deal with urban terrain just as well as it does in extreme conditions.
A common question that UTV owners and riders pose, however, is if their vehicle is street legal. Because although there shouldn’t be many reasons it wouldn’t, the laws differ from country to country and state to state, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you’d like to double-check on whether or not your UTV can roam the streets like an off-road maverick of awesomeness, then read on! There’s no need to stress yourself out while driving – or worse, put yourself at risk of a driving ticket.
Let’s get right into it. And if you’d like to go buying for equipment right after this article, then see more UTV brand accessories here!
For the most part, almost any purchased UTV is not street legal from the get-go. The reason for this is because according to national law, side-by-side vehicles are considered as designed for off-highway driving, and as such do not meet on-highway regulations.
While this applies to most states in the US, there is a handful that might allow you to register your UTV as an on-highway vehicle. That isn’t always possible, however, and most UTV owners find they can’t consider their rigs for on-highway travel.
That comes as a lot of disappointment for most enthusiasts who want to purchase a vehicle that will be able to accommodate both their daily transportation needs together with their desire to go off-roading.
Fortunately, you can make your UTV street legal, although it’s a bit of a hassle. It’s better off to have an additional passenger car that will be better able to perform on traditional road scenarios without needing an additional touch-up.
But if you absolutely want to make your UTV street legal, then congratulations! You can. There are, however, a couple of parts you need to add to your rig. Here’s what you need to do.
A vehicle must be outfitted with several required parts and components before being declared as fit for on-highway driving. As such, after you’ve purchased your UTV, you should get ready to put yet another dent in your pocket by outfitting it with the proper parts and accessories.
You’re going to need these to make your UTV street legal.
All UTVs are sold with stock headlights, so you’ve already got this requirement done. With that being said, while stock vehicle parts aren’t under any circumstance expected to be of bad quality, third-party aftermarket headlight upgrades might be a very good idea. Your stock headlights are going to offer decent performance, but don’t you want the best?
The lights on the back of a UTV function as both tail lights and brake lights at the same time. As with headlights, you most likely already have those, though you might want to see if you can get a better pair for safety and convenience.
An integral aspect of driving your car on the road is making use of your blinkers. UTVs absolutely need to have them as well, then. Thankfully, this is a simple job, as you’ll easily be able to add a signal kit to your rig either through the help of a mechanic or your own knowledge of vehicles.
Not all tires have been made for on-highway driving. Your tires must have a DOT code onto their sidewall which suggests whether or not they’re valid for being driven on roads. If you don’t have one, then you should buy tires that have one.
Another very important aspect of car driving, buying two rearview mirrors you equip your UTV with as would a car is another requirement towards making it street legal. As with turn signals, they are quick and easy to install.
The final piece of the puzzle (in some states – while others require additional means of protection such as reflectors) is the license plate. More often than not, this is expected to be at the rear end of your car for easy visibility.
I hope this article has helped detail the path you need to take to turn your UTV from an off-road all-rounder to a bonafide jack-of-all-trades. All the power to you! Hope you’re going to be having a fun time playing around with your rig.