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New ATV/UTV Laws In Effect

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI DNR) recently published a reminder of the new laws regarding All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) operation in the state.  These laws went into effect on March 4th of this year.

From the DNR:

ATV Passenger Rules

  • ATV operators cannot have a passenger riding in or on any part of an ATV that is not designed or intended to be used by passengers. Previously, this law only applied to roadways. After market seating does not comply with the law.

New ATV/UTV Legal Definitions

  • For ATVs, low-pressure tires are no longer required; instead, the only requirement is three or more tires. ATVs are required to be commercially designed and manufactured and their width cannot exceed 50 inches as measured laterally between the outermost wheel rims on each side of the vehicle.
  • For UTVs, low-pressure tires are also no longer required; instead, they must have four or more tires. UTVs must be originally manufactured with, and must have at all times, a width of not more than 65 inches as measured laterally between the outermost wheel rims on each side of the vehicle.

Lighted Headlamp Display Requirements

  • ATVs and UTVs must now have a lighted headlamp and tail lamp during operation – regardless of time of day and location.
  • No person (except emergency services personal) may operate an ATV or UTV that is equipped with any of the following: 1.) A lamp that emits a color other than white or amber and that is visible from directly in front of the vehicle. 2.) A lamp that emits any color of light other than red, yellow, amber or white and that is visible from directly behind the ATV or UTV. 3.) A flashing, oscillating or rotating lamp that emits any color other than yellow or amber.
  • Any person operating an ATV or UTV must dim his or her high-beam headlamps and any auxiliary lamps when within 500 feet of an approaching ATV/UTV or vehicle, and within 500 feet to the rear of another ATV/UTV or vehicle.

Operational Requirements and Modification Restrictions

  • ATVs and UTVs cannot be operated with anything else other than tires (exception: private property or frozen waters).

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