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Indiana Laws Govern Use of Off-Road Vehicles

The Department of Natural Resources is reminding off-road vehicle operators about the laws regarding registration of their ORVs and them being operated on public roads.

All ORVs operated on public property must be registered with the DNR. And, any ORV five model years or less, and bought after Dec. 31, 2005, must have a certificate of title from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Registration forms are available from most dealers, most license branches and the Department of Natural Resources Customer Service Center, or they can be printed from the website

An individual may not operate an ORV required to be registered upon a public highway, street or rights of way thereof or on a public or private parking lot not specifically designated for the use of vehicles, except under the following conditions:

  • An ORV may be operated on the public right of way adjacent to the traveled part of the public highway, except a limited access highway, if there is sufficient width to operate at a reasonable distance off and away from the traveled part and in a manner so as not to endanger life or property.
  • The operator of an ORV may cross a public highway, other than a limited access highway, at right angles for the purpose of getting from one area to another when the operation can be done in safety.
  • An ORV may be operated on a highway in a county road system outside the corporate limits of a city or town if the highway is designated for this purpose by the county highway department having jurisdiction. A map outlining these counties can be found at
  • A law enforcement officer of a city, town, county or the state may authorize use of an ORV on the public highways, streets and rights of way within the officer's jurisdiction during emergencies.
  • An ORV may be operated on a street or highway for a special event of limited duration conducted according to a prearranged schedule only under permit from the governmental unit having jurisdiction.
  • An individual younger than 14 years of age may not operate an ORV without immediate supervision of an individual at least 18 years of age, except on land owned or under the control of the individual or the individual's parent or legal guardian.
  • An individual may not operate an ORV on a public highway without a valid motor vehicle driver's license.
  • An ORV may not be used to hunt, pursue, worry or kill a wild bird or domestic or a wild animal.

A handbook describing Indiana laws governing ORVs and snowmobiles can be found at

A copy of Indiana's off-road-vehicle laws can be found at ar16/ch1.html.

-- Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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