As a fan of ATVs, I have represented a few clients over the years with quad related issues. My hope in this article is to present a good basic primer on the current state of the law in New York regarding these vehicles. Before buying your first quad, you should be aware of the following:
- All ATV’s operated in New York State must be registered, even if you plan on operating it only on your own property.
- If you operate an ATV anywhere in New York State except on your own property, you are required to have liability insurance. Contact your local DMV to find out current required coverage amounts.
- You do not need a driver’s license to operate an ATV in New York State.
- Children between the ages of 10 years old and 15 years old, may only operate an ATV under an adult’s supervision, unless on land owned or leased by a parent or guardian. Children between the age of 10 and 15 years old may also operate an ATV on land for which ATV operation is permitted, upon completion of an ATV safety training course approved by the DMV.
- For children under 10, ATV’s may only be operated with adult supervision or on land owned or leased by a parent or guardian.
- Any operator of an ATV in New York State must abide by specific traffic laws and safety equipment regulations. These include a mandatory helmet requirement. Like laws for automobiles and boats, there is also a prohibition against operating an ATV while intoxicated or impaired by the consumption of alcohol or drugs. Check with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for current rules and regulations.
Remember, laws are constantly changing, so do not rely on this article to provide a complete and accurate assessment of current law. Likewise, this article should not be considered legal advice, and should never serve as a substitute for a consultation with a lawyer of your choice.