Off-Highway Vehicle Decals
All OHV’s designed by the manufacturer primarily for use over unimproved terrain, and weigh 2,500 pounds or less, are required by law to display a valid Arizona OHV decal to operate on public and state trust lands in Arizona. Both residents and non-residents are required to purchase an OHV decal for each machine.
Residents must register their OHV and obtain their OHV decal through the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) or an authorized third party service provider. Residents can choose whether they want “street legal” registration or “off-highway” registration. “Street legal” registration allows operation on highways as well non-maintained roads and trails. “Off-highway” registration only allows operation on non-maintained roads and trails.
Non-residents: Street legal registration is required to operate on publicly maintained roads which include pavement and some dirt roads. Not all non-residents will be eligible to obtain a ‘street legal’ registration, particularly short-term visitors. Non-residents can only obtain ‘street legal’ registration if they have a domicile here in Arizona. Arizona law also requires an Arizona insurance policy to be attached to an Arizona registration, and in order to obtain an Arizona insurance policy the machine must be “garaged” here in this state. If a non-resident has a domicile here in this state, “garages” their machine in this state and wishes to register their machine as ‘street legal,’ then they need to contact the Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) or an authorized third party service provider. If a non-resident obtains an AZ ‘street legal’ registration, they should purchase a resident off highway vehicle decal through the MVD.
When purchasing an OHV decal from the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division or an Authorized Third Party, the owner must declare both the type of usage for the OHV and the OHV’s unladen weight. The type of usage determines whether the OHV will be registered for “street legal” operation or not. See the MVD Website for more information. Non-residents pursuing “street legal” registration through the MVD also need to purchase their OHV decal through the MVD. When registering or renewing registration through the MVD, it is a good idea to purchase the OHV decal first. This allows MVD’s system to recognize the purchase of an OHV decal, which will reduce the vehicle license tax if the OHV is under 1,800 pounds and the owner declares that the OHV will primarily be used off-highway.
Street Legal Registration
Highways are defined in A.R.S. 28-1171 as: the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained by the federal government, the department, a city, a town or a county if any part of the way is generally open to the use of the public for purposes of conventional two-wheel drive vehicular travel. Highway does not include routes designated for off-highway vehicle use.
Both residents and non-residents who choose to operate their OHV on roads that meet the definition of a highway (includes pavement and graveled/maintained dirt roads) must register their machine as “street legal” through the Motor Vehicle Division or an authorized third-party service provider if their home state or province does not provide “street legal” registration, including a license plate. Street Legal registration comes with a motorcycle designation to the license plate (Beginning in 2020 license plates will no-longer have “MC” on them). The registration sticker displaying the month and the year goes in the upper right corner. The OHV decal goes in the upper left corner.
Required to Make an OHV Street Legal
- At least one brake which can be operated by hand or foot
- Brake light
- Headlight(s) and taillight(s) visible from 500 feet if operated from dusk till dawn
- At least one red rear reflector
- License plate securely fastened to the rear and license plate light
- Eye protections for the driver or a windshield
- Spark arrestor
- Horn and muffler
- Rearview mirror
- Seat and footrests for the operator and any passenger
- Fuel tank cap
- Vehicle insurance, and valid driver’s license
- Helmet with a Dept. of Transportation rating for anyone under 18 years of age
Non-Resident OHV Decals
Non-resident OHV decals ONLY allow travel on non-maintained roads and trails. They allow operation on public and state trust lands, but do NOT allow “street legal” operation on maintained roads. With a non-resident OHV decal, you must trailer your OHV to a location where you can access the unimproved roads and trails. The incidental crossing of maintained roads is allowed with a non-resident decal.
Non-resident OHV Decals are only available through the Arizona Game and Fish Department website by creating an online portal account.
Title only Registration for Residents
Title Only registration (“Off Highway” designated license plate) only allows operation on non-maintained roads and trails. Title Only registration does not allow for travel on pavement or graded dirt roads except for the incidental crossing of these roads while accessing trails. If you have an “off highway” license plate you must trailer your OHV to a location where you can access the unimproved roads and trails.
Title Only registration is only available to residents through the MVD or an authorized third-party MVD service provider.