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North Carolina ATV Registration & OHV Permits

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If you plan to enjoy North Carolina’s off-road riding areas and trails, you’ll want to know the OHV permit requirements and ATV/UTV laws you’ll need to follow. 

This page will provide you with the details on OHV stickers and ATV registration for North Carolina residents and out-of-state visitors. 

For more information and other details regarding ATVs, UTVs, and other off-road vehicles and recreation areas, please contact the NC DMV, your local authorities or the riding area you plan to go with your ATV. 

North Carolina ATV Registration Requirements & ORV Stickers

ATVs for off-highway use only are generally not titled and registered in North Carolina. 

Trail permits may be required depending on where you plan to ride. 

If you plan to register a street-legal modified UTV in North Carolina, you’ll need to visit your local DMV office with the following:

  • Modified Utility Vehicle Application (signed and notarized): https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/downloads/Documents/MVR-59.pdf 
  • Bill of Sale. 
  • Proof of Ownership (certificate of title or MCO). 
  • A completed vehicle inspection. 
  • Proof of liability insurance. 
  • Payment for your title, registration fees, and taxes. 

In order to qualify, your UTV will need all of the following equipment:

  • Overall length of at least 110”.
  • Width of at least 58”.
  • Height of at least 60”.
  • Headlight and taillight. 
  • Turn signals. 
  • Parking brake. 
  • Rear view mirrors. 
  • Seat belts. 
  • Brake lights. 
  • Speedometer. 
  • Windshield and windshield wipers. 
  • VIN. 

Street-legal UTVs can only be driven:

  • Where the speed limit is 55 mph or lower.
  • Where the speed limit is 35 mph or lower if the road has 4 or more lanes.  

ATV & Off-Road Vehicle Laws in North Carolina

Be sure to check the rules, regulations and fees for the North Carolina off-road trails you plan on riding. Local laws and regulations may vary. 

Riders 12 to 16 can operate ATVs no larger than 90cc. 

Riders under 12 can ride ATVs no larger than 70cc. 

All riders 18 or younger must wear a helmet and eye protection. 

Regardless of whether a particular state or trail requires it, ATV/UTV and dirt bike riders and passengers should always wear the proper safety equipment and helmets while riding. 

Never operate an off-road vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

Failing to obey the off-road vehicle laws of North Carolina and the local jurisdiction may result in tickets, fines, and penalties. 

Check out some of these other great ATV/UTV and dirt bike resources from MotorcycleZombies.com:

ATV & UTV Insurance

Dirt Bike Insurance


ATV Age Ranges

What to Wear ATV Riding

How to Ride an ATV

How to Ride a Dirt Bike

How Fast is a Dirt Bike?

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