Ride Safe Ride Smart

Off-Road Use 

Driver must be at least 12 years of age unless under the direct supervision of an adult.
ATV must be registered and display a licence plate to the rear except in exempt areas such as far northern
Ontario.
ATV must be insured under a motor vehicle liability policy.
Driver and passenger must wear an approved motorcycle helmet that is securely fastened under the chin with a chin strap.
Driver can directly cross a highway where permitted, provided the driver is at least 16 years of age and holds a valid driver’s licence. A list of highways in Ontario where ATVs and Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) are prohibited from crossing can be found in the Off-Road Vehicles Act, Ontario Regulation 863, Schedule 1.

On-Road Use

An ATV that has four wheels (all of which contact the ground), is equipped with steering handlebars, a seat designed to be straddled by the driver, and is designed for a driver only and no passenger, is permitted to travel along some provincial highways.
It must weigh 450 kilograms or less and have an overall width not greater than 1.35 m excluding mirrors.
An ATV is prohibited from traveling on 400 series highways and some sections of the Trans-Canada Highway. Generally, ATVs are allowed to travel on Highways 500 to 899, 7000 series highways and highways with low traffic volumes. Refer to the Highway Traffic Act, Regulation 316/03 for a complete list of permitted and prohibited highways.
An ATV that has the above features is prohibited from operating on a municipal road, unless the municipality has a bylaw permitting the use of ATVs.
An ATV must be registered and insured as outlined in “Off-Road Use” section.
Driver must be at least 16 years of age and hold a valid G2/ M2 licence or greater.
Driver must wear an approved motorcycle helmet that is securely fastened under the chin with a chin strap.
Passengers are prohibited.
An ATV driver must travel at speeds that are less than the posted speed limit. The maximum speed an ATV can travel on roads with a limit of 50 km/hr or less is 20 km/hr, and the maximum speed on roads with a limit of more than 50 km/hr is 50 km/hr. Municipalities may set lower speed limits or additional rules for ATVs.
An ATV must be driven in the same direction as traffic and travel on the shoulder of the road. If the shoulder is unsafe or impassable, it can be driven on the travelled portion of the road.
An ATV travelling along a road must have its headlights and taillights on.

Two-Up ATVs

A two-up ATV that is designed and manufactured for a driver and passenger is defined as an Off-Road
Vehicle (ORV) under the Off-Road Vehicles Act.
It is prohibited from use on provincial highways and municipal roads, even if the driver is not carrying a passenger. However it can be driven directly across a highway were permitted, provided the driver is 16 years of age and holds a valid driver’s licence. A list of highways in Ontario that ATVS and ORVs are prohibited from crossing can be found in the Off-Road Vehicles Act, Ontario Regulation 863, Schedule 1.
Only ATVs that meet the safety and equipment standards of the federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act are allowed to travel on some Ontario highways.
A two-up ATV must be registered and display a licence plate to the rear.
It must be insured under a motor vehicle liability policy.
Driver must be at least 12 years of age unless under the direct supervision of an adult.
Driver and passenger must wear an approved motorcycle helmet that is securely fastened under the chin with a chin strap.

Side-By-Side Off-Road Vehicles

A side-by-side is a type of ORV in which the seating for the driver and passenger are beside each other, similar to a car. It is usually built with a hood and uses a steering wheel and foot pedals instead of a motorcycle type handle bar and thumb throttle.
Driver must be at least 12 years of age unless under the direct supervision of an adult.
A side-by-side ORV is prohibited from use on provincial highways and municipal roads.
It must be registered and display a licence plate to the rear, except in exempt areas such as far northern
Ontario.
It must be insured under a motor vehicle liability policy.
Driver and passenger must wear an approved motorcycle helmet that is securely fastened under the chin with a chin strap.
It can travel directly across a highway where permitted, provided the driver is at least 16 years of age and holds a valid driver’s licence. A list of highways in Ontario that ATVs and ORVs are prohibited from crossing can be found in the Off-Road Vehicles Act, Ontario Regulation 863, Schedule 1.

Private Property 

ATVs, two-up ATVs and side-by-sides driven on the registered owner’s land are exempt from the following requirements:

 Insurance

The minimum operating age of 12 years
Helmet use, although it is strongly recommended that drivers and passengers wear a helmet at all times while operating or riding on these types of vehicles.
Alcohol and ATVs

 On-Road

When operating an ATV along a roadway, drivers must obey Ontario’s drinking and driving laws under the

HTA as well as those under the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC).
Drivers caught with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level greater than .08, or who fail to provide a breath/blood sample to police, will be charged under the CCC in addition to the following consequences under the HTA:
o Driver’s licence suspended at roadside for 90 days;
o Vehicle impounded at roadside for 7 days;
o $150 administrative monetary penalty;
o Further suspension period upon conviction (one year for first offence); and
o Complete the Back on Track remedial measures program, followed by a minimum of one year when they must have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle they drive.
Drivers with a SAC level in the “warn range” of .05 to .08 face escalating roadside licence suspensions from
3 to 30 days, a $150 administrative monetary penalty, remedial alcohol education or treatment programs (for second or subsequent occurrences), and a six month ignition interlock condition on their driver’s licence (for a third offence).
All drivers 21 and younger are required to have a SAC of zero at all times when driving. Drivers caught with any amount of alcohol in their system face an immediate 24-hour licence suspension, and a 30-day suspension and fine of up to $500 on conviction.
Off-Road

Drivers operating an ATV, two-up ATV or side-by-side on Crown land, private property or a trail system who are impaired and/or have a SAC level greater than .08 will face criminal charges if stopped by police.

ATV Safety Courses 

Check with your local ATV club for rider safety courses in your area.

Need More Information on ATV Safety or the Legal Requirements?
Visit: ontario.ca/transportation or e-laws.gov.on.ca/index.html

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